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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Typhoon Conson intensifies, heads for south China, Vietnam

Typhoon Conson has grown back to a Category 1 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. The cyclone is crossing the South China Sea currently heading towards Hainan Island. Landfall is expected sometime Friday.

Typhoon Conson may reach land in China Friday: Forecast (Xinhua)
BEIJING, July 15 (Xinhua) -- China issued an orange alert on Thursday for wave surges, the second highest level warning, forecasting that Typhoon Conson may reach land Friday on the southeast coast of China' s Hainan province.

The National Marine Environment Forecast Center warned of a 6-metre wave surge in the middle and the north of the South China Sea from Thursday night through Friday.

Meanwhile, warnings were also issued for a possible 5-metre wave surge off the east shore of Hainan province and a 3-metre wave surge off the west shore of Guangdong province and the southern coast of Hainan.
A high pressure system is driving Conson more towards the west into northern Vietnam. This means that the strongest northeast quadrant of the storm will strike Hainan province as the system makes landfall.

High pressure forcing Tropical Storm Conson farther south to Hainan Island (Eurekalert)
NASA satellites are keeping an eye on the changing track of Tropical Storm Conson and the conditions within the storm as it changes in strength on its track through the South China Sea. NASA's Infrared imagery revealed some strong convection in the storm as it takes a more westerly route toward another landfall.

Just before making landfall in the northern Philippines, Tropical Storm Conson was forecast to track more to the northwest for a landfall in China in the next couple of days. Now the forecast track has changed to bring Conson further south over the weekend and toward a landfall in northern Vietnam. That's because there is a low-to-mid-level subtropical ridge (an area of high pressure) that is sitting over China, and Conson is following along the southern edge of it. The high pressure ridge acts as a barrier and Tropical cyclone like Conson are forced to go around them. Think of a basketball sitting outside in the rain, and the raindrops drip down the surface to the ground - it's the same principle.
The biggest concern in south China is flooding as the area has been inundated with heavy rain for quite a while. Now as the rain continues, with the approaching typhoon the potential for severe flooding is quite likely.

China Faces Worst Flooding in 12 years (Voice of America)
China is bracing itself for what could be its worst flooding in 12 years, as heavy rain causes rivers to burst their banks. And, worsening weather conditions are expected, in the next 48 hours. Rain storms in recent days have already claimed 43 lives and left 40 other people missing. Damage to property is running into millions of dollars.

Rain continues to batter the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River. And, approaching typhoon Conson - which is expected to batter the south of the country once its makes landfall - is expected to push flood defenses to the brink.

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