Issued (0430 UTC) 1230pm PhT 091416
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After crossing Luzon Strait and directly passing over Itbayat Island last night, Super Typhoon Meranti (Bagyong Ferdie) is now impacting parts of Southern Taiwan. The eye of Meranti was last located approximately 50km south southwest of Kaohsiung City, Taiwan or about 260km northwest of Basco, Batanes. Maximum sustained winds have decreased slightly to 285kph with gusts of up to 350kph. STY Meranti is currently moving northwestward at 20kph.
While Meranti (Ferdie) has technically left the Philippine Area of Responsibility as of 12pm today, Public Storm Warning Signal #2 remains in effect for Batanes Group of Islands and Signal #1 for Babuyan Group of Islands. This is for tropical storm conditions that may still affect the said regions. Preliminary reports out of Batanes indicate no "untoward incidents" as per the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) of the Philippines. However, we will continue to update as we get new info.
IR Image from NRLMRY
Latest satellite image shows Meranti beginning to feel the effects of Taiwan's topography. The eye has become clouded and the central dense overcast has also weakened and disrupted. Nevertheless, Meranti remains a powerful and dangerous Category 5 Super Typhoon. In fact, parts of Southern Taiwan are reporting wind gusts in excess of 160kph. Stormy conditions will prevail across the area for the next 12 to 18 hours.
Radar Image from Central Weather Bureau (Taiwan)
Aside from the strong winds and storm surge threat, heavy rains have also spread across Taiwan as can be seen from the weather radar image above. The eye of Meranti is still intact as well, skirting just to the west of Kaohsiung City. Rainfall amounts of 200 to 400mm are possible across Taiwan with higher amounts of up to 600mm possible in the mountainous areas, over the next 48 hours. Landslides and flash floods are going to be the highest threat from this extreme rainfall event.
For the latest Radar Images and weather observations out of Taiwan, please click HERE (CWB)
Meranti should continue to weaken as it heads northwestward, as its circulation gets disrupted by Taiwan's and Southern China's topography. Despite the weakening, we still expect Meranti to maintain Typhoon intensity as it makes landfall in the Guangdong-Fujian Province area by Thursday morning. The city of Xiamen, home to 3 million people, is at risk for dangerous stormy conditions in the next 24 hours; along with the rest of Southeastern China. High winds, storm surge, and widespread heavy rains will likely threaten the region.