Typhoon season isn’t over yet, with Typhoon Krosa on the move in the South China Sea. Krosa passed over the Philippines Friday, bringing peak wind gusts of 67 mph, over a foot of rain, and a strong storm surge to Luzon Island Friday.
Krosa’s proximity to Hong Kong prompted the city of seven million to issue typhoon signal No 1 as a warning, the first time one has been necessary this late in the season since 2006. Hong Kong has only needed to issue three cyclone alerts in November in the past 30 years.
Despite the warning, the typhoon seems more likely to take a westerly path towards Vietnam in the coming days, missing Hong Kong.
Typhoon Krosa comes at the end of an active Pacific storm season, particularly for Hong Kong. Usagi menaced Hong Kong for a while before killing at least 25 people in southeast China in late September. And Fitow came only weeks later, hitting southeastern China in early October, displacing over half a million people, and causing at least $3.4 billion in damage.
Extreme weather events like typhoons are becoming more destructive as human activity drives changes in the climate. Usagi was fueled by very warm waters in the Western Pacific, and rising sea levels contribute to more damaging storm surges.
China’s State Oceanic Administration itself “blames rising sea levels for magnifying the impact of storms around China’s southeastern coast and salt tides in the Yangtze and Pearl rivers in 2011,” according to state-run news site Xinua.