Typhoon Molave displaced more than 100,000 in the Philippines over the weekend as it lashed the country with fierce winds and torrential rain. Now, the storm is following a path that has been forged by numerous storms before and is tracking toward areas in Vietnam that have faced three named tropical systems already this month.
As the storm traverses the South China Sea over the next few days, it will be located in an area of low wind shear. And despite the numerous storms that have tracked over this part of the Pacific, the ocean waters remain warm. This environment will allow Typhoon Molave to continue to strengthen.
This satellite image shows Typhoon Molave traversing the South China Sea on Monday night, local time. (CIRA/RAMMB)
Officials are preparing to evacuate 1.3 million residents along the coast of central Vietnam, according to Reuters. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also urged provinces in the typhoon's path to prepare by bringing boats ashore.
The prime minister also stated that the military will be on standby to support residents and provide transportation with tanks and helicopters if needed.
Molave will be the fourth named tropical system to make landfall over Vietnam since Oct. 11, according to AccuWeather Lead International Meteorologist Jason Nicholls. It will also be the country's sixth landfalling storm this year.
Nicholls expects Molave to strike southern Vietnam as the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane in the Atlantic and East Pacific basins. Maximum sustained wind speeds of 135-154 km/h (84-96 mph) are expected with a storm of this strength.
"Wind gusts of 129-160 km/h (80-100 mph) are possible near landfall in central Vietnam on Wednesday," stated Nicholls. He added that an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 195 km/h (120 mph) will be most likely near the storm's center.
While the wind threat will wane Wednesday night and Thursday, local time, as the storm rapidly weakens over the rugged terrain of the region, heavy rainfall will persist into the end of the week across Indochina.
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"Rainfall across central Vietnam will reach at least 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) in an area near and north of landfall," Nicholls added. "There will be an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 400 mm (16 inches), most likely in Vietnam, potentially in areas that have already received extreme rainfall and flooding in October."
Due to the copious amounts of rainfall across central Vietnam and surrounding areas in recent weeks, widespread flooding is expected from Molave. Additional rainfall from this typhoon will destabilize mountain slopes across the region, increasing the risk for mudslides.
While widespread flooding is expected from this system, Molave's quick pace over the peninsula will keep rainfall totals from climbing even higher.
Typhoon Molave is a 3 on the AccuWeather RealImpact™ Scale for Tropical Cyclones in Vietnam with heavy rainfall and dangerous wind gusts expected through the middle of the week. The scale was created by the company in 2019 to offer a more comprehensive outlook for tropical cyclone impacts than the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Molave first developed into a tropical depression to the east of the Philippines late last week and was given the name Quinta by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration. Molave is the name used by the Japanese Meteorological Agency for the part of the basin that falls under the agency's purview.
The storm quickly strengthened into a typhoon with sustained winds of 120 km/h (75 mph) before making its first landfall over San Miguel, Philippines, on Sunday evening, local time. This is equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane in the Atlantic and East Pacific tropical basins.
Widespread rainfall totals of 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) were reported in the northern and central Philippines. More than 120,000 people have been displaced by the storm, and at least eight are missing.
As of Monday, night, local time, two deaths have been blamed on the typhoon, The Associated Press reported.
Typhoon Molave may not be the last tropical threat for the area into the beginning of November as AccuWeather meteorologists will be monitoring numerous areas for potential development.
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