Just in time for the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, the strongest storm of the year is coming to China.
Super Typhoon Meranti is actually the strongest storm since Super Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the Philippines in 2013. Weather Underground has called it one of the “deepest tropical cyclones ever recorded anywhere on earth.” Earlier this week it went from a Category 1 storm to a Category 5, the highest possible level, in a period of 24 hours, with winds reaching up to 370 kph…. Yeah, you might want to cancel those travel plans.
In eye of supertyphoon Merati? That's Filipino island of Itbayat, w/3k residents. As scary a pic as I've ever seen pic.twitter.com/dXk65kdbZb
— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) September 13, 2016
Currently, Meranti is passing by the southern tip of Taiwan, though it will not make landfall. According to local authorities, 150,000 people were evacuated ahead of the storm and 260,000 households have lost power as strong winds have knocked over trees, power lines and even cars.
A preview of what your long holiday weekend will look like:
— James Reynolds (@EarthUncutTV) September 14, 2016
The super typhoon currently has wind speeds of over 300kph and it is heading in a northwesterly direction, straight towards mainland China. It is predicted to make landfall on the coast of southern Fujian province on Thursday. Fortunately, by early Friday, gusts are supposed to be down to only 185kph. Meranti promises to cause some serious holiday headaches in Fujian and Guangdong provinces
But what about Shanghai? Well, China’s three-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday begins tomorrow and Shanghai can expect heavy rains and thunderstorms during each day of that break. As Meranti dies down, there’s another typhoon, Malakas, which is now nearing Taiwan and will pick up where Meranti left off.
So, until the wind dies down, it’s time to batten down the hatches and spend some time indoors, possibly learning a new skill.
[Images via Xinhua / The Weather Channel]