Songda to Threaten the Philippines, then Japan

May 24, 2011; 9:02 AM ET
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Songda will threaten the Philippines as a strengthening typhoon.

Songda continues to gain strength as it approaches the island chain with tropical storm-force sustained winds. Winds gusted to tropical storm-force this weekend across the island of Yap as Songda passed nearby. Rainfall totaled more than 7 inches across the island.

Outer bands of rain from Songda will begin to push into the eastern Philippines today though conditions should be worse from Wednesday through Friday as the storm comes closer and may even brush Luzon.

The main threat to the Philippines from Songda will likely be the heavy rain that will fall over northern areas of the country, especially in the mountainous regions where orographic lifting will enhance the rainfall. Rainfall amounts of more than 1 foot are possible through Friday in these areas.

Songda is expected to then threaten Japan over the weekend and early next week. There is a slight chance that Songda could re-curve enough that it would spare much of Japan and only bring rain and wind to the Ryukyu Islands. However, it appears that the storm will track close enough to bring at least some heavy rainfall and gusty winds to southern and eastern parts Japan, including Kyushu, Shikoku and portions of Honshu.

The threat even remains for the storm to bring heavy rain and gusty winds to the areas devastated by the recent tsunami and nuclear radiation. This storm system bears close watching as even the slightest change in track will have significant ramifications for these areas.

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