Tropical Storm “Kirogi” about to slam into southern Vietnam

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Southern Vietnam, hit by devastating floods produced by Typhoon “Damrey” on November 4, is bracing for yet another tropical cyclone landfall this week. Heavy rain, floods and landslides are expected over the weekend.

Tropical Storm “Kirogi” formed November 17 in the South China Sea after exiting the Philippines as a tropical depression. Kirogi is the 25th named storm of the 2017 Pacific typhoon season. Landfall over southern Vietnam is expected sometime after midnight UTC on Sunday, November 19, 2017.

At 12:55 UTC on November 18, the center of Tropical Storm “Kirogi” was located about 300 km (185 miles) E of NHA Trang. The system is moving WNW at 30 km/h (18 mph) with the central pressure of 1 000 hPa, according to RSMC Tokyo. Its maximum wind speed (10-minute) near the center is 65 km/h (40 mph).

Tropical Storm “Kirogi” forecast track by RSMC Tokyo (JMA) at 12:00 UTC on October 18, 2017

“Kirogi is expected to continue tracking WNW along the southern boundary of the current steering ridge until landfall,” JTWC noted 03:00 UTC today.

Tropical Storm Kirogi on November 18, 2017

Tropical Storm “Kirogi” on November 18, 2017. Credit: NASA Terra/MODIS

Tropical Storm “Kirogi” forecast track by JTWC at 03:00 UTC on October 18, 2017

“Environmental conditions are forecast to remain marginal to favorable as the system tracks over the warm waters of the South China Sea with moderate wind shear from the upper-level ridge to the northeast,” the center said.

The peak intensity is forecast to reach 92 km/h / 57 mph (1-minute) just before the system makes landfall. After that, Kirogi is expected to weaken as it tracks inland over the mountainous terrain.

Although this is a much weaker system than Typhoon “Damrey,” which left more than 100 people dead, its threats should not be taken lightly. This region, still recovering from Damrey, will receive additional rainfall over the already saturated ground, causing flash floods, landslides and possible prolonged power outages in and around landfall area.

After hitting Vietnam, Kirogi will weaken and move into southern Cambodia, dumping heavy rain. Floods and landslides are possible in Cambodia, too.

Featured image: Tropical Storm “Kirogi” at 12:40 UTC on November 18, 2017. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, CIRA

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