A Super Typhoon is one that has sustained winds of over 185km/h. Gusts around the centre of Super Typhoon Usagi have peaked at nearly 300km/h. Winds of this speed are equivalent to a Category 5 Severe Tropical Cyclone in Australia.
On Saturday morning Super Typhoon Usagi was 540km south-southeast of Taipei. Usagi was hammering southern and eastern parts of Taiwan with torrential rain and destructive winds.
Usagi is a massive system, measuring over 1100km wide to the outer rain bands. Some forecasters are predicting over 1000mm of rain over the next three days over parts of Taiwan.
The system will move into the South China Sea over the weekend and start to track towards Hong Kong. Current indications are that the system will weaken as it moves into the South China Sea and closer to Hong Kong. It is expected to cross the coast as a Severe Typhoon and a direct hit on Hong Kong is a possibility. A direct hit will bring sustained wind speeds of up to 180km/h, very heavy rain and potentially a dangerous storm surge.
Usagi is likely to start impacting Hong Kong from late Saturday or early Sunday with landfall occurring overnight on Sunday or into the small hours of Monday morning.
© Weatherzone 2013
18:15 EDT An Australian Urban Search and Rescue taskforce has returned from Vanuatu after a 10-day operation to repair schools and hospitals in Port Vila after Cyclone Pam.