Chanchu bombed last night and is somewhere in the neighborhood of 115kts. Latest JTWC (#23) has her max sustained winds to 135kts -- Cat 5.
Last night I knew she was going to bomb, and not increase gradually as was forecast. Convection was almost completely wrapped around by 0000Z...the 0030 water vapor clearly showed dry air being pulled into the center (to mix in and clear out the eye) and I figured by 1200Z the eye would be cleared out (it is still in the folding-looking stage and so looks like it will take more like 24 hours than 12). Slept in, and just got up and fed the furball, and the microwave pass (attached) was just posted about a minute before I sat down at the computer. Looking very mean. Now she's in the process I think of consolidating and those spiral bands will diminish over the day.
Still targeted to hit Hong Kong dead on. This is extremely grim. I spent about an hour late last night looking at many Hong Kong web cams (independentwx.com) -- it was around noonish their time. I have never seen such a large metropolitan area (over several islands) or as many high-rises in my life, as many as four or five NYC and north Jersey put together. And all the islands are connected by tunnels. I couldn't get to sleep until after midnight after seeing all that and the sat images. I just hope it works out that various factors combine to weaken her considerably before landfall -- but even landfalling as a solid Cat 2 will be a problem for all those skyscrapers.
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