Hong Kong may have to brace for a typhoon slamming its large container port this weekend.
A cluster of thunderstorms over the Philippines has the potential to become a typhoon during the next couple of days. This would be the second named storm of the 2020 Pacific typhoon season. The first was Typhoon Vongfong, known as Typhoon Ambo in the Philippines, which hit that island nation in May. The season runs throughout the year, but most Pacific typhoons develop from May through October.
This storm, which would be named Typhoon Nuri, will likely track over the northern Philippines on Friday, June 12, moving into southeastern China over the weekend. The projected track takes the storm close to Hong Kong on Sunday, June 14.
The potential typhoon could delay various services, from container cargo to cruises and public transportation.
Hong Kong is one of the busiest container ports in the world, according to the Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board website. It handled 18.3 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers in 2019, and provided about 300 container liner services per week connecting to around 420 destinations worldwide.
The Port of Hong Kong is also home to cruise liners and government fleets, and it operates ferries between Hong Kong and mainland China.
The storms over the Philippines may become better organized since there’s not much wind shear – increasing wind speed/change in wind direction with altitude – to shred the storms. Also, sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the western Pacific are very warm, 82 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
In their latest online discussion from this afternoon, meteorologists with the Joint Typhoon Warning Center said there’s a medium chance for the development of a significant tropical cyclone.
Most computer models indicate that this system will be a relatively weak typhoon regarding winds, storm surge and rainfall rates, with no signs of rapid strengthening. So, this potential typhoon will probably produce only minor/short-term impacts on operations at the Port of Hong Kong as well as local supply chains.
Since the storm has not formed yet, the forecast track and intensity of the possible typhoon can change. Look for updates on the FreightWaves website and social media accounts.