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August 24, 2012

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Typhoon Bolaven stronger, could reach city next week

TYPHOON Bolaven keeps strengthening and heading toward China's east coast and could make landfall in the area of Shanghai early next week, weather authorities said yesterday.

Bolaven, the 15th typhoon this year, is expected to be around 1,600 kilometers from the city by 8am this morning, moving at around 15 kilometers per hour.

The strength of Bolaven was increasing yesterday and it could be upgraded to a super typhoon in the coming days before hitting the east coast, potentially causing serious damage to coastal areas, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

The heaviest gale in the storm is estimated at around 149 kilometers per hour.

Bolaven's influence is expected to be felt on Monday, the forecast said.

Shanghai's scorching days are gone for now as a cold front prevails over the area, and the city's maximum temperature should stay at or below 32 degrees Celsius in the next five days, the bureau said.

Clouds gathered over the city yesterday under the influence of the cold front and the maximum high was only 26.2 degrees Celsius, which made it the coolest day since July, said Zhang Ruiyi, a chief service officer of the bureau.

Yesterday was Chushu, or "end of heat," a solar term used in the Chinese lunar calendar that marks when the weather starts to get cooler. But Shanghai's autumn season usually starts in earnest in late September or early October.

Scattered showers are expected in the city and may intensify today while it should warm up over the weekend, Zhang added.

"The subtropical high should strengthen a little over the weekend and the temperatures should rise, with the high around 32 degrees Celsius," Zhang said yesterday. "Gales and showers should be more serious at the beginning of next week, when the outer bands of Bolaven start to influence the city."

The weather should remain mostly overcast and cloudy with showers in the next five days.

Meanwhile, this year's 14th storm, Tembin, was strengthening into a strong typhoon again yesterday after weakening earlier.

The strong typhoon, moving at a speed at 5 to 10 kilometers per hour, is expected to make a landfall in Taiwan today and then continue to head to the South China Sea, according to the bureau's officials. Tembin's influence is unlikely to reach Shanghai.

The western Pacific has been pretty busy this month as tropical storms have kept showing up one after another. Since the beginning of this month, four typhoons landed in China with another two on their way.

Both Tembin and Bolaven are strengthening but as they draw closer, they are interacting with each other, a phenomenon known as the Fujiwara effect.

With a smaller size, Tembin has been pulled and slowed down while Bolaven, the bigger one, has kept moving and strengthening.

It is possible for two typhoons that are close to each other to merge, separate or stretch each other under the Fujiwara effect, depending on atmospheric conditions, according to the bureau.


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