Weather tracker: Typhoon Muifa wreaks havoc in China after summer of records

Highest red alert issued in Shanghai as meteorological autumn does not give way to cooler temperature in France

Typhoon Muifa made landfall in eastern China on Wednesday evening, shortly after affecting Japan in previous days, arriving as a Category 2 storm and billed as the strongest on record to hit Shanghai, China’s largest city.

China’s central meteorological observatory issued its first highest typhoon red alert of the year. The tropical system brought sustained winds of 95mph, a threat of up to 200mm of rainfall and waves in excess of five metres.

Both of Shanghai’s international airports were forced to cancel all incoming flights, and 7,400 vessels were seeking shelter in ports in Zhejiang province. The storm is expected to swing northwards along the east coast of China over the coming days.

Despite being well into meteorological autumn, the summer-like heat refuses to relinquish its grip on parts of Europe. France once again bore the brunt, with south-western areas widely reaching the high-30sC, 15C degrees above normal.

France recorded its hottest September day on 12 September, with 40.7C reached in Bégaar in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. This blast of heat follows an exceptionally warm summer, the second warmest France has recorded.

This has prolonged the already devastating fire season in the region, with seven firefighters injured this week, and more than 3,600 hectares (8,896 acres) burned in the Saumos area. This has also resulted in the evacuation of about 1,000 people in recent days. Local authorities reported the fire as under control on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the slow awakening of the Atlantic hurricane season has continued in recent days, with tropical Storm Fiona being named on Wednesday. This storm began its life as a loosely organised area of thunderstorms (known as a tropical wave) on 12 September in the central Atlantic, and has since strengthened and slowly moved west.

This storm has brought sustained winds of 50mph, with little strengthening expected over the coming days with the Leeward Islands likely to be affected later on Friday. About 3 to 6 inches of rain is expected, affecting the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by the weekend.

Nicholas Lee for MetDesk

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