Typhoon Nepartak, this year’s first tropical cyclone in the Western North Pacific Basin, made landfall in southeastern Taiwan early Friday, bringing devastating winds and torrential rainfall.
Nepartak had reached the equivalent of a top-level category 5 hurricane (maximum sustained wind speeds exceeding 252 km/h) at its peak on Thursday. It made landfall at category 4 equivalent strength, with wind speeds of 55 meters per second (198 km/h), according to the China Meteorological Administration (CMA).
A buoy station in the open sea near Taitung, eastern Taiwan, recorded the minimum air pressure of 897hPa at around 8 pm on 7 July.
Nepartak weakened rapidly upon contact with Taiwan’s mountainous terrain and was forecast to move northwest with a shrinking force through the Taiwan Strait and make landfall on the Fujian coast of mainland China around noon local time on 9 July.
CMA said from 8 to 9 July, Taiwan, most of Fujian, and eastern Zhejiang would be exposed to heavy rain. The hourly rainfall at its full force in southern Taiwan was expected to reach 80 to 100 mm.
Imagery from the Japan Meteorological Agency’s Himawari-8 satellite captured the rapid intensification of Nepartak with a clarity unknown even a few years ago. Himawari-8 is one of the new generation geostationary satellite, with unprecedented observation capability of 16 bands (channels), and is expected to help forecast and manage hazards like tropical cyclones.
The most valuable function of geostationary meteorological satellites is their ability to monitor atmospheric phenomena continuously and uniformly over various areas such as seas, deserts and mountains where surface-based observation is difficult.
Himawari-8 satellite loop of Nepartak on 6 July available here
ESCAP/WMO video on “typhoon warnings” is available here