Japan Storm Likened to Typhoon

By By Jim Andrews, Accuweather.com senior meteorologist
April 04, 2012, 1:05:40 PM EDT

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Winds of typhoon strength have swept over parts of Japan, making for travel chaos, reports said on Tuesday.

One person has died and tens of thousands have been stranded, the AFP said.

At least 97 people suffered storm-related injury, according to NHK.

Winds were clocked to 150 km/h, or 93 mph, in western Japan, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) indicated.

Weather warnings and advisories spanned Japan's entire mainland, the JMA website showed. Advised threats included high winds, thunderstorms, heavy rain, flooding and high winds.

The JMA even warned of the potential for tornadoes.

The extreme weather lead Japan Airlines to cancel 230 domestic flights, along with seven Asia-bound flights, affecting 31,600 passengers, AFP said.

Another carrier, All Nippon, scrubbed 320 domestic flights, affecting another 37,700 passengers.

Some commuter trains had to be suspended.

Winds at the Tokyo Haneda International Airport gusted to 126 km/h, or 78 mph, weather data accessed by AccuWeather.com showed. Winds of 80 to 110 (about 50 to 70 mph) were widespread on weather.

The severe weather was whipped up by an abnormally strong storm centered over the Sea of Japan. The storm's trailing cold front, which dragged eastward over western and central Japan Tuesday, was a focus for high winds and torrential rain, forecasters said.

A JMA forecaster compared this storm to the core of a typhoon, but with a long duration of high winds in any given location, owing to its sheer size. "Winds as strong as this are very rare," the spokesman said.

The brunt of the storm will shift to northern Japan on Wednesday, forecasters said. Severe winds and high waves will target the region, as will heavy rain and the potential for flooding.

Storm blows over Kyoto. Video credit: TAKAMY96/YouTube.com

Video credit: chottomattenet/YouTube.com

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