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A new tropical depression has formed just east of Luzon. Winds are at 30kts. 22W has increasingly well defined banding in the western quadrant and increasing convection directly over the LLCC. The depression is heading west-northwestwards along the southwest side of a ridge to the northeast. This motion is expected to persist over the next several days. This will take 22W inland over Luzon in about 24 hours. 22W should become a tropical storm befoee landfall. 22W will then lose some strength over land before moving into the northern half of the South China Sea. Shear will remain low and waters warm, so 22W is expected to strengthen into a typhoon before making landfall near Hainan Island and the adjacent mainland Chinese coast. Current track has 22W briefly emerging into the Gulf Of Tonkin then making a final landfall in the extreme north of Vietnam. Details this far out are uncertain, but it does seem we will have a typhoon affecting southern China in a few days time.

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22W became a 35kt tropical storm named Mujigae before landfalling on the east coast of Luzon. The storm then weakened to a tropical depression over land before emerging over water in the South China Sea. Mujigae has since strengthened quickly, and now has winds of 55kts. The storm has a well established central dense overcast, good banding, and the beginnings of an eye. Mujigae will soon become a typhoon before making a second landfall, this time in southern China, north of Hainan Island.

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Mujigae has continued to strengthen, and is now a typhoon with winds of 65kts. The storm has a circular central dense overcast, and a small eye is becoming apparent. Some further intensification is possible before landfall in the next 12hrs. JTWC are forecasting a peak of 70kts, but I think Mujigae could get a little stronger than that based on the fact the typhoon is already developing a well defined eye.

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And indeed Mujigae did get stronger, a lot stronger!!! Winds are up to 115kts, which is a category 4 on the SS scale. Mujigae has just made landfall near Zhanjiang, China. Now Mujigae is inland, it should weaken nearly as rapidly as it strengthened.

This is a slightly old image which shows Mujigae's eye nicely, along with the circular central dense overcast. This typhoon rapidly became a monster, I do hope the people it is affecting were not caught too offguard just expecting a minimal typhoon to make landfall. Mujigae definitely isn't that.

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This rapid intensification just prior to landfall in southern China reminds me of Typhoon Vicente in 2012, which similarly caught forecasters off guard by becoming a cat 4 just before landfall when it was only forecast to be a cat 1.

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