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Japan to face onslaught of tropical systems into October

By By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
September 23, 2016, 2:03:29 AM EDT

Seven tropical cyclones have made landfall in Japan since the beginning of August, and more threats are expected through October.

Out of the seven cyclones that have made landfall in Japan, four were classified as typhoons with winds 119 km/h (74 mph) or greater.

The transition from El Niño toward La Niña resulted in a smaller development zone in the west Pacific this year.

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With much of the tropical development occurring near or west of the Mariana Islands, steering winds guided cyclones toward Japan, resulting in the high frequency of landfalls during the months of August and September.

The flurry of storms also produced deadly flooding and mudslides in addition to wind damage.

Typhoon Lionrock was the first typhoon to make landfall on the Pacific side of Tohoku region since records began in 1951, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. The powerful cyclone resulted in 17 fatalities across Japan.

Typhoon Malakas dumped a record 578 mm (22.76 inches) on the city of Hyuga in Miyazaki Prefecture in just 24 hours.

The record for most typhoon landfalls in Japan during one season is 10, which has only occurred once (2004).

A combination of weather factors led AccuWeather forecasters to predict an active late summer and fall period for tropical activity around Japan earlier this year.

The next threat is brewing several thousand kilometers to the southeast as showers and thunderstorms become better organized to the east of Guam.

This area of showers and thunderstorms is expected to become a tropical cyclone later this week and track west-northwest toward Taiwan next week.

Western Pacific typhoon center
Japan weather center
Interactive Japan weather radar

While current forecasts call for this potential cyclone to continue to move west with possible impacts to Taiwan and China, residents of Japan should not let their guard down.

“A trough approaching eastern Asia later next week could steer the potential cyclone toward Japan if it arrives faster or is stronger than expected,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said.

Following this next tropical threat, conditions will remain favorable for additional tropical cyclones to develop through the first half of October.

“Additional threats to Japan are expected through October, before threats diminish in November and December,” Nicholls said.

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