Typhoon Roke to Hit Japan

September 19, 2011; 10:24 PM
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Roke, having strengthened to a typhoon on Monday, will cut across the middle of Japan with torrential rain and high winds into Wednesday.

Winds will cause at least moderate damage along and near the direct path of Roke, which will angle northeastward over southern, central and northeastern Honshu.

Torrential rain will threaten flash flooding and mudslides, even in areas of southern Honshu hard-hit by deadly flooding and slides unleashed by Typhoon Talas early in September. Talas poured record-high rainfall with tragic results on the Kii Peninsula of southern Honshu.


Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) image.

On Monday, the eye of Roke was boldly visible on weather radar of the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), located in the northern Ryukyu Islands. At the time, highest sustained winds were about 80 mph, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). The JTWC fixing of Roke's center was about 60 miles east of Amami Island, with movement towards the north at 6 mph.

Through much of Tuesday, the center of Typhoon Roke will drift northward and northeastward at sea off the northern Ryukyus and southwestern mainland of Japan. Then, acceleration towards the northeast will take the storm over land in southern Honshu. Significantly weakened, Roke will return to sea off northeastern Japan on Wednesday.

Highest rainfall owing to Roke will be at least 10 inches, enough to trigger flooding and landslides in the mostly hilly to mountainous landscape.

Odds area that high winds will cause widespread light to moderate damage. Hurricane-force winds, mostly near landfall, could lead to more serious damage.

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