Chan-hom on track for Shanghai – AIR - FREE

Chan-hom on track for Shanghai – AIR - FREE

China is bracing itself for a storm, as Typhoon Chan-hom approaches Shanghai’s Hangzhou Bay.

The storm, which injured 20 people as it skirted Okinawa and caused a power outage for 30,000 more, and has also prompted authorities in Taiwan to shut the stock market, government offices, businesses and schools ahead of the storm.

Landfall in Hangzhou Bay is expected daytime on Saturday, local time, according to catastrophe risk modelling company AIR Worldwide.

Flights, trains, and bus and speedboat ferry services have been cancelled in Shanghai and its environs. 

The China Meteorological Administration (CMA) raised a red warning of typhoon Friday morning for Zhejiang and Fujian provinces and an orange warning of rainstorm for Zhejiang, Shanghai, southern Jiangsu, southeastern Anhui, northeast Fujian, and Taiwan.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Typhoon Chan-hom is located at 27.3°N, 124.0°E as of 12:00 UTC July 10, with a central pressure of 940 mb and maximum 10-minute sustained wind speeds of 85 kts (112 mph 1-minute sustained).

“Nonetheless, Chan-hom has maintained a good overall structure, including a clearly defined eye and near symmetry of the cloud field, indicating that the typhoon is not experiencing much wind shear,” said AIR Worldwide.

“Drier air is working its way toward the storm center from the north, which in combination with the cooler sea surface temperatures, should continue to weaken Chan-hom,” said the cat modeller.

Over the past 24 hours, Chan-hom peaked in intensity as a Category 4 storm but is now weakening as it moves over cooler ocean water off the eastern coast of China, according to the JMA.

“Chan-hom has generally been tracking toward the northwest around the southwestern periphery of the subtropical ridge, and this track is expected to continue for the next 12-18 hours,” said Richard Yablonsky, scientist at AIR Worldwide.

“Then, in the 6-12 hours before landfall, Chan-hom is forecast to turn toward the north and then eventually the northeast around the time of landfall. The exact timing and location of the recurvature of the storm track toward the north and northeast will be critical for determining the impacts in and around Hangzhou Bay, including Shanghai, which is the third most populated metropolitan area in the world,” he said.

“Areas to the right of the storm track are at greatest risk for storm surge. Even though downtown Shanghai is protected by a seawall, the integrity of that seawall could be tested if the storm does not weaken significantly before landfall and the wind direction is favorable for water to surge into Shanghai,” continued Yablonsky.

“Regardless, heavy rainfall of 1-2 feet is possible in and around Shanghai, especially if Chan-hom slows down significantly before recurving toward the northeast, which could cause major urban flooding. Strong winds could also cause some damage, but flooding appears to be the largest threat at this time,” he added.

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