Jongdari is nearly a typhoon and is closing in on overheated and flood-ravaged Japan
July 26 at 3:15 PM Email the author
Tropical Storm Jongdari as seen by Suomi NPP satellite early on July 26. (NASA)
Japan canât catch a break. On the heels of a historic heat wave and extreme flooding that have killed hundreds, tropical cyclone Jongdari is expected to run into the country this weekend.
At present, Jongdari is spinning about 800 miles south of Tokyo. Sustained winds are probably now reaching and surpassing typhoon force (at least 74 mph) as the storm enters its main strengthening window. Its movement is rather slow as it enters into a weakness in the pattern. It will pick up speed as it heads north and ultimately northwest in the days ahead.
Although Jong dari is in its early stages, yet to reach maturity, it is expected to do so Friday into Saturday as the storm makes its approach toward Japan.
Forecast for Jongdari from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
Details of its landfall location and specific intensity aside, high seas, extensive heavy rainfall and, of course, nasty winds are all likely in whatever ends up as the area of landfall. For now, that focus is south of Tokyo and east of Kyoto.
Conditions are largely favorable for Jongdari to strengthen further, and water temperatures in its path are generally much warmer than normal.
In addition to the warmer waters of the Western Pacific, moderately to significantly favorable environmental conditions for strengthening, and perhaps rapid intensification, appear to be present on weather modeling, at least in the short term. However, an upper-level low-pressure system that eventually helps drive Jongdari toward Japan may mean there is a relatively limited window for major strengthening.
That upper-level low pressure â" and the associated wind shear that could disrupt the storm â" does a dance with Jongdari, helping weaken it somewhat as it slingshots the storm back to the islands of Japan.
Wind shear in the region of Jongdari. (University of Wisconsin)
The stormâs predicted track, which curves it to the north and ultimately to the northwest, is very unusual, given the mid-latitude winds that typically steer tropical cyclones from west to east. The path is somewhat reminiscent of what was seen with Hurricane Sandy in the United States and Typhoon Lionrock in 2016.
While a majority of storm systems making landfall at such a northerly latitude tend to weaken as they move ashore, interactions between a tropical cyclone and an upper-level low can help it sustain its intensity for a short time.
Historical tracks in the region of landfall as per current JTWC forecast. (NOAA, modified by CWG)
Historically speaking, this region is no stranger to tropical cyclones. But storms tend to weaken as they approach Japan, given cooler water and increasing wind shear.
The threat to Tokyo has perhaps lowered with recent track forecasts taking the storm to its south. Despite that fact, Tokyo can expect effects from the storm such as heavy rain and strong winds. The city typically faces tropical cyclone remnants every year, but it has taken direct hits from typhoons, as well. The expectation is that there is greater likelihood for such in a warming world.Source: Google News Japan | Netizen 24 Japan