Monday, October 21, 2013

Another Typhoon Headed Towards Japan

Francisco is heading towards Japan as a rather significant typhoon. At one time the storm sported 160 mile per hour winds and was classified as a "super" typhoon (storms with max winds of over 150 miles per hour earn the super designation in the Western Pacific). Winds have weakened a bit since then but it remains a formidable storm and is poised to work towards Japan in the coming days, with a landfall in Honshu looming for Thursday or Friday.

Unlike Wipha, Francisco is a slower mover...having moved at only 5-10 miles per hour for the last few days across the Pacific. It will continue to move slowly over the next few days before getting picked up by a digging trough across China and Korea, which will pick up and absorb the typhoon late this week and pull it across Japan, transforming it into a large nontropical storm in the North Pacific this weekend.

On top of the storm pushing into Japan, likely as a typhoon, the encroaching trough will help set up a rather rainy scenario across Japan later this week. Japan picked up prolific rain from Wipha, with some spots picking up over thirty inches of rain from the storm. Francisco could drop another foot of rain in parts of Japan, perhaps even more, as a predecessor rain event (PRE) sets up in advance of the storm thanks to the interaction of the mountainous terrain on the islands and the frontal boundary encroaching across Japan. More flooding is likely.

Francisco will help reinforce the troughy pattern over the eastern US thanks to the ridge it props up across the Eastern Pacific (ahead of it as it turns into that aforementioned powerful posttropical storm) this weekend.