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Somerset Squall

Typhoon Vicente

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The ninth tropical depression of the Western Pacific season has formed over northern Luzon. 09W is currently quite broad in nature, but has shown signs of tightening up over the last 6 hours. Intensity is currently 25kts. As 09W moves westwards out into the South China Sea, the depression should strengthen as shear will be low and sea temps very warm. Strong ridging to the north over Southern China should drive 09W to the west over the next few days, meaning Hainan Island is in the firing line, followed by Vietnam. JTWC forecast 09W to peak at strong tropical storm strength, but a typhoon cannot be ruled out, especially when 09W moves over Hainan Island into the hot waters of the Gulf Of Tonkin. Although the Gulf is pretty small and 09W won't spend a lot of time there, this stretch of water is well known for boosting tropical cyclones before landfall in northern Vietnam. 09W needs watching closely, as even though the cyclone is currently just a weak tropical depression, it already has a lot of rain attached to it; and the warm waters of the South China Sea are bound to fuel further very deep convective development over the coming days.

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09W has become much better organised over the last 24hrs, and has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Vicente, with intensity now at 45kts. Vicente's LLC is much more compact and convection is consolidating nicely over the centre. Heavy rains have started to impact Hainan Island, and these will worsen as Vicente moves closer. With low shear and warm sea temps expected to persist, Vicente will strengthen further.

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Vicente has strengthened slightly to 50kts. Deep convection persists over the centre with strong banding in the southern quadrant of the storm. Shear is low and sea temps warm, so further intensification is likely. JTWC forecast Vicente to become a cat 1 typhoon as it approaches Hainan Island and the adjacent South China coastline. Vicente has slowed considerably today but should resume the west-northwestward motion tomorrow.

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Vicente has rapidly strengthened overnight, and is now a typhoon with sustained winds of 65kts. Overnight, Vicente has also unexpectedly jogged northeastwards. Though the westwards track is expected to resume, the track forecast has shifted much further north, putting landfall just west of Hong Kong now, with dissipation over Southern China (instead of Vicente moving into the Gulf Of Tonkin). With the appearance of an fairly well defined eye in satellite imagery, I wouldn't be surprised if the rapid intensification episode is not over yet. This is bad news for Hainan Island and South China, as winds are now expected to be much stronger than originally forecast.

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Vicente has bombed in intensity today, and the areas in the path of this system are in danger. Intensity has rocketed up to 120kts, making Vicente a cat 4 on the SS scale. The typhoon has a very well defined eye located just off the coast of China. Landfall will occur later tonight west of Hong Kong. This is going to be a nasty storm!

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I'm here!! Just been out for a little recon.

Hong Kong is getting absolutely hammered here now, gusts in places up to 180km/h.

Cant believe how this storm evolved, when i woke up this morning it was a mid tropical storm, and went crazy just south of hong Kong. Looks like landfall will be in the next hour about 100km away.

HKO issued the signal number 10, first time since 1999, and that is currently active, as well as 4 other warnings (Landslip, SPecial Announcement of Flooding in the Northern New Territories, Thunderstorm, and Amber Rainstorm).

Struggling to sleeep tonight as everything is ratling and shaking.

Not too much damage that ive seen, a few trees downed, signs knocked over, but doesnt look like a huge amount of structural damage, but the full extent wont be known until sunrise.

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I was just wondering when we would hear from you Cornishbrooksy! This one must have certainly caught you by surprise. Original forecasts has Vicente heading well south of Hong Kong and not even making typhoon status. Just goes to show how limited forecasting tropical cyclones still is! Stay safe mate!

Making landfall now:

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Certainly did. Had this one down for a signal number 3 and passing pretty harmlessly to the south as a TS.

Even the observatory said no more than TS...then STS...then TY....then STY. Crazy intensification.

Worst has def passed us now, T8 signal still up, but will be lowered around 10am HKT, then can get back to work.

News reports are saying around 50 injured here, and about 400 downed trees. Not to shabby, but i expect there will be further reports later when people can get out and assess properly.

Was suprised that even through the whole night electricity supply and internet and mobile phone signals never falterred. Seriously impressive.

Also of note, it went against everything even though all the models were in tight agreement. 10amHKT yesterday and the entire system stalled and made a jolt for the north, could tell something was up then.

Not bad for a boy from somerset to experience a "direct hit" from a category 4 hurricane. Beautiful.

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Scores injured as typhoon lashes Hong Kong

HONG KONG: Scores of people were injured and trees were ripped from the ground as a typhoon lashed Hong Kong packing winds in excess of 140 kilometres (87 miles) an hour, officials said on Tuesday. Authorities issued a hurricane warning for the first time since 1999 as Typhoon Vicente roared to within 100 kilometres of Hong Kong shortly after midnight, disrupting dozens of flights to the regional hub.

The alarm was downgraded to a strong wind warning by mid-morning as the cyclone passed to the west and weakened over the southern Chinese coast. The storm brought down hundreds of trees and sent debris crashing into downtown streets as commuters made their way home from work on Monday evening, when people were told to seek shelter.

Ferry, bus and train services were suspended or ran at reduced capacity, the port and schools were closed, and 44 passenger flights were cancelled. More than 270 flights were delayed.

The stock exchange was also closed for the morning but reopened in the afternoon after authorities gave the all clear to go back to work. "We haven't experienced this for 10 years. I could hardly walk, the wind kept pushing me," marketing research manager Alpha Yung, 28, told AFP as she went to work in the almost deserted streets. Mignon Chan, a 21-year-old marketing assistant, said the storm was "crazy". "Last time I suffered this kind of weather I was small. It's chaotic here, trees fell down, people fell down, but I still have to work. That's the worst part," she said.

Almost 140 people sought medical treatment and 268 people took refuge in storm shelters, officials said. Seventy-one people remained in hospital including one who was in a serious condition. Local media reported that more than 100 commuters stayed in the Tai Wai train station overnight, unable to get home after services were suspended. A landslide occurred in the upscale Peak neighbourhood but there were no casualties as a result, officials said. "The wind and rain were pounding on my windows at home last night -- bam, bam, bam -- they were so strong that I couldn't sleep," security guard Tony Chan said as he cleared shattered glass on the street outside an office tower.

Ocean Park tourist attraction said it would remain closed for the day to carry out a "thorough inspection" of the property for possible storm damage. In the nearby territory of Macau, three major bridges over the city's harbour were closed overnight as the typhoon approached, the government said. Mainland offcials said the typhoon hit Taishan city in Guangdong province at 4:00 am (2000 GMT Monday). There were no immediate reports of casualties but officials said damage was still being assessed.

http://timesofindia....ow/15118506.cms

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