The depression tracked to the northwest along the southwestern periphery of the mid-level ridge, and with warm sea temperatures, it became Tropical Storm Imbudo on July 17. Imbudo intensified at a quick pace, reaching typhoon status on the 18th. With increased banding features and even greater from a Tropical Upper Tropospheric Trough cell to its northeast, Imbudo rapidly strengthened to a super typhoon on the 20th. The typhoon continued its northwest movement, where it weakened due to an eyewall replacement cycle and the weakening of the TUTT. In the morning of July 22, Imbudo struck northern Luzon as a typhoon.
After crossing Luzon, Imbudo emerged in the South China Sea as a typhoon. With generally favorable conditions, the typhoon restrengthened to , but dry air to its northeast weakened it slightly. Typhoon Imbudo made landfall for a second time on southern China early on July 24 with winds of . It rapidly weakened over land, and dissipated that night.
The strongest typhoon to hit Luzon in 5 years, Imbudo caused flash flooding and strong wind damage. Twenty-one people were killed, with crop damage estimated at $37 million (2003 USD). Extensive damage was also done to buildings throughout northern Luzon, largely due to the typically poor standard of living in the area. Public Storm Signal #4 was up first time in 5 years.
Southern China fared worse than Luzon, with Imbudo causing 20 casualties and $302.6 million in damage. The storm caused landslides and heavy flooding in the Hainan Province, the Guangdong Province, and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Due to its destruction, the name Imbudo was retired and replaced with Molave.
Typhoon Imbudo slams into China after daring rescue of stranded sailors off Hong Kong coast; Philippines toll rises to 10
Jul 24, 2003; 00-00-0000 Dateline: BEIJING A powerful typhoon plowed into China's southern coast Thursday after killing at least 10 people in...