TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chanthu (璨樹) has jumped from a tropical depression to a Category 4 typhoon within 24 hours and the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) may issue a sea warning for the storm as early as Thursday (Sept. 9).
As of 2 a.m., Typhoon Chanthu was about 1,500 kilometers southeast of Taiwan's southernmost tip of Eluanbi, moving northwest at a speed of 19 kilometers per hour. It had a radius of 120 km and was packing maximum sustained winds of 172 kph and gusts of up to 208 kph, the CWB reported.
On his Facebook page today (Sept. 8), CWB Director-General Cheng Ming-dean (鄭明典) wrote the rapid growth of Chanthu is even more "amazing" than the "explosive development" seen with Hurricane Ida. Cheng warned that "this typhoon must be dealt with cautiously."
The CWB currently projects the typhoon will come closest to Taiwan on Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 11 and 12). Based on the storm's current speed and path, the weather bureau predicts that it will issue a sea warning for the storm sometime between Thursday evening and Friday morning (Sept. 10).
According to the CWB, the most important factor affecting Chanthu's path is a high-pressure ridge in the Western Pacific. If the high-pressure system weakens earlier than expected, Chanthu will swing north and make landfall on Taiwan. If the system holds steady, the typhoon will maintain a more westerly path and pass just to the south of the country through the Bashi Channel.
CNN meteorologist Tom Sater predicts that Chanthu will "really blow up into a super typhoon." He described it as a "beast" that has a well-defined eye with hot vortices around the center that will cause barometric pressure to drop further and he reiterated that "it's really going to blow up."
Map of Chanthu's projected path. (CWB image)
Map of Chanthu's projected path. (JMA image)
Satellite image of Chanthu. (CWB image)
GIF of Western Pacific. (NOAA image)
GIF of Typhoon Chanthu. (NOAA image)