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Son-Tinh has intensified into a Typhoon as it nears Hainan and Vietnam. The eye of Typhoon Son-Tinh was last located approximately 330km south southwest of Haikou or about 560km southeast of Hanoi. Maximum sustained winds are now up to 140kph with gusts of up to 175kph. Son-Tinh is moving west northwestward at 25kph.
IR Image from NRLMRY
Son-Tinh has developed a pinhole eye as it took advantage of favorable conditions in the South China Sea. Outer rain bands are beginning to impact Hainan and also Leizhou Peninsula. Some stations are already reporting up to 50mm of rain today and 50 to 100mm more are possible tonight and into tomorrow. Rains are also starting along the coast of Vietnam; conditions out here will only get worse as we move into tonight and tomorrow.
Forecast Track (NOT OFFICIAL!)
Typhoon Son-Tinh is forecast to maintain its present intensity as it moves into the Gulf of Tonkin. Although looking at the latest data, there is a chance that this system will get upgraded into a Category 2 Typhoon in the next 12 hours. Rains and strong winds will begin across Vietnam tonight and will get worse by tomorrow (Sunday) as Son-Tinh makes landfall. The landfall point is around 200km south of Hanoi although strong winds and heavy rains will still be felt away from the center.
A ridge of high pressure has set up over China which will act as a blocking mechanism and will help Son-Tinh slow down significantly by Sunday and Monday. If the forecasts pan out, Son-Tinh might linger around Hanoi and Northern Vietnam for two days potentially bringing huge amounts of rainfall. The only bright side is that we do expect Son-Tinh to eventually weaken to a depression by Monday but its remnants will still continue to bring rains across Vietnam and might even spread into the Guangxi Province in Southwestern China and even the neighboring countries in the Indochina Region.
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Issued (10 UTC) 6pm PhT 102712