UPDATE :Typhoon Lekima Hammering Japan’s Ryukyu Islands and Soaking Taiwan Before Heading to Eastern China

Typhoon Lekima is hammering Japan’s southern Ryukyu Islands while also soaking Taiwan before heading for eastern China by this weekend.

Lekima is currently centered about 180 miles west of Kadena Air Base in Okinawa and is heading northwestward.

After rapidly intensifying Tuesday into Wednesday, Lekima became a super typhoon (winds 150 mph or greater) for a short time late Thursday into early Friday. Lekima has since weakened slightly to a Category 4 hurricane.

Damaging winds and heavy rain continue battering Japan’s southernmost Ryukyu Islands, including Ishigaki and Miyako, and the super typhoon’s outer eyewall tracks across the islands. Winds had gusted as high as 46.6 m/s or 104 mph at Miyako Shimojishima Airport as of early Friday morning local time (JST). Sustained typhoon force winds (33.5 m/s or 75 mph) has been reported in Miyako. Ishigaki has received 198 mm or around 7.8 inches of rainfall so far.

Typical of intense tropical cyclones, the eye of Lekima wobbled as it tracked through the Ryukyu Islands, passing near the islands of Tarama and Minna, about 200 miles east-southeast of Taipei, Taiwan.

Lekima will pull away from southern Japan during the early morning hours of Friday, and winds will begin to come down.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency has issued storm warnings, equivalent to typhoon warnings, for the southern Ryukyu Islands. Storm surge warnings have also been issued.

Lekima is forecast to move north of Taiwan on Friday afternoon into the evening, local time in Taiwan (CST). Heavy rain and strong wind gusts from Lekima will still impact parts of Taiwan even though the center of the typhoon won’t make landfall there.

The Central Weather Bureau in Taiwan has issued typhoon warnings for northern parts of Taiwan.

More than a foot of rain is currently forecast through Saturday in the higher elevations of Taiwan. The excessive rainfall could trigger flooding, as well as landslides.

Rainfall totals of more than 8 inches had already been reported on Thursday in parts of Taiwan as of early Friday morning, local time.

This weekend, Lekima will be on a weakening trend as it curls northward near the eastern coast of China, potentially including near Shanghai.

Heavy rain could trigger flooding in eastern China. Strong winds and storm surge flooding are also possible depending on the exact track and intensity of Lekima as it moves near, inland or offshore from the coastline.

Typhoon Krosa
Several hundred miles to the east of Lekima is Typhoon Krosa which now has winds equivalent in strength to a Category 2 hurricane.

Krosa may be getting weakened by its relatively slow motion, which cools water down in a process called upwelling.

Krosa is forecast to drift near Iwo Jima and the Ogasawara Islands later this week but will otherwise remain over the open waters of the Western Pacific the next five days. Extended periods of gusty winds and heavy rainfall are expected in the Ogasawara Islands.

When Krosa begins to gain more latitude, it’s possible Krosa could approach mainland Japan early next week as a typhoon, but the forecast this far out in time is highly uncertain.

Francisco made landfall in southern Japan as typhoon Tuesday morning local time, with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

More than 15 inches of rain soaked the Tokushima Prefecture, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. Parts of the Miyazaki Prefecture saw more than 10 inches of rain.

A Quiet Typhoon Season Before This Week
This year had been uncommonly calm for typhoon activity through Aug. 4 in the Northwest Pacific, which is normally the most active region on Earth for tropical cyclones. The only typhoon recorded in 2019 through Aug. 4 was Wutip, the first Category 5 super typhoon on record in February. Wutip passed south of Guam and Micronesia as a Category 4 storm, producing more than $3 million in damage.

Japan is accustomed to typhoons. In a typical year, three typhoons strike Japan, according to data from the Japan Meteorological Agency analyzed by nippon.com. Landfalls are most common in August, but the most destructive typhoons tend to be in September.

Since 1950, no other year had gone from Feb. 28 to Aug. 4 without any typhoons, as noted by Dr. Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University. Francisco put an end to that streak when it became a typhoon on Aug. 5.

In a typical season (1981-2010), the Northwest Pacific sees about eight named storms and five typhoons by Aug. 2. This year had brought just five named storms and one typhoon by that date.

The amount of accumulated cyclone energy in the Northwest Pacific – which is calculated based on how strong tropical cyclones get and how long they last – was only a little over half of average for the year as of Aug. 2, according to data compiled by Colorado State University.

So, what’s the difference between this quiet period and now?

At least one factor that may be having its hand on the “on” switch for the west Pacific is the Madden-Julian Oscillation.

The MJO is essentially a wave of increased storminess, clouds and pressure that moves eastward around the globe once every 40 days or so.

In the tropics, the MJO is known to kick up or assist in tropical cyclone development.

A robust MJO wave is now moving through eastern Asia and the western Pacific, and likely helped the recent tropical cyclone outbreak fester.

Francisco to Strike Southern Japan Monday Night; Lekima Could Be a Threat to East Asia Late This Week

Tropical Storm Francisco is closing in on landfall in southern Japan, and that could be followed by Tropical Storm Lekima taking aim at eastern Asia later this week.

Francisco to Strike Japan First

Francisco’s top sustained winds Monday local time were about 70 mph, according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC).

The JTWC forecasts that Francisco will reach the southernmost of Japan’s large islands, Kyushu, Monday night into early Tuesday local time.

Francisco will then go on to make landfall in South Korea as a weakening tropical storm around Tuesday or Wednesday.

The main threat from Francisco will likely be heavy rain in parts of southern Japan, including Kyushu, Shikoku and southwestern Honshu. Flooding and landslides are possible threats, particularly in higher-terrain locations.

Heavy rain will also be a concern in eastern sections of South Korea.

Lekima a Possible Threat to Japan, Taiwan and Eastern China Later This Week

Tropical Storm Lekima has joined Francisco in the Western Pacific and could go on to impact parts of southern Japan’s Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan and eastern China later this week.

Lekima is currently centered several hundred miles south-southeast of Kadena Air Base in Okinawa.

The forecast for Lekima is still uncertain, but it’s predicted to gradually move northwestward over the next few days as it slowly intensifies. It’s possible Lekima could impact Japan’s southern Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan as a strong tropical storm late in the week ahead.

Lekima is currently forecast to make a final landfall in eastern China as tropical storm by this weekend.

Typhoons in the Northwest Pacific are equivalent to hurricanes in the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific. Both names apply to tropical cyclones that have sustained winds of at least 74 mph.

Check back to weather.com in the week ahead for additional details on the forecast for Lekima.

A Quiet Typhoon Season So Far

This year has been uncommonly calm to date for typhoon activity in the Northwest Pacific, which is normally the most active region on Earth for tropical cyclones. The only typhoon recorded in 2019 so far was Wutip, the first Category 5 super typhoon on record in February. Wutip passed south of Guam and Micronesia as a Category 4 storm, producing more than $3 million in damage.

In JTWC records that go back to 1945, only one other year, 1998, has gone from the end of February to the beginning of August without any typhoons, as noted by Dr. Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University.

In a typical season (1981-2010), the Northwest Pacific sees about eight named storms and five typhoons by Aug. 2. This year has brought just five named storms and one typhoon so far.

The amount of accumulated cyclone energy in the Northwest Pacific – which is calculated based on how strong tropical cyclones get and how long they last – was only a little over half of average for the year as of Aug. 2, according to data compiled by Colorado State University.

Japan is accustomed to typhoons. In a typical year, three typhoons strike Japan, according to data from the Japan Meteorological Agency analyzed by nippon.com. Landfalls are most common in August, but the most destructive typhoons tend to be in September.

A Derecho, a Widespread Destructive Thunderstorm Wind Event, Swept Across Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan

A line of severe thunderstorms known as a derecho produced damaging winds across the upper Midwest Friday and early Saturday morning, downing numerous trees, damaging some homes, and knocking out power to several hundred thousand customers.

A cluster of thunderstorms in eastern Minnesota Friday afternoon organized into a squall line that raced across northern Wisconsin Friday evening into Lower Michigan after midnight, laying down a 485-mile long trail of damaging winds over a 10-hour period.

This satisfied the criteria for a derecho as laid out by a 2005 study from Walker Ashley and Thomas Mote, a type of widespread convective windstorm typical in summer on the northern edge of a significant heat wave.

The derecho first organized in central Minnesota between the Twin Cities and Duluth, dumping hail as large as baseballs in Pine City late Friday afternoon, smashing vehicle windshields on Interstate 35. Wind-driven hail reportedly flattened crops in the area. At least three buildings were damaged in the nearby town of West Rock, Minnesota.

A trained spotter recorded a wind gust up to 84 mph and sustained winds of 73 mph for five minutes in Cushing, Wisconsin as the developing squall line crossing into northwest Wisconsin.

Turtle Lake, Wisconsin, about 55 miles northeast of St. Paul, was particularly hard hit Friday evening. A roof was ripped off one business, siding partially torn off a hotel and numerous trees were downed. Power was knocked out to many customers in Polk and Burnett counties as storms tore through.

Two barns, a garage and silo were reportedly downed and power poles were bent or snapped in Clark County, Wisconsin, and a well-constructed pole barn was destroyed in neighboring Marathon County.

Widespread tree damage has been reported across Langlade, Shawano, Portage, Outagamie, Kewaunee and Manitowoc Counties in eastern Wisconsin.

If the wind wasn’t bad enough, a tornado touched down near Knowlton, Wisconsin, located roughly 50-55 miles west-northwest of Green Bay around 8:30 p.m. CDT, destroying a barn.

Trees were downed in Green Bay as the line of thunderstorms arrived late Friday evening.

The derecho then roared across Lake Michigan into Lower Michigan after midnight.

Numerous trees were downed in Lake, Mecosta, Newaygo, Montcalm County.

A wind gust of 64 mph was clocked in Muskegon, where numerous trees were downed, some on vehicles in the city just after 1 a.m. One tree was downed on a hotel in Marion, Michigan.

Winds gusted to 69 mph in Grand Rapids. A roof was blown off a home in Jenison, just west of Grand Rapids and a large tree was downed on a home in Middleville, just south of Grand Rapids.

The derecho finally lost its punch around 3 a.m. over southern Lower Michigan just after producing a 58 mph gust in Kalamazoo.

In all, over 120 reports of strong thunderstorm winds or wind damage were compiled by the National Weather Service from the derecho.

As of sunrise on July 20, just over 272,000 customers were without power in Michigan and Wisconsin from the storm, according to an estimate from poweroutage.us.

These derechos have a notorious history in the upper Midwest.

One infamous derecho on July 4, 1977, damaged or destroyed about 1 million acres of forest from northern Minnesota into northern Wisconsin.

This derecho was produced from a classic summer severe weather setup in the Midwest.

Oppressively hot, humid air was in place as far north as the upper Mississippi Valley, with temperatures reaching into the 90s and dew points, a measure of moisture, surging well into the 70s.

A record strong jet stream by mid-July standards in the Pacific Northwest punched into the northern Plains and southern Canada just north of an east-to-west oriented frontal boundary that stretched across the upper Midwest.

These ingredients combined to provide both the extreme instability (hot, humid air near the ground topped by relatively cool air several thousand feet aloft), moisture and source of lift (the frontal system) for this squall line of severe thunderstorms.

An atmospheric sounding taken at the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen, Minnesota, Friday evening found a measure of instability known to meteorologists as surface-based CAPE was the highest on record, there.

This prompted a rare “potentially dangerous situation” severe thunderstorm watch from NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center, which mentioned potential peak wind gusts up to 105 mph possible.

According to Storm Prediction Center warning coordination meteorologist Patrick Marsh, the last time the SPC issued a watch with that high a potential thunderstorm wind gust was in mid-June 2009.

BREAKING NEWS: Tropical Storm Barry Expected to Make Landfall as a Hurricane

A state of emergency has been declared in Louisiana and the National Guard activated, and mandatory evacuations have been ordered in some places along the Louisiana coast as Tropical Storm Barry formed over the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday morning.

This is day 9 of my 14 day window related to July 2nd’s full solar eclipse. Here is a paragraph published July 2nd telling of what could happen evidenced by my research of historical data:

Close to and during a full solar eclipse, it is the sudden temperature fluctuation which can cause a chain reaction. Producing a sudden and rapid shift in both the jet stream and ocean currents, can cause the destabilization of set seasonal patterns. Additionally, what is often referred to as Extreme Weather involving tornadoes, hurricanes, straight line winds, and wind shears is almost always related to shifting ocean and jet stream currents. FULL ARTICLE

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) declared Barry the second named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and it was moving west at 5 mph. Barry is forecast to make landfall along the Louisiana coast Friday night or Saturday.

“There is a fairly high chance that Tropical Storm Barry will become a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale before making landfall,” according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

 

Tropical Storm Sepat To Threaten Japan With Flooding Downpours, Mudslides

Across the West Pacific, Tropical Storm Sepat will bring the potential for flooding and other impacts to Japan through Friday.

A tropical depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Sepat as it tracked south of mainland Japan on Thursday night, local time. The storm is also called Dodong in the Philippines.

The main impacts of Sepat will be rough surf and heavy rain across Japan.

Rain will expand over Shikoku and Honshu into Thursday night. Tokyo is expected to escape the heaviest rainfall on Thursday; however, a few downpours are possible late Thursday night into Friday morning.

The downpours lingering into Friday morning could result in a slower morning commute for the Greater Tokyo Area.

These downpours will increase the risk of flash flooding while also heightening the risk of mudslides, especially in areas of rugged terrain.

Another non-tropical storm system will spread a round of heavy rain across much of northern Japan from Thursday into Friday; however, Hokkaido will be largely spared with any rainfall limited to far southern parts of the island.

Travel disruptions are also possible, especially in areas that experience heavy rainfall around peak travel times.

Rough seas will be a concern for the southern and eastern coastline of Japan into Friday.

Another round of heavy rainfall is possible across South Korea and Japan this weekend as a storm arrives from China.

This heavy rainfall on top of the rain expected this week will bring an elevated risk for flooding and continue the threat of mudslides.

While the Philippines are forecast to avoid any direct impacts from this tropical system, moisture will be pulled across the country as the storm tracks northward and brings rounds of downpours to the country into this weekend.

The downpours will be most common in central and northern parts of the Philippines with western Luzon at greatest risk for flooding, mudslides and travel disruptions.

Hurricane Center Monitoring 4 Waves In Atlantic; Tropical Storm Alvin Holding Steady

The National Hurricane Center is monitoring four tropical waves in the Atlantic basin and a tropical storm in the Pacific.

Pacific – Location: 535 miles south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California; Maximum sustained winds: 60 mph ; Movement: west-northwest at 14 mph; Next advisory: 5 a.m.

At 11 a.m., the center of Tropical Storm Alvin was 535 miles south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California.

Alvin is moving toward the west-northwest near 14 mph. This general motion is expected to continue for the next day or so.

A turn toward the west is expected by late Saturday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph, with higher gusts.

Some strengthening is possible during the next 24 hours. Weakening is expected to begin Friday, and Alvin is forecast to become a remnant low Saturday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center.

Atlantic

There are four tropical waves in the Atlantic basin today, according to NASA’s hurricane web page.

One is in the eastern Atlantic, one in Central Atlantic, and two are in the Caribbean Sea.

Satellite images continue to show dust blowing off Africa’s western coast.

No tropical disturbances are expected in the next 48 hours.

Dry air is surrounding the tropical wave in the eastern Caribbean, limiting development, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The waves in the western Caribbean may have contributed to strong to gale-force winds over the Central Caribbean overnight, the Hurricane Center said.

NOAA Predicts Near-Normal 2019 Hurricane Season

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center is predicting that a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely this year. This outlook forecasts a 40 percent chance of a near normal season, a 30 percent chance of an above normal season and a 30 percent chance of a below normal season. The hurricane season officially extends from June 1 to Nov. 30.

For 2019, NOAA predicts a likely range of nine to 15 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which four to eight could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including two to four major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70 percent confidence. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

“With the 2019 hurricane season upon us, NOAA is leveraging cutting edge tools to help secure Americans against the threat posed by hurricanes and tropical cyclones across both the Atlantic and Pacific,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

“Throughout hurricane season, dedicated NOAA staff will remain on alert for any dan-ger to American lives and communities.”

This outlook reflects competing climate factors. The ongoing El Niño is expected to persist and suppress the intensity of the hurricane season. Countering El Niño is the expected combination of warmer than av-erage sea surface temperatures in the trop-ical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and an enhanced west African monsoon, both of which favor increased hurricane activity.

“New satellite data and other upgrades to products and services from NOAA enable a more Weather-Ready Nation by providing the public and decision makers with the information needed to take action before, during, and after a hurricane,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator.

The 2019 hurricane season marks the first time NOAA’s fleet of Earth observ-
ing satellites includes three operational next generation satellites. Unique and valuable data from these satellites feed the hurricane forecast models used by forecasters to help users make critical decisions days in advance.

NOAA’s National Weather Service is making a planned upgrade to its Global Forecast System (GFS) flagship weather model — often called the American model — early in the 2019 hurricane season. This marks the first major upgrade to the dynamical core of the model in almost 40 years and will improve tropical cyclone track and intensity forecasts. “NOAA is driving toward a community based devel opment program for future weather and climate modeling to deliver the very best forecasts, by leveraging new investments in research and working with the weather enterprise,” added Jacobs.

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center and NWS office in San Juan will expand the coastal storm surge watches and warnings in 2019 to include Puerto Rico and the
U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition, NHC will display excessive rainfall outlooks on its website, providing greater visibility of one of the most dangerous inland threats from hurricanes.

Also, this season, NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter aircraft will collect higher-resolution data from upgraded onboard radar systems. These enhanced observations will be transmitted in near-real time to hurricane specialists at the National Hurricane Center, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center and forecasters at NWS Weather Forecast Offices.

In addition to the Atlantic hurricane season outlook, NOAA also issued seasonal hurricane outlooks for the eastern and central Pacific basins. A 70 percent chance of an above normal season is predicted for both the eastern and central Pacific regions. The eastern Pacific outlook calls for a 70 percent probability of 15 to 22 named storms, of which eight to 13 are expected to become hurricanes, including four to eight major hurricanes. The central Pacific outlook calls for a 70 percent probability of five to eight tropical cyclones, which includes tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes.

NOAA’s outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast. Hurricane preparedness is critically important for the 2019 hurricane season, just as it is every year. Visit the National Hurricane Center’s website at hurricanes.gov throughout the season to stay current on any watches and warnings.

“Preparing ahead of a disaster is the responsibility of all levels of government, the private sector, and the public,” said Daniel Kaniewski, Ph.D., FEMA deputy administrator for resilience. “It only takes one event to devastate a community so now is the time to prepare. Do you have cash on hand? Do you have adequate insurance, including flood insurance? Does your family have communication and evacuation plans? Stay tuned to your local news and download the FEMA app to get alerts, and make sure you heed any warnings issued by local officials.”