Typhoon season has kicked off with a solid start as Typhoon Soulik tracks along the same route as the deadly 1996 super-typhoon Herb.
At 8am Saturday morning, Typhoon Soulik made landfall at over northern Taiwan, bringing with it sustained winds of 148 km/h, gusting at times to 185km/h. Reports of wind gusts of 212km/h were made at Ishigakijima this morning.
These winds equivalent to an Australian category three cyclone which can blow off roofs and cause structural damage. Gusts of this strength also often affect power lines, resulting in failure.
Although Typhoon Soulik stalled as it went over Taiwan, it will strengthen again as it tracks in a northwesterly direction along the Taiwan Strait. Typhoon Soulik should reach eastern China's Fujian and Zhejiang provinces on tonight, most likely before 6pm EST.
Models suggest that it will not reach the Chinese coast with the same intensity winds as Taiwan due to cooler surface waters. Despite this, forecast winds of 120km/h are expected to cause minor damage to houses as well as knock down trees and crops, under an equivalent category two cyclone. This system is also expected to bring heavy rain, leading to potential flooding. Storm surges are also a risk along the coastline.
The typhoon is expected to turn north after it crosses the coast, causing heavy rain until it eventually dissipates.
© Weatherzone 2013
14:30 EST The Bureau of Meteorology has revised down its prediction of an El Nino weather event developing later this year.