September is usually the most active month of the year for tropical cyclones and the last week has seen several destructive storms develop.
Mexico came under attack last week on both its Gulf and Pacific coastlines from Hurricanes Ingrid and Manuel. Ingrid came ashore north of Tampico on the Gulf coast bringing heavy rain. However, it was Manuel which caused the greater problems. It made its first landfall as a tropical storm on the Pacific coast of Mexico producing 569mm (22.4”) rain in 24 hours at Chilpancingo in the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains. This resulted in severe flooding in the region of Acapulco. Manuel then re-emerged over sea and strengthened into a hurricane before making a second landfall further up the coast near the mouth of the Gulf of California bringing further heavy rain and flooding.
Meanwhile across the other side of the Pacific Ocean Typhoon Usagi became the strongest tropical cyclone worldwide for almost a year. The typhoon’s central pressure dropped to an estimated 910 mb and the winds averaged over 1-minute were estimated to be of the order of 160 mph. The eye of Usagi passed between Taiwan and the Philippines producing as much as 700 mm of rainfall in the highlands of Taiwan. Usagi continued its track westwards finally making landfall on Sunday over the Guangdong province of China. Hong Kong was spared a direct hit, but still experienced strong winds and heavy rain.
The latest storm in the Pacific is named Pabuk and has recently passed close to the Japanese island of Iwo To with winds of 85 mph having been recorded. The storm is moving north, but is expected to turn east before reaching Japan. Thus a direct landfall is not expected. However, Pacific tropical storm activity is expected to continue with the formation of another storm later this week in the South China Sea.
Official forecasts of Atlantic and east Pacific tropical storms are provided by the National Hurricane Center. Official warnings of west Pacific tropical storms are produced by the Japanese Meteological Agency (JMA). For more information on tropical cyclones worldwide visit our web pages or follow @metofficestorms on Twitter.