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On the heels of deadly Typhoon Trami, Japan will face another dangerous typhoon this week.
Typhoon Kong-rey is currently the equivalent of a Category 2 major hurricane in the Atlantic and East Pacific and will remain a dangerous tropical cyclone in the coming days.
A northwest track through Thursday will take Kong-rey toward the Ryukyu Islands, which are still reeling from damaging winds in excess of 160 km/h (100 mph) from Trami last weekend.
Where structures have been left weakened and the ground saturated by Trami, a blow by Kong-rey less than a week later would further heighten the risk of damage and flooding. Residents who evacuated or lost power during Trami may face the same struggles with Kong-rey.
Miyako and Okinawa are expected to face the worst of Kong-rey's impacts, which will include damaging winds and torrential rainfall. Wind gusts over 160 km/h (100 mph) will again be possible during the worst of the storm.
Yaeyama will endure locally damaging winds and downpours, but will be spared from the strongest winds.
Farther north, Amami, Tokara and Osumi can all expect periods of gusty winds and downpours; however, these will be much less severe than what the islands experienced from Trami.
Kong-rey will pull away from the Ryukyu Islands on Friday allowing improved conditions to return by late in the day.
After threatening the Ryukyu Islands, Kong-rey is forecast to turn more to the north, sparing Taiwan and eastern China from any significant impacts; however, South Korea and parts of Japan will be at risk for life-threatening conditions from Friday night into Sunday.
Southern South Korea as well as western Kyushu and southwestern Honshu will endure the most severe weather as Kong-rey unleashes damaging winds and torrential rainfall.
Southern South Korea can expect rainfall of 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) with an AccuWeather StormMax™ of 300 mm (12 inches).
Damaging winds of 100-130 km/h (62-81 mph) will be possible along and near the southern and southeastern coastline from Saturday into Saturday night.
Damaging winds will be the biggest concern for Japan as western Kyushu and southwestern Honshu may endure a six-hour period of wind gusts over 80 km/h (50 mph) with peak gusts reaching 100 km/h (81 mph) in exposed coastal areas.
Southern Japan will dodge the heaviest rainfall from Kong-rey, with most locations expected to receive less than 50 mm (2 inches) of total rainfall. The exception will be parts of eastern Kyushu and Shikoku, where daily rainfall from Thursday into Saturday can total up to 125 mm (5 inches) can cause localized flooding.
Kong-rey will rapidly track toward the northeast passing near or over Hokkaido Sunday night. Despite weakening, Kong-rey will still bring the risk for localized flooding and damaging winds to Hokkaido and northern Honshu during this time.
Rainfall will average 25-75 mm (1-3 inches) with locally higher amounts in Hokkaido. Wind gusts of 80-100 km/h (50-62 mph) will be possible across northern Honshu and the southern coast of Hokkaido on Sunday.
If Kong-rey makes landfall in mainland Japan, it will be the ninth tropical system and potentially the eighth typhoon to do so this year.
“The record for landfalling typhoons in a single season is 10 from 2004,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls.
Residents are urged to monitor the progress of Kong-rey closely. If possible, cleanup crews may want to focus on securing weak structures and clearing storm drains. Be sure to follow the advice of local officials and heed all evacuation orders.
Since Japan has been battered by numerous tropical systems, along with the historic flooding and deadly heat wave, Kong-rey can also further put a strain on the nation's disaster recovery budget.
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