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Typhoon Rammasun explosively intensifies on approach to southeastern China

Water vapor view of Typhoon Rammasum (NOAA)

After battering the Philippines, but weakening in the process, Typhoon Rammasun has sprung back to life in a big way as it nears the southeast coast of China and eventually lands in northern Vietnam.  After its peak winds dropped to 90 mph Wednesday morning, they have (unofficially) ramped up to 140 mph in a day’s time, making it a dangerous typhoon, equivalent to a category-4 hurricane.

The storm is forecast by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center to make landfall in China’s Hainan province Friday and enter northern Vietnam Saturday.

Track forecast for Rammasun from Joint Typhoon Warning Center.


While the Joint Typhoon Warning Center still places Rammasun around 110 mph (category 2) on Thursday afternoon, the center does expect the typhoon to continue this strengthening trend as it approaches the Chinese island of Hainan.  Low wind shear and warmer than normal sea surface temperatures in the South China Sea have aided the storm’s impressive regeneration. The question is, now that Rammasun has begun to intensify ahead of predictions, how much strength will it be able to gain prior to landfall?

It’s possible the typhoon could achieve super typhoon status, should winds strengthen to 150 mph.

When it comes ashore, Rammasun will bring destructive winds and storm surge, and torrential rain.


“A devastating storm surge will be possible in northern and eastern Hainan Island as well as the southwest coast of Guangdong, including the Leizhou Peninsula,” notes AccuWeather.

The powerful typhoon will remain south of Hong Kong which should just get brushed by some “squally showers” and gusty winds.  The storm will also remain south of Jiangxi Province where at least 18 people died from heavy rains and landslides unrelated to this storm (see video below).

Rammasun is being blamed for at least 40 deaths in the Philippines.



Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.
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