Halong rapidly intensified this weekend, becoming a super typhoon early Saturday night, local time.
Though it has since weakened, Halong is expected to remain a very dangerous typhoon as it approaches Japan later this week.
There is currently some wind shear affecting the storm which, if strong enough, typically weakens tropical systems. However, Halong is managing to overcome this shear enough to remain a powerful typhoon, even though some minor weakening is possible through Wednesday.
Satellite image of former Super Typhoon Halong Tuesday evening, local time, courtesy of NOAA.
Beyond Wednesday, shear will lessen which could allow Halong to strengthen as it moves through the Ryukyu Islands.
Halong has also enhanced monsoonal rains across the northwest Philippines where flooding will remain a problem through Wednesday; 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) of rain have fallen across Metro Manila since Saturday with local amounts over 300 mm (12 inches) northwest of the city.
While the current path of Halong puts areas from the central Ryukyu Islands to southern Japan at greatest risk of a direct landfall with heavy rain, damaging winds and coastal flooding, all residents of Japan, South Korea and even northeastern China should closely monitor the typhoon for potential dangers and any adjustments to the forecast track.
Tokyo is one location that is currently not expected to receive the worst of the storm, but the city and surrounding areas will likely see gusty winds and locally heavy rainfall as the cyclone tracks to the south and west late this week. Rain associated with Halong could reach the area as early as Friday with the worst impacts expected over the weekend.
Impacts in southern Japan are expected to worsen beginning from Thursday night into Friday. A landfall is expected either in Kyushu or western Shikoku Friday night into Saturday. These areas can expect torrential rainfall, damaging winds and a high risk for mudslides.
While flooding rainfall and damaging winds from Halong are expected across southern Japan later this week, some parts of southern Japan are already dealing with flooding after Tropical Storm Nakri drenched the region late last week.
During the past few days, Nakri has brought 250-500 mm (10-20 inches) of rain to some places in Kyushu and Shikoku, according to observation sites across these islands. Multiple locations received more than 10 inches within a single day. Kochi, one of the hardest hit areas, reported over 800 mm (31 inches) of rain since Saturday.
While the heaviest rain is over in these areas for now, additional showers and thunderstorms will remain in the forecast through Wednesday as Halong approaches from the south.
Because of this recent torrential rainfall and likelihood for additional heavy rains, impacts from Halong will likely be exacerbated. With the current forecast track, major flooding will occur in southern Japan along with mudslides, wind damage and coastal flooding due to storm surge.
The western Pacific was very active during July with five tropical systems. Of these, four strengthened to typhoons and three were super typhoons.
Meteorologist Adam Douty contributed to this story.
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