Environment & Health Hong Kong

Multiple typhoons brewing in Western Pacific

Treasure the sun while you can – the Western Pacific has seen three tropical cyclones appearing simultaneously, with one close to Hong Kong.

Severe tropical storm Linfa was located about 680 km southeast of Hong Kong on Monday, with a maximum sustained wind speed of 85 kilometres per hour.

Tropical cyclone track of Linfa. Photo: HKO.

Tropical cyclone track of Linfa. Photo: HKO.

According to the Hong Kong Observatory, Linfa will move towards Taiwan gradually in the next few days. The Taiwan Central Weather Bureau has issued a sea alert for Linfa on Monday.

Storm track of the typhoons. Photo: Apple Daily.

Storm track of the typhoons. Photo: Apple Daily.

The weather in Hong Kong this week is unpredictable due to the concurrent presence of tropical cyclone Chan-hom, currently situated in Guam and heading towards Japan. However, the chance of raising the standby typhoon signal No. 1 “in the next two or three days is low,” according to Yeung Wai-lung, scientific officer at the Observatory.

Yeung said that the unpredictable weather was due to the binary interaction between the two tropical cyclones, known as the “Fujiwhara effect”. The two typhoons may be attracted to each other and eventually merge.

Nangka, the third typhoon in the Western Pacific area caused severe damage to the area of Majuro in the Marshall Islands, according to Al Jazeera. However, Yeung said that Nangka was too far away from Hong Kong to affect local weather.

Three tropical cyclones near the region. Photo: Earth.

Three tropical cyclones near the region. Photo: Earth.

The most significant instance of the Fujiwhara effect locally was the meeting of typhoons Wayne and Vera in 1986. Over the course of 20 days, the Observatory hoisted the standby typhoon signal No. 1 three times before the No. 8 storm signal was raised eventually.

The weather forecast for Hong Kong is mostly sunny periods with isolated showers and thunderstorms for the next few days, with temperatures ranging from 27 to 31 degrees celsius.

Multiple typhoons brewing in Western Pacific