Typhoon Wutip continues to intensify this morning as it nears Hainan Island and Vietnam. The center of Wutip was last located approximately 430km southeast of Haikou, Hainan or about 850km southeast of Hanoi, Vietnam. According to JMA’s latest warnings, Wutip is now packing maximum sustained winds of up to 130kph along with gusts that could reach up to 185kph. Wutip is currently moving westward at 10kph.
IR Image from CIMSS
Latest satellite image from CIMSS shows the eye of Wutip is starting to clear out, a sign that further intensification is currently happening. Radial outflow has also improved overnight and the system looks much more symmetrical this morning. Wutip remains in an area of weak wind shear and warm sea-surface temperatures helping the system intensify. We expect it to strengthen further and could even become a Category 2 typhoon if we based it on the winds from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
Radar Image from Hainan Island (CMA)
Wutip is still far from Vietnam, however, it could start to affect Hainan Island of China later today. In fact radar image from Hainan is already showing outer rain bands from Wutip nearing the island. Rains should begin later this morning and will continue to worsen throughout the afternoon and evening hours. Up to 200mm of rain is possible in some areas in Hainan. Furthermore, southern coastal areas in the island could see strong and damaging winds of up to 160kph and could be capable of bringing down trees and even some houses. For the latest warnings and forecasts from China, click HERE (CMA Website)
Wutip will pass by Hainan tonight and will continue to head westward towards Vietnam. Based on the forecasts from many agencies in the region, Wutip could make landfall near Vinh, Vietnam by early Monday morning as a strong typhoon. Damaging winds and heavy rains will be a threat not only to Vietnam but also for Laos and even into Thailand.
If you are in Hainan or Vietnam, please start preparing now and always make sure to check with your country’s official agency for the latest forecasts and warnings. We’ll continue to have updates throughout the day so check back here at Western Pacific Weather as well. Stay safe!