More accurately: typhoon update. The news reports this weekend have been full of the names Ondoy and Ketsana, both referring to the same tropical cyclone. After drowning the Philippines on Saturday, Ketsana drifted into the South China Sea and blew up into a typhoon (which is the same as a hurricane). At the moment, the forecasters put this system as a category II typhoon, with winds of 90 to 110 mph. Ketsana is headed due west, along the parallel of 15.8 degrees North, and is currently lashing the Paracel Islands. Landfall will occur tomorrow morning local time, between the towns of Dà Nang and Quang Ngãi. Apart from the high winds and torrential rains, Ketsana can also be expected to bring a storm surge ashore of 15 to 20 feet.
The forecasters are tying themselves in knots over two nascent tropical cyclones, prosaically named 18W and 19W, which lie some 450 miles apart to the south and southeast of the Marianas Islands in the Pacific. Because they are so "close", it is a gamble as to which one will gain the upper hand. Either way, there'll be another typhoon to the east of the Philippines before the week is out.