Japan on Alert for Pair of Tropical Systems

By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
July 30, 2014; 5:23 AM ET
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Fresh on the heels of Typhoon Matmo, portions of Eastern Asia will need to keep an eye on a developing cyclone currently spinning in the Western Pacific Ocean.

The Japan Meteorological Agency, Japan's government source for meteorological information, has already classified the large tropical area of low pressure centered a few hundred miles south of Okinawa, Japan Tropical Storm Nakri.

Regardless of classification, periods of rain and thunderstorms along with gusty winds are expected across the Ryukyu Islands up into Japan's southern states of Kyushu and Shikoku through the end of the week and in some cases into the beginning of the weekend.

While some intensification is expected on Thursday into Friday, rapid strengthening of this system remains unlikely as it tracks northwestward into the East China Sea by the end of the week partly due to the large circulation accompanying the storm.

This satellite image, courtesy of UW-CIMSS, shows a large area of showers and thunderstorms northeast of the Philippines Wednesday night, local time. Development into a named cyclone is expected in the next 24 to 48 hours.

Deep convection has been unable to develop around the large center of circulation which has prevented the storm from getting better organized.

In addition, moderate wind shear over the storm has inhibited development, despite warm sea surface temperatures.

Due to the massive size of this storm, heavy rain and locally gusty winds will impact much of the Ryukyu Islands through Friday. Heavy rain will also spread into Kyushu during this time.

While Taiwan will miss the worst of this storm, some downpours may occur in the north and east as the low passes through the Ryukyu Islands.

West Pacific Typhoon and Tropical Storm Center
Japan Interactive Radar
China Weather Center

Anyone living in or visiting areas from eastern China through southern Japan and South Korea should closely monitor this potential cyclone as heavy rain and locally damaging winds are possible as the storm moves northward this week.

The Shanghai area will likely experience some of the outer fringes of the storm from Friday into Saturday. Downpours and gusty winds are possible, though the worst of the worst is expected to impact southern Japan and South Korea during this time.

Southern Japan, especially Kyushu and Shikoku, along with much of South Korea should be prepared for potential flooding and mudslides as heavy rain falls through the weekend.

While the future intensity of the storm remains unclear due to the amount of wind shear it will encounter along its northwest track, heavy rainfall and flooding are expected regardless of strength.

With the status of this developing cyclone subject to change, please be sure to check with the West Pacific Typhoon and Tropical Storm Center for the latest information.

Another area of concern is Tropical Storm Halong which passed just north of Guam Wednesday, local time. Although the center of circulation has passed, heavy rain from the outer bands will continue to soak parts of Guam through Thursday, local time. Halong will gradually move away as it tracks west-northwest through Friday.

As of Thursday morning, local time, Guam has seen an accumulated total of nearly 10 inches of rain and a peak wind gust up to 53 mph. More rain and wind will continue through Wednesday night.

Heavy rain can be seen in this radar snapshot of Halong Wednesday afternoon as the center of circulation drifts away from Guam. (Photo courtesy of NOAA)

Further strengthening is expected as the storm moves northwestward, and it may reach typhoon strength in the next 48 hours.

In the longer range, this cyclone could target Japan with another round of heavy rain and damaging winds next week.

As this cyclone tracks more northward later this week and early next week, the potential exists for rapid strengthening and a Halong could become a very dangerous and powerful typhoon prior to reaching Japan.

Content contributed by AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Erik Pindrock


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