Typhoon Meranti continues to strengthen Monday morning and shows no sign of letting up prior to landfall Wednesday likely in South Eastern Taiwan.
According to the JTWC the storm is now a Category 3 equivalent on the saffir simpson scale and is expected to intensify further up to a “super typhoon” intensity. Warm sea surface temperatures, ample moisture being fed in to it from the monsoon and being somewhat removed from shear which is mostly located in a stationary front to the north should allow the storm to reach that max intensity.
Meranti is expected to make landfall early Wednesday morning in south eastern Taiwan. Max winds at landfall could be topping 250kph.
The storm is actually very reminiscent of Typhoon Nepartak which slammed in to south eastern Taiwan earlier in July leaving three dead there and another 83 dead in South Eastern China. (ABOVE VIDEO FROM TYPHOON NEPARTAK)
Most of the casualties from the storm were due to excessive amounts of rainfall which is a common problem when discussing eastern Taiwan and the impact from Tropical Systems. This is a direct result of the peaks that run across the spine of the island that spike up to 3,000 meters high with the highest being 3,952 meters. Mountains so steep and so close to the ocean act as a wall squeezing out any potential moisture with these tropical systems and often amounting in incredible rain totals much higher than what numerical models predict.
Hong Kong should stay south and west of the storms track but the city is still in the cone of error and should watch it closely.