Tropical Storm Bolaven Makes Landfall in North Korea: AIR Analysis

By | August 29, 2012

According to catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide, after weakening to borderline tropical storm/typhoon strength (120 km/h [75 mph] 10-minute sustained winds), Typhoon Bolaven made landfall in North Korea north of Pyongyang, the country’s capital, at about 11:00 a.m. EDT on August 28, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency’s (JMA) 15:00 UTC Advisory.

Bolaven passed over the westernmost region of southern North Korea at about 3:00 p.m. local time with tropical storm winds of about 100 km/h [62.5 mph] (1-minute maximum sustained winds) and then crossed into Korea Bay.

AIR said the “JMA located Bolaven roughly in the center of the curve of the Korea Bay coast at approximately 39.5° north, 124.4° east, or about 50 to 100 kilometers northwest of Pyongyang. It is travelling northward and slightly east at about 32 km/h [20 mph]. Earlier, on its closest approach to South Korea, Bolaven passed about 190 km [119 miles] west of Incheon and 220 km [137.5 miles] west of Seoul, thus limiting its impact on these two highly populated cities.”

According to AIR, Bolaven has, however, “brought significant precipitation to the Korean peninsula. The maximum observed daily precipitation through 11:00 p.m. local time, August 28, was 201 mm [just under 8 inches] in Gangjin Gun, on the southwest coast of South Korea. Incheon and Seoul received significantly lesser amounts, 7.3 mm [app ¼ inch] and 9.5 mm [3/8 inch], respectively. A maximum wind speed of 69 km/h [43 mph], with gusts up to 98 km/h [61 mph], was reported in Seoul.”

AIR reported that Bolaven has “tracked northward at about 42 km/h [26 mph] for the past 6 hours, and is currently undergoing extra tropical transition as it encounters increased wind shear; its low-level circulation is expanding. The storm is forecast to continue to track north-northeastward farther into North Korea and then into China over the next 12 hours, during which time it will continue to weaken and will finally transition into an extra tropical low pressure system.

“Throughout Tuesday local time, Bolaven hit South Korea with strong winds and heavy rain. A storm warning was issued for Seoul, the South Korean capital. Throughout the country, power was knocked out for 1.7 million homes and businesses, although by Tuesday night local time all but about 200,000 had had power restored.

“Street flooding was minor, according to the most recent reports and the official North Korean news agency reported that Bolaven knocked down hundreds of trees, destroyed power cables, and caused blackouts in the western cities of Kaesong and Haeju.”

Source: AIR Worldwide

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