Tropical cyclone threat looms over South China Sea this weekend

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File photo.

19th June 2024 – (Hong Kong) As the typhoon season steps into full swing, meteorological models predict the emergence of a significant tropical cyclone in the South China Sea, potentially making landfall by the weekend of 22nd – 23rd June. Forecasters from the U.S. Global Forecast System (GFS) highlight a substantial system that may develop rapidly, taking a unique path through Haikou City before reaching the mainland.

Weather enthusiasts from Mainland China have been closely monitoring the situation, noting the cyclone’s swift development pace, which is expected to reach tropical storm status. The projected trajectory of this system is unusually distinctive, with initial predictions suggesting possible landfall on Hainan Island or in the Guangdong region.

However, predictions remain tentative at this stage. Meteorological forecasting is inherently complex, influenced by multiple variables that can lead to significant changes. Forecast models from both the GFS and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) provide guidance but are only indicative.

The ECMWF model indicates a large atmospheric disturbance over the South China Sea, though its structure and intensity differ slightly from the GFS predictions. A well-known Mainland Chinese weather blogger mentioned that maritime areas are indeed showing signs of increased typhoon activity, citing GFS data which forecasts a tropical disturbance on Saturday, 22nd June. This disturbance is anticipated to intensify quickly, reaching a strength of 997 hPa by Sunday, 23rd June.

According to the blogger, this could be the third named storm of the season, dubbed Typhoon Gramey, characterised by its “parabolic trajectory.” It is expected to approach Southern China by Monday, June 24. While the storm might not be particularly powerful, its potential to cause significant rainfall impacts should not be underestimated.