Wipha to unload heavy rain, gusty winds on China, Vietnam into Sunday
The Hong Kong Observatory issued its first No 8 typhoon signal of the year on July 31, 2019, as Tropical Storm Wipha approached the city. The storm is expected to skirt 300km (190 miles) to the city’s southwest, according to the Observatory, which predicted the No 8 signal would remain in place for the rest of the day. The storm is expected to bring heavy showers and squalls to the city.
Tropical Rainstorm Wipha, which formed in the South China Sea between the Philippines and China, will bring the risk of flooding and locally damaging winds to the region through Sunday.
The storm made an initial landfall across China's Leizhou Peninsula on Thursday. Wipha then tracked westward near the coast of China's Guangxi province before making a second landfall into northern Vietnam on Saturday.
Locations from southern China into northern Vietnam, northern Laos, eastern Myanmar and far northern Thailand will need to be on alert for flooding downpours and a heightened risk for mudslides.
Heavy rainfall could reach a total of 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) across the region, with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 380 mm (15 inches) possible from northern Vietnam into northern Laos.
Hanoi dodged the worst of Wipha's wind; however, the city was lashed by more than 125 mm (5 inches) from Friday night into Saturday night. More downpours are expected through the day on Sunday.
Rainbands from Wipha lashed Hong Kong from Wednesday into Thursday bringing around 200 mm (8 inches) of rainfall to the city.
The combination of downpours and frequent wind gusts of 50-65 km/h (30-40 mph) lead to the Hong Kong Observatory issuing a tropical cyclone signal 8, its third highest level, according to Reuters. The warning was lowered to an Amber Rainstorm Warning Signal on Thursday.
The education bureau closed schools on Wednesday, and authorities urged office workers to go home early.
Hong Kong's financial markets were closed early on Wednesday before reopening on Thursday. Brief periods of intense rainfall and gusty winds continued through Friday, resulting in localized flooding and travel delays at times.
Satellite image showing Wipha over northern Vietnam on Saturday, local time. (RAMMB)
For anyone in the path of this storm, heed all advice from local government officials and evacuate if asked. Keep gas tanks filled and cell phones charged.
Despite the storm tracking away from the Philippines, bands of rain will batter western areas of Luzon, including Manila, into this weekend. Localized flooding and travel disruptions are possible each day.
Additional tropical development is expected across the West Pacific during the first half of August with the potential for the first typhoon since Wutip in late February.
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