Typhoon Soudelor bears down on Taiwan; China next target

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Taiwan Typhoon Soudelor Heavy Rain Wind


Soudelor has now made landfall in Taiwan where it will unleash destructive winds and life-threatening flooding rain through Saturday. Eastern China will then become Soudelor's final target.

While no longer a super typhoon, Soudelor is still a very dangerous typhoon with its strength equal to that of a Category 3 hurricane in the eastern Pacific or Atlantic oceans.

As expected, the storm made landfall in Hualien County, Taiwan, early Saturday morning local time (late Friday afternoon EDT).


"Soudelor will be the most impactful typhoon to strike Taiwan since Typhoon Morakot from August 2009," stated AccuWeather Tropical Weather Expert Dan Kottlowski, "and its impacts in terms of rainfall will be similar to Morakot."

Morakot unleashed severe rainfall and left 461 people dead across Taiwan. Morakot's rainfall peaked at 109.3 inches.

Click through to see more photos of the storm:

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Typhoon Soudelor bears down on Taiwan; China next target
A motorcyclist makes his way through a flooded street in Wenling, in eastern China's Zhejiang province on August 10, 2015 after strong storms hit the area during Typhoon Soudelor's landfall. The number of people killed by Typhoon Soudelor in China rose to 21 on August 10, authorities said, with five more missing. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
FUZHOU, CHINA - AUGUST 09: (CHINA OUT) People walk in the flood caused by Typhoon Soudelor on August 9, 2015 in Fuzhou, Fujian Province of China. Typhoon No. 13 Soudelor hit Fujian on August 8-9 which has affected about 1,397,200 people and caused a direct economic losses of 1,483 million RMB (238.9 million USD) until 16 o'clock on August 9, according to local media. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
Trees torn down by strong wind collapse on the road in Jinjiang, east China's Fujian province on August 8, 2015 as typhoon Soudelor draws near the mainland of China. Typhoon Soudelor battered Taiwan with fierce winds and rain, leaving four people dead and a trail of debris in its wake as it takes aim at mainland China. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Rescuers carry an elderly lady (C) out of her flooded home as Typhoon Soudelor brought heavy rain to Ningde, eastern China's Fujian province on August 9, 2015. A weakened Typhoon Soudelor made landfall in China and was set to be downgraded on August 9, according to the National Meteorological Center, after the storm killed five people in Taiwan. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Vehicles and residents make their way through a flooded street in Wenling, in eastern China's Zhejiang province on August 10, 2015 after strong storms hit the area during Typhoon Soudelor's landfall. The number of people killed by Typhoon Soudelor in China rose to 21 on August 10, authorities said, with five more missing. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Rescuers distribute drinking water to residents along a flooded street in Wenling, in eastern China's Zhejiang province on August 10, 2015 after strong storms hit the area during Typhoon Soudelor's landfall. The number of people killed by Typhoon Soudelor in China rose to 21 on August 10, authorities said, with five more missing. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Residents walk down a flooded street in Wenling, in eastern China's Zhejiang province on August 10, 2015 as strong storms hit the area in the aftermath of Typhoon Soudelor's landfall. The number of people killed by Typhoon Soudelor in China rose to 21 on August 10, authorities said, with five more missing. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
A man is caught in strong gusts from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015. At least four people were killed and four were missing when powerful Typhoon Soudelor slammed into Taiwan, authorities said Saturday. The storm approached the island late Friday, bringing heavy rains and strong gusts. Trees, traffic lights and power lines were down in many parts of the island.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
A street corner is filled with a mangled rooftop brought down by strong winds from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015. Soudelor brought heavy rains and strong winds to the island Saturday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
A man takes a photo of a damaged tree after typhoon Soudelor hit Taipei, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, in Taipei, Taiwan. At least four people were killed and four were missing when powerful Typhoon Soudelor slammed into Taiwan, authorities said Saturday. The storm approached the island late Friday, bringing heavy rains and strong gusts. Trees, traffic lights and power lines were down in many parts of the island.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
A man passes a damaged structure from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015. Soudelor brought heavy rains and strong winds to the island Saturday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
A man is caught in strong gusts from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015. At least four people were killed and four were missing when powerful Typhoon Soudelor slammed into Taiwan, authorities said Saturday. The storm approached the island late Friday, bringing heavy rains and strong gusts. Trees, traffic lights and power lines were down in many parts of the island.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
A woman walks down a back alley filled with debris from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015. Soudelor brought heavy rains and strong winds to the island Saturday with wind speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
A man walks past a damaged signboard as typhoon Soudelor hits Taipei, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, in Taipei, Taiwan. At least four people were killed and four were missing when powerful Typhoon Soudelor slammed into Taiwan, authorities said Saturday. The storm approached the island late Friday, bringing heavy rains and strong gusts. Trees, traffic lights and power lines were down in many parts of the island.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
A man carrying an umbrella passes a mangled rooftop brought down by strong winds from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015. Soudelor brought heavy rains and strong winds to the island Saturday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
WENLING, CHINA - AUGUST 07: (CHINA OUT) Large waves break on the coastline at Shitang Town as Typhoon 'Soudelor' approaches on August 7, 2015 in Wenling, Zhejiang Province of China. Typhoon 'Soudelor' will land on southeastern China's coastal areas this weekend, according to meteorological departments. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
WENLING, CHINA - AUGUST 07: (CHINA OUT) Large waves break on the coastline at Shitang Town as Typhoon 'Soudelor' approaches on August 7, 2015 in Wenling, Zhejiang Province of China. Typhoon 'Soudelor' will land on southeastern China's coastal areas this weekend, according to meteorological departments. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
A woman and children brave the strong winds from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island late Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
HANGZHOU, CHINA - AUGUST 07: People use umbrellas as they walk in strong wind and heavy rain near West Lake as Typhoon 'Soudelor' approaches on August 7, 2015 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China. Typhoon 'Soudelor' will land on southeastern China's coastal areas this weekend, according to meteorological departments. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
WENLING, CHINA - AUGUST 07: (CHINA OUT) Large waves break on the coastline at Shitang Town as Typhoon 'Soudelor' approaches on August 7, 2015 in Wenling, Zhejiang Province of China. Typhoon 'Soudelor' will land on southeastern China's coastal areas this weekend, according to meteorological departments. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
An elderly woman is escorted in the strong winds from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island late Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
A mother holds her children in strong gusts from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island late Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
HANGZHOU, CHINA - AUGUST 07: (CHINA OUT) Paople use umbrellas as they walk in strong wind and heavy rain near West Lake as Typhoon 'Soudelor' approaches on August 7, 2015 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China. Typhoon 'Soudelor' will land on southeastern China's coastal areas this weekend, according to meteorological departments. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)
Two women brave the winds from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island late Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Two women brave the winds from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island late Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
WENLING, CHINA - AUGUST 07: (CHINA OUT) Large waves break on the coastline at Shitang Town as Typhoon 'Soudelor' approaches on August 7, 2015 in Wenling, Zhejiang Province of China. Typhoon 'Soudelor' will land on southeastern China's coastal areas this weekend, according to meteorological departments. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)
WENLING, CHINA - AUGUST 07: (CHINA OUT) Tourists watch large waves break on the coastline at Shitang Town as Typhoon 'Soudelor' approaches on August 7, 2015 in Wenling, Zhejiang Province of China. Typhoon 'Soudelor' will land on southeastern China's coastal areas this weekend, according to meteorological departments. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
HANGZHOU, CHINA - AUGUST 07: (CHINA OUT) A girl attempts to take a selfie in strong wind near West Lake as Typhoon 'Soudelor' approaches on August 7, 2015 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China. Typhoon 'Soudelor' will land on southeastern China's coastal areas this weekend, according to meteorological departments. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
HANGZHOU, CHINA - AUGUST 07: (CHINA OUT) Dark clouds cover the Hangzhou City as Typhoon 'Soudelor' approaches on August 7, 2015 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China. Typhoon 'Soudelor' will land on southeastern China's coastal areas this weekend, according to meteorological departments. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
A woman braves the winds as she watches waves from approaching Typhoon Soudelor in Keelung, northeastern Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island late Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Huge waves from approaching Typhoon Soudelor crash into breakwaters off of Keelung, northeastern Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island late Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
A visitor to a coastal park photographs waves from approaching Typhoon Soudelor in Keelung, northeastern Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island late Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Visitors to a coastal park watch waves from approaching Typhoon Soudelor in Keelung, northeastern Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island late Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Huge waves from approaching Typhoon Soudelor break against the shoreline in Keelung, northeastern Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island late Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Workers ride past fishing boats moored in a shelter at Nanfangao harbour in Yilan on August 6, 2015 as typhoon Soudelor approaches eastern Taiwan. The strongest typhoon of the year was bearing down on Taiwan's east coast on August 6, forcing the evacuation of more than 2,000 from outlying islands popular with tourists. AFP PHOTO / Sam Yeh (Photo credit should read SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images)
Workers rest on fishing boats moored in a shelter at Nanfangao harbour in Yilan on August 6, 2015 as typhoon Soudelor approaches eastern Taiwan. The strongest typhoon of the year was bearing down on Taiwan's east coast on August 6, forcing the evacuation of more than 2,000 from outlying islands popular with tourists. AFP PHOTO / Sam Yeh (Photo credit should read SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images)
As Typhoon Soudelor approaches, fishing boats are secured in a port in Yilan County, northeastern Taiwan, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
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Lives and property will be threatened throughout Taiwan as Soudelor crosses the island into Saturday and unleashes destructive winds and extremely heavy rainfall.

"Soudelor is a large storm in terms of the overall area of its tropical storm- and typhoon-force winds," stated AccuWeather Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani. "It is likely that the entire island of Taiwan will see at least tropical storm-force winds [winds in excess of 60 kph/38 mph] and one-half of the island will see typhoon-force winds [winds of 119 kph/74 mph or greater]."

As of early Saturday morning local time, AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Samuhel reports that Soudelor produced a wind gust of 163 kph (101 mph) at Su'ao on the northeast coast of Taiwan. A mountaintop in Datong Township in Yilan County has already been inundated with 947 mm (37.28 inches) of rain.

Residents are strongly urged to seek shelter during the height of the storm to protect themselves against flying debris as widespread structural and tree damage ensues.

Sagliani expects east-central Taiwan, including the Hualien City, to face the most destructive winds with sustained winds over 160 kph (100 mph).

"Significant flooding is likely across many areas of Taiwan with a high threat for landslides in the higher terrain," Sagliani continued. Most of the lower elevations will get rainfall amounts on the order of 200 to 350 mm (8 to 16 inches) with the mountains being inundated by more than 500 mm (20 inches).

An inundating storm surge will also further flood the eastern coast of Taiwan, near and north of where Soudelor moves inland.

Soudelor's track and the sheltering effect from the mountains to the east will allow the city of Taipei to escape the worst of the typhoon, but that does not mean that residents should let their guard down.

"Sustained winds of 80 to 95 kph (50 to 60 mph) with gusts over 120 kph (75 mph) are possible Friday night into early Saturday (local time)," stated Sagliani. "Rainfall will be on the order of 100 to 200 mm (4 to 8 inches)."

The mountainous terrain of Taiwan will cause Soudelor to weaken, but it should still be a minimal typhoon when it leaves the island and takes aim at China later Saturday.

"Landfall [in China] is likely in Fujian Province," added Sagliani, "with wind gusts possibly near 120 kph (75 mph) in this region as well." This includes in the city of Quanzhou.

In addition to these winds that will damage some structures and trees and lead to power outages, widespread flooding will also result with rainfall in excess of 200 mm (8 inches) expected. Rain totals will top 300 mm (a foot) in the higher terrain.

Interaction with land will gradually cause Soudelor to weaken to a tropical storm later this weekend, then a tropical rainstorm early next week. As Soudelor weakens, the damaging wind threat will lessen but the risk of flooding rain will be slower to follow suit.

"Isolated damaging winds will still be possible in Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Anhui and Jiangsu provinces," stated AccuWeather Meteorologist Eric Leister.

Widespread rain amounts topping 100 mm (4 inches) will occur northeastward to Taizhou and northward to near Hefei, leading to flash flooding and mudslides in the higher terrain.

The heaviest rain will bypass both Hong Kong and Shanghai. Hong Kong will remain on the dry and hot side of the storm through this weekend, challenging the all-time record high of 36.1 C from August 18, 1990. Record keeping in Hong Kong began in 1884 with a gap in coverage during World War II.

Early next week, moisture wrapping into the storm could lead to a heavy thunderstorm.

The outermost rain bands of Soudelor will also graze Shanghai during the second half of this weekend. While widespread issues are not expected, localized flash flooding cannot be ruled out.

After impacting eastern China through early next week, Soudelor may then join with a non-tropical system to spread heavy rain into South Korea and potentially a part of Japan.


Prior to targeting Taiwan and China, the center of Soudelor passed directly over the island of Saipan to the north of Guam with Category 2 hurricane-force winds on Sunday night.

Winds to near 170 kph (105 mph) were reported on Saipan as the eyewall of Soudelor passed over the island. Guam to the south was largely spared any damaging winds as gusts reached 50-65 kph (30-40 mph) for several hours.

Soudelor rapidly intensified on Monday after departing Saipan, becoming a super typhoon and reaching the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic or Eastern Pacific basins. Soudelor reached peak intensity late Monday with winds near 290 kph (180 mph) making it the strongest tropical cyclone anywhere on the planet so far this year.

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