Super typhoon Vongfong is forecast to strike Japan as a tropical storm at about 00:00 GMT on 13th October 2014
Super typhoon Vongfong is forecast to strike Japan as a tropical storm at about 12:00 GMT on 13th October 2014
Japan is set to be battered by 150mph winds amid growing fears a super typhoon could trigger deadly landslides and flash floods.
Typhoon Phanfone has been getting progressively stronger as it sweeps north across the Pacific Ocean, increasing from a category three to category four typhoon.
The 300-mile-wide storm will reach Japan on Sunday, bringing with it increasingly torrential rain.
And after dozens of deaths following three previous typhoons in Japan this year, forecasters say further devastation is possible.
Sky News Weather Producer Rebecca Yussuf said: “It was a category three this morning but has since strengthened into a category four, which is the second strongest, with a category five classed as a super typhoon.
“It’s still in an area where there are the conditions for it to strengthen further, which is why people are talking about super typhoon. There is the potential for a super typhoon.”
Typhoon Halong caused major damage and killed 10 people in Japan in August
Organisers of the F1 Grand Prix in the northern city of Suzuka are also monitoring developments closely, with concerns the event could be disrupted by the weather.
Yussuf said the typhoon would make landfall in the southern Japanese islands on Sunday, but it would hit the mainland on Monday.
“The system by then is expected to be around 300 miles across and will weaken as is makes landfall,” she said.
“We’re likely to see sustained winds of around 125mph and gusts of 150mph and there’ll be huge waves and storm surges at the coast.
“There will also be very heavy rain – between three and 10 inches. Particularly given the landscape in Japan, that kind of rainfall can cause flash flooding and landslides.
“We’ve already seen three typhoons in Japan so far this year, which have led to dozens of deaths, so people will inevitably be concerned we could see similar problems.”
More than 36 people died in mudslides that hit Hiroshima in August, while at least 10 people were killed by Typhoon Halong earlier that month.
When Suomi NPP flew over Genevieve on August 7 at 01:48 UTC the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard captured an infrared image of the storm. VIIRS collects visible and infrared imagery and global observations of land, atmosphere, cryosphere and oceans. VIIRS flies aboard the Suomi NPP satellite, which is managed by both NASA and NOAA.
The VIIRS image showed a symmetrical storm with a clear eye, about 15 nautical miles (17.2 miles/27.7 km) wide, surrounded by powerful thunderstorms.
On August 7 at 1200 UTC (8 a.m. EDT) Super-Typhoon Genevieve’s maximum sustained winds were near 140 knots (161.1 mph/259.3 kph). Genevieve is a Category 5 typhoon on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Genevieve was located near latitude 15.6 north and longitude 178.1 west, approximately 692 nautical miles (796 miles/1,282 km) west of Johnston Island.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) noted “Genevieve has rapidly intensified over the past 24 hours.” The storm’s maximum sustained winds have increased by 75 knots (126.6 mph/ 138.9 kph), pushing the storm from 65 knots (74.3 mph/120.4 kph) to 140 knots (161.1 mph/259.3 kph).
When NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite passed over Genevieve, data showed that there was a band of thunderstorms over the southern quadrant of the storm some 60 nautical miles (69 miles/111 km) thick.
The JTWC forecast calls for Genevieve to intensify with a peak of 145 knots (166.9 mph/268.5 kph) later on August 7. The forecast calls for Genevieve to maintain super typhoon strength over the next day and a half as it turns from a west-northwesterly track to a more northerly track over open ocean.
The death toll from the strongest storm to hit China in decades has reached 17, state media said today, as forecasters issued warnings of more extreme weather.Typhoon Rammasun has left eight people dead in the island province of Hainan and another nine in Guangxi, official news agency Xinhua reported.
At least two people are missing, Xinhua added citing local authorities, as the strongest typhoon to hit south China since 1973 headed north.
State media said last evening that eight people had been killed in the storm.
Television pictures today showed waterlogged roads and heavy rain in the southwestern province of Yunnan. Online pictures showed uprooted trees, destroyed crops and deserted, rain-soaked streets across much of southern China.
The typhoon first made landfall in China on Friday afternoon as a super typhoon, packing winds exceeding 200 kilometres an hour.
Weather authorities in China issued a “red” alert warning for Rammasun yesterday—the most severe of China’s four colour-code warnings.
But the storm has since been downgraded “as it is abating and affecting fewer Chinese localities”, Xinhua added.
All the airports on Hainan had re-opened on Sunday, as ferry, rail and bus services resumed, it said.
Meanwhile, China’s National Meteorological Centre was warning that downpours triggered by the typhoon were expected in northern parts of China in the coming days.
Rammasun—meaning “Thunder God” in Thai—has caused at least 94 deaths in the Philippines, where it hit before lashing China.