Reconstruction of track and simulation of storm surge associated with the calamitous typhoon affecting the Pearl River Estuary in September 1874

Hing Yim Mok, Wing Hong Lui, Dick Shum Lau, Wang Chun Woo
2019 Climate of the Past Discussions  
<p><strong>Abstract.</strong> A typhoon struck the Pearl River Estuary in September 1874 (the <q>Typhoon 1874</q>), causing extensive damages and claiming thousands of lives in the region during its passage. Like many other historical typhoons, the deadliest impact of the typhoon was its associated storm surge. In this paper, a possible track of the typhoon was reconstructed by analysis of the historical qualitative and quantitative weather observations in the Philippines, the northern part of
more » ... he South China Sea, Hong Kong, Macao and Guangdong recorded in various historical documents. The magnitudes of the associated storm surges and storm tides in Hong Kong and Macao were also quantitatively estimated using storm surge model and analogue astronomical tides based on the reconstructed track. The results indicated that the typhoon could have crossed the Luzon Strait from the western North Pacific and moved across the northeastern part of the South China Sea to strike the Pearl River Estuary more or less as a super typhoon in the early morning on 23 September 1874. The typhoon passed about 60&amp;thinsp;km south-southwest of Hong Kong and made landfall in Macao, bringing maximum storm tides of around 4.9&amp;thinsp;m above the Hong Kong Chart Datum at the Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong and around 5.4&amp;thinsp;m above the Macao Chart Datum at Porto Interior (inner harbour) in Macao. Both the maximum storm tide (4.88 m above Hong Kong Chart Datum) and maximum storm surge (2.83&amp;thinsp;m) brought by Typhoon 1874 at the Victoria Harbour estimated in this study are higher than all the existing records since the establishment of the Hong Kong Observatory in 1883, including the recent records set by super typhoon Mangkhut on 16 September 2018.</p>
doi:10.5194/cp-2019-36 fatcat:6tnlzuk74vd7jpykv4clszerbu