Tropical downpours to raise flood risk in eastern, southern China this week

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Adam Douty, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
August 12, 2018, 12:30:48 PM EDT

Flooding rain will be the main danger from Tropical Storm Yagi and a tropical depression across parts of southern and eastern China this week.

A tropical system spinning southwest of Hong Kong poses the most significant threat to lives and property.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency, who is the official monitoring agency for the West Pacific, upgraded the system to a tropical depression on Saturday night, local time. The Hong Kong Observatory, however, has called the system a tropical storm.

"Its proximity to land will limit any significant development," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Houk.

td 8/12

Regardless of its exact classification, the storm will bring a significant risk for flooding from southeastern China to northern Vietnam.

Rainfall totals of nearly 225 mm (8.85 inches) inundated Dongfang on China’s western Hainan Island in the 24 hours spanning Thursday to Thursday night, local time. From Friday into Saturday, 324 mm (12.76 inches) of rain fell in Yangjiang in southwest Guangdong.

Portions of Hong Kong received between 75-100 mm (3-4 inches) of rain on Saturday.

The storm has the potential to bring 250-380 mm (10-15 inches) of rain across the Chinese provinces early this week from western Guangdong to southern Guangxi.

The corridor from Yangjiang to Zhanjiang and Qinzhou may be subject to these extreme rainfall totals, which can lead to life-threatening flooding, mudslides and landslides. Rivers can overflow their banks and flood neighboring land, communities and roads.

Residents living in areas prone to flooding or landslides should prepare for possible evacuations.

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Motorists will face major travel disruptions where runoff from heavy rain inundates or damages roads and bridges. Avoid a potentially deadly situation by never driving through floodwaters. Air travel can have some disruptions.

The pocket of heavy rain will move westward into northern Vietnam through the middle of the week.

Residents from Cao Bang to Hanoi will have to be on guard for the dangers of flooding and mudslides.

Tropical Storm Yagi makes landfall in eastern China

Tropical Storm Yagi crossed Japan's Ryukyu Islands on Saturday and Saturday night. Yagi made landfall on Sunday night in Zhejiang province, about 200 miles to the south of Shanghai.

Yagi provided a glancing blow to Okinawa on Saturday as the wind gusted to nearly 65 km/h (40 mph). Tropical downpours will sweep across the Ryukyu Islands through the early week as moisture is pulled northward.

Yagi track 8/12

"A band of heavy rain with the risk for flooding will be possible along and to the north of Yagi's track," Houk said. Areas from northern Zhejiang and Shanghai into Anhui are at the greatest risk for 75-150 mm (3-6 inches) of rain. Locally heavy rain, however, will spread as far north as Beijing and Tianjin by Tuesday.

Houk does not anticipate widespread damaging winds along Yagi's path. However, sporadic power outages cannot be ruled out.

Yagi rain 8/12

Rough surf will still be stirred and create hazards for boaters and swimmers across the East China and Yellow seas.

Elsewhere in the Pacific Ocean, Hector is anticipated to cross the international date line early next week.

"By then, Hector could be downgraded to a tropical storm," AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said. "If it maintains winds of 120 km/h (75 mph) or higher as it moves west of the date line, then it will be designated as a typhoon."

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