Chanthu is currently a category 5 windstorm, tracking from the Northern Philippines towards Taiwan

Super Typhoon Chanthu, which has maintained an extreme intensity for days, has skirted Northern Philippines and is tracking towards Taiwan, with an estimated landfall on Sunday, according to Tropical Storm Risk. The storm currently has maximum sustained winds of 165 mph.

Chanthu gained global attention from meteorologists due to its rapid intensification during the week, with maximum sustained winds jumping by 130 mph in just two days. 

According to NOAA meteorologist Sam Lillo, only five previous storms on record have jumped from a depression to a Category 5-equivalent in such a short period of time period: Elida 2002, Ernie 2017, Willa 2018, Hagibis 2019, Goni 2020.

Given its current trajectory, it is still unclear whether Chanthu will pass over Taiwan before heading to southern China or narrowly miss the island.

Two of China’s key ports, Ningbo and Xiamen are preparing for the impact of the typhoon. It follows multiple supply chain disruptions so far in 2021, resulting from both extreme weather and the impact of COVID-19 on the daily functioning of the ports.

Rapid intensification is becoming more common as a result of climate change. Key ingredients for rapid intensification are high sea surface temperatures, excess ocean heat content and low vertical wind shear.