Typhoon Soulik Makes Landfall in Taiwan

July 13, 2013; 7:17 AM ET
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Radar image of Typhoon Soulik as it makes landfall 2:30 a.m. local time. Image courtesy of Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau.

Powerful Typhoon Soulik made landfall in northern Taiwan early Saturday morning local time with wind gusts reported to 130 mph.

The worst of the storm will affect Taipei into Saturday afternoon. Wind gusts in the city of more than 2 million can reach over 80 mph.

Widespread property damage will be possible across the country. While the strongest winds will be across the north, heavy rainfall could produce flooding anywhere across the nation.

The storm's severe winds pounded the southernmost Ryukyu Islands of Japan where wind gusts topped 130 mph late Friday.

As of Saturday evening, local time, the eye of Typhoon Soulik near Taipei. The highest sustained winds have weakened to 90 mph (150 km/h) with higher gusts.

Expected path of Soulik as it slams Taiwan and eastern China.

Heavy rainfall of 4-8 inches (10-20 cm) will be widespread along the path of Soulik through Taiwan and into China through the weekend with 1- to 2-foot (30- to 60-cm) amounts over the mountain spine of Taiwan. Flash flooding and mudslides will pose significant threats.

Typhoon Soulik, with its 100-mph/160 km/h winds as it aims for northern Taiwan (Credit: UW-CIMSS)

Brief interaction with mountainous Taiwan will weaken Soulik before its expected second landfall on mainland China, likely in Fujian near Fuchou. Nevertheless, Soulik will still be capable of damaging winds and flooding rains as it sweeps inland later Saturday into Saturday night.

Moisture from Soulik will then likely get absorbed into a stalled frontal boundary resulting in the threat for flooding rainfall from parts of eastern China into the Korean Peninsula and Japan. Parts of the Korean Peninsula received 4-8 inches of rain on Thursday from this frontal boundary and additional heavy rainfall into early next week could lead to devastating flooding.

Meteorologists Eric Leister, Anthony Sagliani and Dave Samuhel contributed to the content of this story.

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