Storm Lashes Tokyo With 112 MPH Winds and Heavy Rain
With the demise of the El Niño earlier this year, not only did the activity in the Eastern Pacific get off to a slow start, but also in the Western Pacific. The first system in the WESTPAC formed on May 26th, which made it the fifth latest start for the typhoon season in the satellite era.
One of the four seasons that had slower starts in the Western Pacific was 1998, which happened to be a La Niña year. The first named storm didn’t develop until July 3rd, which was the second latest date for a named system to form in the Western Pacific. However, that named system happened to be Nepartak, which had winds of 125 mph winds.
To date in the Western Pacific, there have been 21 depressions, 11 named storms, and 3 typhoons. So far, these storms have led to 95 deaths, and some $1.89 billion United States dollars in damage. The latest of these storms, Typhoon Mindulle affected Japan on Monday. The capital of Tokyo was affected by winds gusting to 112 miles per hour along with heavy rain.
The effects from Typhoon Mindulle left one person dead and another 29 injured according to an article from the Japan Times. The typhoon made landfall near Tateyama on the Boso Peninsula around lunch time with maximum sustained winds of minimal hurricane strength at 75 miles per hour with gusts of 110 miles per hour. Tokyo’s airport was shut down due to the winds from Mindulle.
As a result, two national airlines had to cancel nearly 250 flights. Train services in Tokyo were also delayed or canceled. The heavy rains not only produced flooding, but also mudslides around Tokyo. The storm is now setting its sights to the north such as the city of Hokkaido.
Goni, Kilo, and Soudelor Top Another Big Season of Typhoons
Last night, Hurricaneville reported on Kilo crossing the International Date Line on Tuesday, and becoming another Typhoon for the Western Pacific. Kilo appears to be on course to be the longest lasting tropical cyclone of 2015 although it will fall far short of the record set by Typhoon John back in 1994. Kilo is one of many noteworthy typhoons that have traversed the Western Pacific this summer. Soudelor and Goni are two other storms that left significant impacts in Taiwan and Japan respectively.
Those aforementioned storms are just the tip of the iceberg for this year’s typhoon season in the Western Pacific though. According to Wikipedia, there have been a total of 24 depressions, 18 named storms, 11 typhoons, and 6 super typhoons. The Super Typhoons in 2015 include: Maysak (Chedeng), Noul, Dolphin, Soudelor (Hanna), and Atsani. In addition, there were four powerful typhoons of Category Four stregth named Higos, Chan-hom (Falcon), Nangka, Goni (Ineng). The first system formed right after the start of the new year on January 2nd. A total of 135 deaths and $5.1 billion in damage around the Pacific Rim have been attributed to these storms. Here are capsules on the more notable storms in the WESTPAC:
Higos was a Category Four typhoon with a peak intensity of 940 millibars, or about 27.76 inches of Hg, and winds of 105 miles per hour. The storm lasted for just under a week from February 6th to February 12th. At its peak, Higos became the strongest typhoon recorded during the month of February since 1970. The storm weakened just as rapidly as it had to become a powerful typhoon. Higos didn’t impact land.
Typhoon Maysak (Chendeng)
Forming originally to the southwest of the Marshall islands of March 26th, Maysak lasted nearly two weeks, and had a minimum central pressure of 910 millibars, or 26.87 inches of Hg and maximum 10 minute sustained winds of 120 miles per hour at peak intensity. One minute maximum sustained winds topped 155 miles per hour. Maysak moved through portions of Micronesia where it caused extensive damage. Initial reports indicated that five people had lost their lives in the storm.
Typhoon Noul (Dodong)
Noul was the 2nd Super Typhoon of 2015. Forming on May 2nd near Micronesia, the storm lasted for approximately 10 days. At peak intensity, minimum central pressure with Noul was 920 millibars, or 27.17 inches of Hg while 10-minute maximum sustained winds were 125 miles per hour. The storm underwent some fluctuations in intensity before rapidly deepening in a Super Typhoon on May 10th. Noul eventually made landfall over Pananapan Point, Santa Ana, Cagayan in the Northeastern tip of Luzon in the Philippines. The storm began to weaken afterwards.
Dolphin was the third Super Typhoon of the season, and the second straight. Forming southeast of Pohnpei, Dolphin would linger in the Western Pacific basin for two weeks from May 6th to May 20th. Reaching peak intensity on May 16th, Dolphin’s minimum central pressure dipped to 925 millibars, or 27.32 inches of Hg while its 10 minute maximum sustained winds topped out at 115 miles per hour. Dolphin sustained Super Typhoon intensity for 30 hours. Fortunately, the storm recurved well east of Japan and Russia.
Typhoon Chan-hom (Falcon)
Forming in the final days of June near the island of Kosrae, Chan-hom reached Category Four strength on July 9th with 935 millibars, or 27.61 inches of Hg minimum central pressure, and 105 mile per hour 10-minute maximum sustained winds. The typhoon lasted for about 15 days before weakening after going through an eyewall replacement cycle, and coming ashore southeast of Shanghai in China. The weakened storm also traveled into the Korean Peninsula before transitioning into an extratropical cyclone. Chan-hom was responsible for just under a billion dollars in damage in East China while indirectly contributing to the deaths of 4 people and $90,000 in damages in the Philippines.
Another powerful typhoon that lasted over two weeks in the Western Pacific, Nangka formed on the 2nd day of July. At peak intensity on July 9th, Nangka with a minimum central pressure of 925 millibars, or 27.32 inches of Hg, ten minute maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour, and a one minute maximum sustained wind of 155 miles per hour. The storm had some fluctuations in intensity from July 9th to July 12th when Nangka reached its secondary peak as a Category Three strength typhoon. The typhoon then made two landfalls in Japan on July 16th. The first one was over Muroto, Kochi while the second landfall was hours later over the island of Honshu.
Forming on July 29th, and lasting some two weeks before dissipating, Soudelor has been the most powerful storm to date in the WEST PAC, strengthening to Super Typhoon status with a pressure that dropped down to 26.58 inches of Hg, or 900 millibars on August 4th, making the storm an equivalent of a Category Five Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
Soudelor’s highest 10 minute sustained winds were 130 miles per hour while its one minute sustained wind topped out at 180 miles per hour. The storm’s path took it through the Philippines, Taiwan, Mariana Islands, Japan, East China, and South Korea. The storm left behind damage that has been initially estimated at $3.2 billion while causing 38 deaths.
Typhoon Goni (Ineng)
A fierce storm that was documented going through the southern portion of Japan by iCyclone, Goni first formed to the southeast of Guam on August 13th, and lasted for a dozen days as it first headed westward toward the northern Philippines before turning to the north just to the east of Taiwan, and coming through Southern Japan before going between the rest of Japan and the Korean Peninsula in the Sea of Japan.
At peak intensity, Goni had a minimum central pressure of 935 millibars, or 27.61 inches of Hg with 10 minute maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour. The storm underwent rapid intensification prior to becoming a Category Four storm the first time. Then, Goni underwent some fluctuations in strength before reaching Southern Japan as a Category Four storm again. See video of Goni impacting Southern Japan at iCyclone.com
Forming around the same time as Goni (actually a day later), Atsani took a path to the north and east before recurving well to the East of Japan. The storm lasted just under a dozen days and peaked on August 19th with a minimum central pressure of 27.32 inches of Hg or 925 millibars with a 10 minute maximum sustained wind of 115 miles per hour and a one minute maximum sustained wind of 160 miles per hour. Wind shear and dry air entrainment doomed the storm soon after that.
Kilo actually originated in the Central Pacific where it peaked as a Category Four Hurricane with 145 mile per hour winds as it trekked past Hawaii. Moving past the International Date Line on Tuesday, Kilo became a Category One Typhoon with 85 mile per hour winds. The storm is expected to strengthen to Category Four intensity as it approaches Japan around September 15th. The storm is expected to become the longest lasting tropical cyclone this year, but fall short of the duration mark set by Typhoon John in 1994. See more details on Kilo in the blog at http://www.hurricaneville.com/blog/?p=1530.
Normally, the Western Pacific is the most active basin in the tropics with the most intense storms as well, but with the emergence of El Niño, more storms are forming in the Eastern and Central Pacific, and in the case of Kilo, crossing the International Date Line into the Western Pacific as Typhoons.
Central Pacific Hurricane Crosses International Date Line
Things continue to be active in the Pacific, especially in the Eastern and Central basins. We now have four tropical systems from the West Coast of Mexico to beyond the International Date Line. First, in the Eastern Pacific, the 11th named storm of the season formed as Kevin emerged within the past 24 hours. Meanwhile, in the Central Pacific, Hurricane Kilo, which had been one of three Category Four Hurricanes in the Pacific earlier this week, crossed the International Date Line, and, as a result, became a Typhoon.
Although it is rare, hurricanes that form in the Eastern and Central Pacific have traveled far enough over the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean to cross the International Date Line, and become a typhoon, which is the name given to tropical systems in the Western Pacific. The most memorable example was Hurricane/Typhoon John in 1994. The storm began in the Eastern Pacific, and spent some 31 days, an entire month traversing the Pacific Ocean. While Kilo’s feat is quite impressive, and will probably make it the longest lasting tropical cyclone this year, it will likely fall about a week short of John’s mark.
As of Wednesday, Kilo had weakened to a strong Category One Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale with 85 mile per hour winds. The much cooler waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands in the Central Pacific took the starch out of Kilo, which had been a major hurricane over the weekend. However, as Kilo heads into the high octane warm waters of the Western Pacific, the storm is forecast to undergo a major rejuvenation, and return to Category Four strength and become a Super Typhoon. Some model forecasts indicate that Kilo could become a threat to Japan by next weekend according to an article written by the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang.
On Tuesday, satellite imagery depicted the western half of Kilo in the Western Pacific, and classified as a typhoon on September 2nd while the eastern half was still on September 1st and a hurricane. Looking at the future of Kilo, the GFS produced a scenario where Kilo will pass through Japan into the North Pacific by September 15th, and then move into Alaska, where it become a powerful extratropical system that will create a dip in the jet stream, and push eastward into the continental United States. The Western Pacific has been active as well as the Eastern and Central Pacific this year as a result of the El Nino.
The WESTPAC has seen more than its fare share of typhoons including Souledor recently, which created havoc in Taiwan including tornadoes. Meanwhile, Typhoon Goni lashed portions of Japan with fierce winds. Sometimes, these typhoons recurve much like hurricanes that come up the East Coast of the United States. As they recurve, they gain new life as an extratropical system that can pull down the jet stream and much colder air from the arctic and Alaska. There were a couple of occasions this past winter when typhoons in the West Pacific recurved into the North Pacific, and spawned a “polar vortex” episode for the Continental United States.
Two Disturbances in Atlantic Basin Both Have 80% Chance of Forming
Over the past couple weeks in the Atlantic, there has been a lull in activity. Since the demise of Dorian toward the end of July, the tropics in the Atlantic have been very quiet. The Eastern Pacific has been more busy with Tropical Storm Flossie, Hurricane Gil, and Hurricane Henriette forming and making a beeline toward the Hawaiian Islands before fading out. The Western Pacific has also been a bit active with Typhoon Utor dominating the recent headlines as a Category Four storm that rolled through the Philippines before heading into Southern China.
The Atlantic, which still looks to be above average this year, is beginning to wake up with a couple of disturbances emerging over the past few days. First and foremost, there is an area of disturbed weather in the Western Caribbean that appears to be very close to becoming either a tropical depression or storm. As of the most recent outlook at 8:00 PM EDT from the National Hurricane Center, the disturbance is located in the Northwestern Caribbean, and is moving to the West-Northwest at 10 miles per hour. Winds in squalls are reaching gale force on the eastern side and the disturbance continues to get better organized.
Right now, odds are at 70 percent that the disturbance will become a tropical cyclone over the next 48 hours, and at 80 percent for tropical formation over the next 5 days. The disturbance could become a depression or storm before making landfall in the Yucatan on Thursday. However, when it moves back out into the Southern Gulf of Mexico, upper level winds may not be favorable for development. Regardless, areas along the Gulf Coast should be prepared for significant rainfall in the least as this disturbance heads to the north. Another feature drawing interest is in the Eastern Atlantic.
Slowly, but surely, we are moving into the prime portion of the Atlantic Hurricane Season with the Cape Verde storms having a better chance to develop. Over the course of the first two and a half months of the season, two factors has been limiting development in the Atlantic. The first factor has been the dry air over the Central and Eastern Atlantic. Two named storms that formed during the month of July: Chantal and Dorian both developed in the heart of the Atlantic only to fizzle out thanks to the dry air in that part of the world, hostile upper level winds, and the fast forward movements of these storms circulations.
Over the past week though, disturbances have been coming off Africa with a lot of moisture, which has helped break the spell of dry air in the Atlantic. In addition, a Kelvin Wave developed in the Western Atlantic and moved eastward, which helped make upper level wind conditions more hospitable for development. Now, we have a very healthy tropical low located approximately 100 miles to the South-Southeast of the Cape Verde Islands in the Eastern Atlantic. Shower and thunderstorm activity in this area continues to get better organized. Right now, there is an 80 percent chance of tropical cyclone formation over the next 48 hours, and through the next five days. As a matter of fact, it is possible that this disturbance could become a depression Wednesday night or Thursday.
As we move into the weekend and early next week, this disturbance will be moving into the Central Atlantic, which currently has hostile upper level wind conditions. GWC and Hurricaneville will continue to monitor both of these features.
Several Powerful Typhoons And A Major Hurricane Make Headlines In Last Month
Over the past week, Hurricaneville has been tracking what is now Tropical Storm Rina in the Northwestern Caribbean. This latest storm in the Atlantic Basin was the first storm in several weeks. Prior to that, there had been Ophelia at the end of September, and Philippe in early October. These two storms ended up being hurricanes. Ophelia battled difficult circumstances, but eventually became a major hurricane with 140 mile per hour winds.
Before Rina emerged in the Western Caribbean, and threatened the Yucatan Peninsula in the past week, activity had picked up quite a bit in the Eastern Pacific and Western Pacific. There had been several powerful typhoons in the West Pacific including Typhoon Roke, Typhoon Nesat, and Typhoon Nalgae. All three had the intensity of a major hurricane with two of them being classified as super typhoons with Category Four strength on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Nesat and Nalgae moved over the same part of the Philippines, and left a great deal of flooding and devastation there. Meanwhile, Roke made landfall over Japan.
Nesat and Nalgae as well as Tropical Storm Haitang all ended up making their final landfalls over Vietnam. While these storms were much weaker when they came through these areas, they brought significant rainfall to Indochina, which has resulted in major flooding in places such as Thailand. The capital city of Bangkok is still under siege from floodwaters. So far this year, there have been 34 tropical depressions, 20 tropical storms, 8 typhoons, and 4 super typhoons in the WestPAC. The storms have left 459 people dead, and an estimated $4.4 billion in damages. The Western Pacific Basin is the most active in the world with some of the most powerful storms forming there.
Further east in the Pacific, there had been an increase in activity as well with the development of several storms and a depression. When we last reported on the tropics in late September, we were dealing with a powerful storm in Hurricane Hilary. A little while after that, Hurricane Irwin developed, and then Hurricane Jova emerged. For a while, it appeared that the West Coast of Mexico was going to get a one-two punch of powerful storms. With these latest storms, there have been 12 tropical depressions, 10 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes.
Jova was the biggest threat to Mexico as a Category Three major hurricane with maximum sustained winds topping out at 125 miles per hour. Irwin was only a Category One storm with 90 mile per hour winds. Hilary was a Category Four system, but stayed offshore. Before making landfall near Jalisco, Mexico, Hurricane Jova began an eyewall replacement cycle, and weakened to a Category Two Hurricane with 100 mile per hour winds. Even after dissipating, the storm still produced significant rains in the interior of Mexico. Jova left eight people dead, and caused some $28 million in damage. With climate conditions turning back to a mild La Nina episode this summer, the Eastern Pacific has had to deal with cooler than normal sea surface temperatures.
The Western Pacific remains quite active on this late Friday morning (EDT). Earlier in the week, Hurricaneville mentioned that there were two systems in this region. One of them was Tropical Storm Koppu, which made landfall in Southern China southwest of Hong Kong. The other was a Super Typhoon, Choi-Wan.
Choi-Wan became the strongest storm in any of the basins this season with winds of Category Five Strength at 160 miles per hour a short time later. The strongest storm in the Eastern Pacific was Hurricane Jimena, which had winds sustained just below Category Five intensity at 155 miles per hour. Meanwhile, in the Atlantic, the most powerful storm of the season was Hurricane Bill, which had maximum sustained winds of 135 miles per hour, or Category Four strength on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
Since peaking as a powerful Super Typhoon, Choi-Wan has since waned. According to the latest report from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, maximum sustained winds have slackened to just 110 knots, or 125 miles per hour. Winds are gusting to 155 knots. The storm is moving to the Northeast at about 12 miles per hour, and is tracking very close to the islands of Iwo To and Chichi Jima.
The outskirts of Tokyo and the rest of Central Japan just lies outside of the outer fringes of the forecast cone. The storm is projected to curve to the Northeast, and then East with time and avoid the main island of Japan. Choi-Wan is forecast to strengthen over the next 12 hours after dealing with an eyewall replacement cycle, which may have contributed to the weakening of the storm. Hurricaneville will continue to monitor the progress of this system.
While conditions in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific are relatively placid, there is plenty of action in the Western Pacific. We have a Category One strength typhoon that made landfall in Southern China within the past 24 hours while a Super Typhoon is still going strong. Tropical Storm Koppu made landfall in Southern China near Hong Kong, and produced wind gusts of up to 71 miles per hour there according to the Weather Channel. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center has issued its final advisory on the storm, which is now inland over southern portions of China.
Meanwhile, there is our Super Typhoon Choi-Wan, which is located approximately 165 miles north of Saipan. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 150 miles per hour. Further strengthening is expected with this system as it moves to the Northwest and then North over the next 48 to 72 hours. The forecast track has the storm passing well to the south of mainland Japan, but threatening the island of Iwo To over time. More details on these two storms will be out later today.
While things have picked up in the Eastern Pacific and Atlantic, they are waning in the Western Pacific. Over the past few days, the site has been reporting on Tropical Storm Dujuan. On Saturday, there were indications that Dujuan would become a typhoon, and possibly affect Japan. However, on Sunday the forecast didn’t have Dujuan strengthening to anything more than a storm, and this morning, it has weakened to a depression.
According to the latest information from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Dujuan now only has winds of 30 knots, or 35 miles per hour with gusts reaching 40 knots, or 45 miles per hour. The cone of uncertainty takes Japan completely out of the picture as Dujuan is projected to move far to the south of the main island. The intensity forecast calls for Dujuan to remain at this intensity for the next 48 hours, or so, and then strengthen to have 45 knot, or 50 mile per hour winds by 72 hours. This increase in intensity is expected from a transition into an extratropical cyclone.
Looking at the latest infrared satellite imagery of the depression, it is easy to see that the center of circulation is pretty much exposed at this point. Much of the convection associated with the system is on the southern and western side of it. As Dujuan tracks to the Northeast, it will begin to encounter greater amounts of wind shear, which will assist in making it lose its tropical characteristics. Meanwhile, in the Central Pacific, conditions continue to be relatively tranquil over the Hawaiian Islands as shower and thunderstorm activity passes to the south of the 50th state.
According to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, no tropical formation is expected through early Wednesday morning. So far this season, there have been 6 depressions, 5 storms, and 2 hurricanes in this basin. Four of the tropical cyclones that have traversed this region originated in the Eastern Pacific.
Right now the only real serious activity at the moment throughout the tropics is Tropical Storm Dujuan. As of 2 AM EDT, the storm was located in the Western Pacific some 720 miles to the South-Southwest of Tokyo, Japan. Dujuan was packing winds of 55 miles per hour, and indications are that it will remain a storm after showing signs of becoming a typhoon on Saturday.
Looking at the latest info from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s web site, the storm has weakened to have winds of 50 miles per hour with gusts up to 60 miles per hour. The storm has moved to within 580 miles of Tokyo, and it is moving to the North-Northeast at 10 miles per hour. Maximum wave heights with Dujuan are still topping off at 25 feet.
The cone of uncertainty has shifted to the right a bit with the left fringe staying offshore near the Tokyo outskirts within 48 hours. The warning graphic also indicates no significant change in strength throughout the forecast period. Winds are only expected to increase to 50 knots, or 60 miles per hour with gusts up to 65 knots, or minimal hurricane force over the next 24 to 48 hours.
Looking at the latest infrared satellite imagery, you can see the system has fair outflow, and good convection along with banding. However, the Northeast quadrant appears to be weak, and the center is somewhat exposed there. The forecast discussion indicates that along with the lack of deep convection over the past 12 hours or so. Water vapor imagery indicates an upper level trough is entrenched over Japan, and is providing strong westerly winds to the North of Dujuan.
Consequently, the forecast track of the storm continues to head to the Northeast and accelerate with time. In addition, the poor organization of the system coupled with the strong westerly flow will prevent Dujuan from getting much stronger. Meanwhile, in the Central Pacific, conditions near Hawaii are quite tranquil despite the presence of some early morning clouds. The bulk of the convection is staying to the south and west of the island chain.
While things are relatively tranquil in the Atlantic and the Eastern Pacific with no depressions or storms at the moment in either region, the Western Pacific has a tropical storm. According to the Weather Channel’s latest report on the tropics this afternoon, Tropical Storm Dujuan is being closely watched as it moves to the Northwest. The latest forecast calls for Dujuan to become a typhoon, and threaten the South-Central portion of Japan before recurving to the Northeast and out to sea.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center indicates that maximum sustained winds are at 50 miles per hour while gusts are up to 60 miles per hour. Located some 770 miles to the South-Southwest of Tokyo Japan, Dujuan has tracked to the North-Northeast at about 11 miles per hour. The forecast cone of uncertainty has the outskirts of Tokyo on the very fringe as the storm is expected to reach typhoon status by late afternoon tomorrow (EDT). Maximum wave heights could get as high as 25 feet with this system.
Earlier in the day, the storm was showing signs of further development. According to the forecast discussion from the JTWC, deep convection continues to develop around the center of circulation while healthy outflow is providing good exhaust as depicted in the latest infrared satellite and water vapor imagery. Dujuan is currently being influenced by a subtropical ridge to the East of the system. As it starts to get to the periphery of the ridge, expect Dujuan to turn to more toward the east, and away from Japan.
So far this year in the WestPAC, there have been 22 depressions, 10 storms, and 5 typhoons according to information from Wikipedia. One of the most significant was Typhoon Morakot, which at peak strength was only a Category Two Typhoon with winds of 90 miles per hour, but it produced torrential rains over the rugged terrain of Taiwan that spawned deadly floods and mudslides.
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