Wow, this typhoon season has truly been deadly. There seems to be no end in sight for Japan. Super typhoon Francisco is forecast to strike Japan as a tropical storm at about 09:00 GMT on 25 October. Francisco is expected to bring 1-minute maximum sustained winds to the region of around 101 km/h (63 mph). Wind gusts in the area may be considerably higher.
Although Francisco has weakened, anyone living in or traveling to Japan should not let their guard down. A track very similar to that of deadly Typhoon Wipha from last week is expected. Over the past 24-hours, the likelihood of an actual landfall has decreased, with signs indicated that the center of the storm will make a sharper curve to the northeast and passing south of Japan.
Francisco will be weakened further by the time it nears Tokyo and will likely be a tropical storm as it passes very close to Tokyo. Nonetheless, periods of rain could still impact the country, especially in southeastern Japan. The threat of flash flooding, damaging winds and mudslides persists for areas of southeast Japan, including Miyazaki and Osaka.
The main factor steering Francisco will be a trough that moves into Japan by the middle of the week. This trough will pull moisture from Francisco northward, ahead of the storm leading to heavy rainfall across portions of Kyushu, Shikoku and southeastern Honshu Wednesday night into Thursday. A prolonged period of rainfall for these locations will result in rainfall amounts of 150-250 mm (6-10 inches) with local amounts over 300 mm (12 inches) through Friday.
Adding to the concern is already saturated soil across southern and eastern Japan following former Typhoon Wipha last week and another low pressure system that brought several inches of additional rainfall over the weekend. Many parts of southern and eastern Japan have already received more than double the normal monthly October rainfall totals. This will only increase the threat of flooding and mudslides as torrential rainfall from Francisco arrives later this week.
Adding to all of this is Typhoon Lekima is heading in the same general direction at the same time. Tropical Storm Lekima intensified quickly early on Oct. 22 while traveling over the open waters of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean. The day before the rapid intensification, NASA’s TRMM satellite passed overhead and analyzed the rainfall rates in the storm, spotting heavy rainfall in two quadrants.
On Oct. 22 at 0900 UTC/5 a.m. EDT, Lekima’s maximum sustained winds were up to 105 knots/120.8 mph/194.5 kph. Lekima’s center was located near 16.7 north and 156.1 east, about 705 nautical miles/ 811.3 miles/ 1,306 km east-northeast of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Lekima is moving to the northwest at 18 knots/20.7 mph/33.3 kph. Satellite data on Oct. 22 showed that Lekima now has a well-formed eye, about 15 nautical miles/17.2 miles/27.7 km wide with tight bands of thunderstorms wrapping into it.
According to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) though, Typhoons Francisco and Lekima will most likely hit Japan. The KMA said the two typhoons could meet. “When two or more typhoons collide, they affect each other’s path and strength. It’s called the Fujiwara effect,” said weather forecaster Hur Jin-ho. “Though we are expecting that they are moving along their own paths, there still is the possibility that the two could change course,” he said.
The concern here is that Fukishima is in the path of both of these storms and the possibility of creating 20 inches of rain or more could be disasterous.
We urge our friends in Japan and outer islands to take this very seriously. The next 5 days could be extremely dangerous.
Update 10/27/2013 – 1035 PM EDT – What happened to Francisco and Lekima? In the years we have been monitoring and reporting on weather related events, never have we seen storm systems behave as these two storms behaved. Not only did they both suddenly turn course north, they simply disappeared! We don’t mean they weakened and dissipated, they just disappeared. While we always had casual links between solar activity and storm generation, we never had supported theories of weather manipulation using something like HAARP or Tesla Generators, etc. However, in view of what we monitored with these two storms and the lack of MSM coverage, and the fact these two storms have simply also disappeared from the Japanese Typhoon Center archives, something is definitely not normal here. Really at a lose to explain.