Tropical Storm Kai-tak may target Vietnam, Malay Peninsula after inundating Philippines

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Adam Douty, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
December 17, 2017, 11:18:24 AM EST

Southern Vietnam and the Malay Peninsula are being put on alert for potential impacts from Tropical Storm Kai-tak late in the week after it finishes lashing the Philippines.

Kai-tak, known in the Philippines as Urduja, will continue to put lives and property in peril across the central Philippines by unleashing excessive rainfall through Monday.

Kai-tak is expected to be either a minimal tropical storm or depression when it emerges from the Philippines into the South China Sea.

"Conditions may be conducive for Kai-tak to regain strength over the warm waters of the South China Sea through the first half of next week," AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Richards said.

Kai-tak may be a strong tropical storm as it makes its closest approach to southern Vietnam during the second half of next week. It is not out of the question for Kai-tak to reach typhoon status.

The strength and exact track of Kai-tak will determine the impacts southern Vietnam will face.


Even if Kai-tak passes south of Vietnam, moisture from the storm still may cause localized downpours to raise the risk of flooding and mudslides along the coast.

The risk for flooding and damaging winds will increase if the center of Kai-tak takes a more northerly track and barrels into or grazes southern Vietnam. The strength of Kai-tak will determine the extent of wind damage.

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Kai-tak's interaction with southern Vietnam will impact how the storm will affect the Malay Peninsula next weekend.

The risk for flooding and mudslides may be greatest across southern Thailand and northern Malaysia if Kai-tak avoids making landfall in southern Vietnam.

Damaging winds may also be a concern on the Malay Peninsula, but an influx of drier air from mainland Southeast Asia may cause Kai-tak to be past its peak intensity at this time.

Regardless of which scenario pans out, boaters and swimmers should prepare for Kai-tak to stir dangerously rough seas across the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand this week.

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