The national observatory on Saturday maintained its blue alert, the lowest level of a four-tier warning system, for tropical storm Typhoon Aere, the 19th typhoon of the year.
China’s Xinhua news agency reports that at 5 am, the eye of the typhoon was above the South China Sea some 275 km to the southeast of Hong Kong quoting the National Meteorological Center (NMC) said in a statement.
The typhoon will linger above the northern part of the South China Sea before moving toward the coasts of Hainan and Guangdong provinces on Monday.
From Saturday morning to Sunday morning, heavy rain and gales are expected to affect China’s southeastern coastal areas including Guangdong, Fujian, Zhejiang and Taiwan, the NMC said.
The NMC suggested local governments in affected areas take precautions against possible geological disasters such as mountain torrents.
China has a four-tier color-coded system for severe weather, with red being the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.
The Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured a visible image of Typhoon Aere off southeast China.
Thunderstorms circled the well-defined center of the storm while a large band of thunderstorms feeding into the center stretched to the north and northeast of the center over the coast of China.
At 0900 UTC (5am EDT) on Oct. 7, Aere’s maximum sustained winds were near 52 mph (45 knots/83 kph).
Aere continues to intensify while over warm sea surface temperatures.
It was about 148 nautical miles southeast of Hong Kong, near 20.8 degrees north latitude and 116.3 degrees east longitude.
Aere was moving to the north-northwest at 4.6 mph (4 knots/7.4 kph).
There is currently no big weather system to drive the track of Aere, and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center said that a developing sub-tropical ridge (elongated area) of high pressure building over China will push the storm to the west.
Current forecast track moves Aere south of Hainan Island, China by Oct. 12.