Typhoon Utor will strike the Philippines first on Sunday into Monday, but after that, we see the threat shift to mainland China for the middle of the week.
Typhoon Utor is continuing to become better organized, and though it is still around 24 hours from landfall northeast of Manila, Philippines, this typhoon is likely to continue to be a very big story through the middle of next week.
Wind speeds with Utor are around 105-mph with gusts to over 125-mph as of early Saturday afternoon, EDT, or Sunday morning, local time. The storm is continuing to gain more and more energy and is developing a strong swirl on satellite images. As this storm intensifies before landfall, winds are expected to gust to over 160-mph before making its first landfall.
After Utor moves away from the Philippines, it is expected to be a strong tropical storm or a weaker typhoon. Utor will then move over warm waters of the South China Sea. This part of the South China Sea has seen a few tropical systems in the past few weeks, but water temperatures remain warm and prime for further development.
Though the exact strength of Utor is very hard to forecast until it moves away from the Philippines, there remains a strong likelihood of this storm again being a stronger typhoon as it moves near the China coastline.
Though it is several days from its second landfall, we expect the storm to move towards southern China, anywhere from Hong Kong south to Hainan, possibly by late in the week affecting northern Vietnam.
With Utor, mudslides can occur with the heavy rainfall, strong wind gusts to damage infrastructure, and large waves are likely as the storm moves onshore a second time. Some parts of southern China into Vietnam have seen over a foot of rain the past week and a half from other tropical systems, so this may lead to much greater flood risk also.
Story by AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert.