Typhoon Soudelor: August 2015, Jiangsu Province, China

My first (and so far, only) experience with severe weather of a tropical nature came this in August 2015. I was visiting my girlfriend and her family in east China, all the while keeping an eye on the tropics, as typhoons are quite common that time of year in east Asia. Unfortunately for me, the strongest typhoon in nearly twenty years hit east China mere days before my plane arrived. However, another typhoon formed in the Pacific and moved westward, becoming the second strongest tropical cyclone to form in the Northern Hemisphere in 2015 (only behind Hurricane Patricia). Soudelor struck Saipan as a Category 2 hurricane, doing extensive damage. The storm continued westward and made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane on Taiwan’s coast, then emerged from the Taiwan Strait and made its final landfall in Fujian Province, China as a Category 1 hurricane. After the storm weakened, it merged with another system in China and moved into Jiangsu Province.

The torrential rain fell for two days, and combined with some tropical storm-force wind gusts, some trees and powerlines fell. While the storm was not exceptionally powerful, the rain was some of the most intense I have experienced. It reminded me of summertime squall lines or bows that often form in the Great Plains; the difference, of course, being that the typhoon lasted for days, not an hour or so. Although Typhoon Soudelor weakened considerably by the time I encountered it, I was still impressed by the storm. Hopefully, the next time I go back to China, I can see a stronger storm (and get some video of it, too.)

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