Molave Heads Toward Vietnam

Molave Heads Toward Vietnam

Vietnam has been pummeled by three deadly storms this October, causing the worst flooding in decades. Now, another powerful typhoon is headed toward the country.

Typhoon Molave was forecasted to make landfall in southern Vietnam on the morning of October 28, 2020. Meteorologists predicted that the storm would bring 100 to 200 millimeters (4 to 8 inches) of rain near landfall and could potentially trigger landslides in mountainous areas. Officials in Vietnam have ordered evacuations for more than a million residents. The storm may also bring rainfall to Thailand and the island of Hainan, China.

On October 27, 2020, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’ Aqua satellite captured this image of Molave as it crossed the South China Sea.

Molave passed through the Philippines on October 26 and 27 (locally known as Quinta) displacing thousands of residents, flooding villages, and causing several deaths. The storm has since intensified and is likely to maintain its strength as it crosses warm waters and an area with low wind shear. The storm is expected to make landfall with sustained winds of 135 to 180 kilometers (85 to 115 miles) per hour.

Vietnam is already reeling from weeks of intense flooding caused by three tropical storms since October 11. Although October is part of rainy season for the country, the weather has been exacerbated by a La Niña event. La Niña is characterized by usually cold temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean and warmer water in the western Pacific, which leads to wetter-than-normal conditions to Southeast Asia.

NASA Earth Observatory image by Lauren Dauphin, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview. Story by Kasha Patel.

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