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Philippines to Japan on alert for brewing tropical cyclone

By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
June 20, 2019, 10:30:43 AM EDT

An area of showers and thunderstorms in the Philippine Sea is slowly becoming more organized and may become the next named tropical system in the West Pacific basin.

This area of concern has been bringing daily showers and thunderstorms to Palau, Yap and the Caroline Islands this week, but the threat will shift northwestward in the coming days.

Guam is expected to avoid any significant impacts from this tropical threat; however, there can be some downpours across the island through the day on Friday.

Tropics 6/20

While Palau and Yap will continue to be at risk for gusty showers and thunderstorms into this weekend, concern is rising for more significant impacts next week as development into a tropical storm or typhoon will be possible.

Locations from the northern Philippines to Taiwan, South Korea and Japan may be at risk for impacts from the brewing tropical cyclone next week.

"Warm water and weak wind shear across the Philippine Sea may help this cluster of showers and thunderstorms organize further into a named tropical system," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Houk. "Strengthening into a tropical depression is possible as early as this weekend."

Satellite 6/20

Satellite image of showers and thunderstorms becoming more organized across the Philippine Sea on Thursday, June 20. (Japan Meteorological Agency Himawari 8 Image)


The West Pacific's next tropical storm or typhoon will be named Sepat. There has not been a named tropical system in the basin since Typhoon Wutip in February.

As this tropical disturbance tracks northwestward and becomes better organized, impacts such as heavy rainfall and rough seas will become a concern for parts of Luzon by early next week.

Depending on the potential storm's track, impacts may be confined to offshore locations or spread across northern and eastern Luzon.

A turn more toward the north next week may spare Luzon a direct hit; however, locations from Taiwan to South Korea and Japan will be at risk for such an occurrence.

"Significant strengthening is possible from Monday into Tuesday," said Houk.

Tropical Risk 6/20

During this time, the storm will begin to lift toward Taiwan, passing near or east of the island during the middle of the week.

At this time, eastern Taiwan is most likely to see any significant impacts; however, if the storm tracks farther west, the entire island may be at risk for wind and rain.

A continued north to northeast track late next week would bring the potential tropical cyclone toward South Korea and Japan.

Current forecasts put Japan at the highest risk for a direct landfall and widespread impacts from this threat.

Risks ranging from damaging winds and flooding to mudslides and rough seas will all be possible during the second half of next week.

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The farther the potential cyclone tracks to the west, the higher the risk will be for impacts to South Korea.

A track near or just east of South Korea would bring the risk for flooding downpours to parts of the country late next week. If the potential storm tracks farther to the east, the country could be spared from any significant impacts.

Anyone living in or traveling to areas from the northern Philippines to Japan and South Korea should closely monitor this brewing tropical threat in the coming days as details on threats to each area become more clear.

Even with the slow start to the season, AccuWeather meteorologists are predicting a near-normal season overall across the West Pacific with 28 named storms, 17 typhoons and six super typhoons.

Download the free AccuWeather app for the latest updates on this tropical concern.

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