Tropical Troubles Await Japan

By , Senior Meteorologist
June 9, 2013; 9:43 PM ET
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Tropical Storm 03W, named Yagi, will churn slowly over the Philippine Sea this weekend before taking aim at southern Japan this week.

Yagi will continue to drift northeastward through the Philippine Sea Sunday, and will encounter very warm ocean waters and light winds aloft. These two factors will help Yagi continue to strengthen heading into the start of this week.

Yagi will continue to move slowly through the Philippine Sea Monday when it will likely reach peak intensity. At that time, Yagi will likely have sustained winds near 60 mph, making it a strong tropical storm.

High pressure to the east of Yagi will strengthen early in the week and will help steer the storm toward the north or even northwest. On this track, Yagi will take aim at southern Japan by the middle of the week. However, Yagi will be moving over colder ocean waters on Tuesday prior to landfall. These colder waters should allow Yagi to weaken prior to landfall early Wednesday morning.

In fact, Yagi may weaken below tropical storm status before reaching the Japanese Islands. This however will not prevent significant rains from reaching Japan, as the moisture for the system will reach the region regardless of the storms strength as it approaches.

As of right now, Yagi is expected to be a minimal tropical storm when it moves very close to Osaka Wednesday morning. Wind gusts of 40-50 mph will still be possible, though flooding rains will be the main impact from Yagi. Widespread rainfall of 3-5 inches will be common across southern Japan, while local amounts in excess of 10 inches may occur in the mountains. Some rain from Yagi will likely move through Tokyo later Tuesday night and Wednesday.

While there has already been two named tropical storms and two tropical depressions in the 2013 western Pacific typhoon season, Yagi is the first system to move north of the Philippines and bring impacts to Japan this season.

Meteorologist Evan Duffey contributed to this story.

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