Tropical Storm Wipha, which formed west of the Philippines, will have ideal conditions to further strengthen before reaching southeastern China later this week. The tropical storm lay centered 230 kilometers northeast of Vietnam’s Paracel Islands.
Warm ocean water and low wind shear will allow for gradual strengthening as it moves west-northwestward through the middle of the week. The window for strengthening will only last through Wednesday before interaction with land begins to have a negative effect on the storm.
According to a report by Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist, Locations from southeastern China into northern Vietnam and northern Laos will need to be on alert for potential flooding downpours and a heightened risk for mudslides. Locations from northern Hainan Island to the Leizhou Peninsula may take a direct hit from this storm on Wednesday night or early Thursday morning with a second landfall possible in Guangxi or northern Vietnam.
Heavy rainfall will be the most widespread concern with Wipha as downpours can lead to flash flooding and mudslides. Total rainfall of 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) is expected across the region with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 380 mm (15 inches).
Rough seas will also be stirred and create dangers for boaters and swimmers across the South China Sea from the Philippines to China. The Gulf of Tonkin will also be at risk for the same hazards.
The extent of wind damage will depend on the storm’s track and peak intensity; however, at this time, the threat for damaging winds extends from northern Hainan Island to southwest Guangdong, the coast of Guangxi and coastal locations of northeastern Vietnam, AccuWeather reports.
Sustained winds of 65 km/h (40 mph) are possible with gusts of 80-95 km/h (50-60 mph) in exposed coastal locations near and along the track of the storm.