UPDATE (September 13, 2017 at 6.50pm CST): The latest forecasts show that Typhoons Talim and Doksuri are changing paths and may now miss China entirely. Read more here.
Just when you thought this year's typhoon season had passed, the latest weather reports indicate that the worst may be yet to come.
Typhoon Talim is now shaping up to be the most powerful typhoon of the season, and it keeps growing stronger as it moves northwest across the Pacific at speeds of around 30 kilometers per hour. One forecaster tells the South China Morning Post that it may be as powerful as Hurricane Irma, which devastated much of the Caribbean before it struck the US state of Florida this week.
It is forecast to hit China's southeast coast later this week, and may possibly become a super typhoon packing winds of 60 meters per second or 185 kilometers per hour, which is comparable to a Category 4 or 5 hurricane in the US.
Talim's projected path, via Accuweather
In preparation for the storm, up to half a million people may be forced to evacuate as several cities along the Fujian coastline, including Fuzhou and Ningde, are expected to be hit.
“Talim is a giant. It will dwarf any of the others [typhoons] we’ve seen this year,” Liu Aiming, chief engineer at the Fujian meteorological bureau, tells the SCMP.
Talim is the 18th typhoon of the season and is on target to arrive at the East China Sea as early as the afternoon of Wednesday, September 13.
Talim forming in the Pacific, via phys.org
It is projected to hit northern Taiwan before making landfall in middle and northern coastal areas Zhejiang province by Thursday evening or Friday morning, bringing with it heavy winds and rain.
Shanghai will likely feel the effects of the storm from Thursday to Saturday. The storm will start with light showers and overcast skies on Thursday, followed by torrential downpour, gale force winds, lightning and thunder on Friday. Precipitation in the 'Hai on Friday could reach 70 milimeters per hour.
Meanwhile, the storm is expected to miss the Pearl River Delta, which was struck by Typhoon Hato late last month.
Images from Typhoon Hato
But the PRD may feel other effects from Talim's influence in the area. The storm is only expected to come as close as 800km away from Hong Kong, but the city is currently experiencing "hot and fine" weather along with "enhanced pollution" as a result of Talim. The pollution is expected to remain high until Talim makes landfall.
Meteorologists are also keeping their eyes on another tropical depression gaining traction just southwest of Talim. Doksuri could become the 19th typoon of the season if winds pick up and may come as close as 400km away from the PRD region by Saturday.
Though this summer saw a slew of typhoons, autumn (September-November) is usually when China experiences some of its most powerful storms.