Typhoon Jongdari: Japan Storm Cuts Power To Thousands

A powerful storm has hit central and western Japan, injuring at least 21 people and cutting power to tens of thousands of homes.

Typhoon Jongdari (or “skylark” in Korean) brought torrential rain and winds of up to 180km/h (110mph).

It made landfall on the country’s main island, Honshu, at 01:00 (16:00 GMT Saturday) on Sunday.

Weather officials have since downgraded it to a tropical storm, but warn that heavy rain could trigger landslides.

Japan’s public broadcaster NHK reports that 150,000 homes are without power.

As of midday local time, the storm was moving westwards and tens of thousands had been urged to leave their homes.

On Saturday, evacuation orders were issued to 36,400 people in the western city of Shobara, and 6,300 in the city of Kure.

“We are afraid that people may not be able to evacuate due to strong wind or floods blocking evacuation routes,” said Hiroshima’s governor, Hidehiko Yuzaki.

“I would like people to evacuate in advance so that they can save their lives.”

Images have shown huge waves crashing on to rocks off the coast south-west of Tokyo, and ferry services have been suspended.

Late on Saturday, the rough seas smashed through the window of a hotel restaurant in the tourist town of Atami, injuring five people.

“We didn’t expect this could happen… Waves gushed into the restaurant as the window glass broke but we are grateful that customers followed evacuation instructions,” a hotel employee told AFP.

Hundreds of flights were also cancelled over the weekend as the storm neared the coast.

Weather-ravaged

Japan is still reeling from one of its worst flooding disasters in decades earlier this month, which saw more than eight million people ordered to leave their homes. More than 4,000 survivors are still living in temporary shelters.

The floods were swiftly followed by an unprecedented heatwave which was declared a natural disaster.

At least 80 people have been killed by the temperature, and more than 22,000 hospitalised with heat stroke.

The country is now in the grip of typhoon season, which sees tropical storms barrel across the Pacific throughout the summer months.

Dominican Republic: Tropical Storm Beryl Leaves Thousands Displaced, Without Water, Power

The capital of Santo Domingo was left without electricity from the first major storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

Heavy rains from Tropical Storm Beryl have left at least 8,000 people displaced, and 19 villages without communication in the Dominican Republic, the Emergency Operations Center said.

Thousands are left without drinking water, as the storm has knocked 75 aqueducts out of service.

The capital of Santo Domingo was left without electricity from the first major storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

The Center still has 22 provinces on alert for flooding and landslides.

In San Cristobal province, 700 homes were flooded and two schools collapsed.

A member of National Congress, Ito Bisono, tweeted pictures of a recently opened hospital flooded.

“A country with a supposedly growing economy cannot have hospitals where it rains more inside than outside,” Bisono tweeted.

Tropical Storm Beryl was earlier a category 1 hurricane, but was then downgraded to a tropical storm. In spite of having lost its earlier heavy wind power, strong rains pose an equally dangerous threat.

Tropical Depression Three Forms Off Carolina Coast, Likely to Become Tropical Storm Chris

Tropical Depression Three has formed several hundred miles southeast of North Carolina and will become Tropical Storm Chris this weekend.

Infrared satellite imagery indicates showers and thunderstorms are gradually becoming more numerous and consolidating a few hundred miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, enough so that the National Hurricane Center has upgraded the system to a tropical depression.

The National Hurricane Center says intensification is likely over the next few days, and it could become a hurricane on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Several hurricane hunter flights have been scheduled to see how well organized and how strong the system is. The first of these flights is scheduled for Saturday morning.

Stalling Out
The rest of the forecast at this time is tricky.

Here’s what the National Hurricane Center has come up with followed by our forecast reasoning.

This system isn’t going to move much over the next few days. Stalled tropical cyclones, such as Debby in 2012, are notoriously difficult to forecast.

Tropical Depression Three is too far south to be grabbed by the southward dip in the jet-stream currently bringing heat relief to the Northeast.

When that jet-stream dip goes by this weekend, it will be replaced by another expanding heat dome of high pressure aloft building into the Midwest and East.

This new heat dome will trap the depression near or off the Carolina coast into early next week.

Exactly where this system stalls remains uncertain and will hold the key to some impacts.

If it stalls too far off the coast, the only impacts at the coast from southeast Virginia to the Carolinas may be building surf, rip currents, some coastal flooding at high tide, and occasional showers this weekend into early next week.

If it stalls closer to the coast, some areas may experience heavy rainfall and stronger winds.

Then there’s the intensity forecast.

A stalled tropical system over the Gulf Stream, where surface water temperatures are above average, will likely allow this system to become a hurricane, assuming wind shear remains low and dry air doesn’t impact the system. But, if this system remains too stationary, it could upwell colder waters and cause itself to weaken.

By mid-late next week, another southward plunge of the jet stream is expected to grab this system and send it into the north Atlantic Ocean.

Hurricane Beryl To Raise Risk Of Flooding In Caribbean; State Of Emergency Declared In Puerto Rico

Hurricane Beryl, a tiny storm over the south-central Atlantic, is projected to take a path over the northern Caribbean.

As of Friday evening, Beryl was moving westward at about 15 mph (24 km/h) and had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (130 km/h).

In the short-term, some increase in strength and size of Beryl is likely.

By Sunday night, Beryl will enter a zone of conditions that are likely to inhibit its development.

“Because of the small size of Beryl and anticipated weakening, widespread wind damage is not expected,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Jake Sojda.

However, there will be some risk to lives and property along the storm’s path. People should take precautions.

“Beryl, the second tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, and the first classified as a hurricane is heading toward the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and will approach Puerto Rico on Monday. If Beryl makes landfall in Puerto Rico it will be around Monday afternoon, and it will continue to impact the island into Monday night,” said Dr. Joel Myers, founder, president and chairman of AccuWeather. “While the storm is expected to weaken by the time it reaches Puerto Rico and probably will not be a hurricane, but a weak tropical storm, it still will carry significant moisture, resulting in general rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches which is not a heavy amount. However, there is likely to be local spots that get up to 6 inches of rain, which could cause local flooding.”

“As we know, Puerto Rico was hard hit last year by Hurricanes Irma and then Maria, and the island is still recovering,” Myers added. “Again, this amount of rain is significant because the infrastructure of Puerto Rico was so damaged last year. Any heavy rainfall is capable of causing flash flooding. This is particularly true in the places that get heavy downpours, particularly low lying and poor drainage areas, and heavy rain, of course, can always trigger dangerous mudslides. Residents of these areas should take precautions to stay safe and out of harm’s way.”

On Friday, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello declared a state of emergency due to the potential impacts from Beryl in the coming days.

Steering winds will guide Beryl, most likely in a weakened state, on a slightly north of west path later this weekend into next week.

This path may take Beryl close to the northern Leeward Islands on Sunday and near the Virgin Islands during Sunday night and Puerto Rico Monday.

Trees that have been trimmed and utility lines and structures that have been properly repaired in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria from 2017 should fair well. However, lines and property repairs that have been jury-rigged could fail and lead to power outages and other dangers.

“Rainfall from Beryl will be the primary concern from the northern Leeward Islands to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico,” Sojda said.

Enough rain may fall to cause localized flash flooding and mudslides, especially along steep hillsides and in mountainous terrain. The hurricanes from last year have reduced some of the canopy of vegetation that would normally slow down the runoff of this magnitude.

Debris should be cleared from storm drains to allow as much runoff to be channeled away as safely as possible.

Beryl’s small size and forecast weakening near land is not likely to cause a significant storm surge. However, the risk of rough surf and rip currents will increase over the islands, especially along the east- and north-facing shores.

Small craft should remain in port as Beryl approaches.

Stay tuned to the latest on Beryl’s impacts in the Caribbean and Puerto Rico from AccuWeather and its world-renowned expert predictions.

“Beryl is in the middle of a large swath of dry air,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Paul Walker.

“While wind shear is low enough to allow Beryl to survive now, wind shear is projected to increase as the storm moves westward into the Caribbean late this weekend,” Walker said.

Wind shear is the change in wind direction and increase with altitude. Strong wind shear can cause a hurricane or tropical storm to weaken significantly.

Beryl’s small circulation may have prevented the storm from drawing in much dry air. However, the small size of the storm may also lead to a quick demise once it encounters increasing wind shear near the Caribbean.

Beyond early next week, a general northwest to west-northwest drift is likely.

Wind shear and proximity to the large islands of Hispaniola and Cuba would be deterrents for the storm’s survival and strengthening, but may still bring heavy squalls and drenching rainfall to part of the region.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, Tropical Depression 3 has developed off the coast of the Carolinas and may become Tropical Storm Chris over the weekend.

Hurricane Fabio Forecast to Rapidly Intensify; Record-Earliest Eastern Pacific ‘F’ Storm

Hurricane Fabio is expected to quickly intensify into a major hurricane, the third of the eastern Pacific hurricane season, and has already become the record-earliest “F” storm in that active basin in 2018.

Fabio is currently more than 600 miles south-southwest of the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

On Monday afternoon, microwave satellite imagery indicated Fabio’s western eyewall was somewhat open, but the latest visible imagery suggested the eyewall was finally closing off, despite the presence of a dry slot wrapping around the western and southern portions of the inner core.

The National Hurricane Center said rapid intensification – an increase in the peak sustained winds of at least 35 mph in 24 hours or less – is likely into Tuesday.

Fabio is no direct threat to land, expected to continue west-northwestward, but it could reach Category 3 status by Tuesday before weakening over colder water.

Fabio may eventually produce some larger swells that may affect the Pacific beaches of Mexico, particularly the Baja Peninsula, as well as some Southern California beaches later in the week.

A Record-Early ‘F’

On Sunday, Fabio became the earliest sixth eastern Pacific named storm on record, topping the previous earliest “F” storm by two days, according to Colorado State University tropical scientist Dr. Phil Klotzbach.

Fabio could become the third major – Category 3 or stronger – hurricane of this young eastern Pacific hurricane season. In early to mid-June, Aletta, then Bud each became Category 4 hurricanes in just over three days’ time.

Overall, eastern Pacific tropical activity was running about two to three weeks ahead of the average pace, as tracked by the ACE index, according to Klotzbach.

In contrast to the highly sheared, suppressed Atlantic Basin, wind shear has remained low, and sea-surface temperatures have generally been warmer-than-average over the tropical eastern Pacific Basin, helping to support the development of these six named storms in less than a month’s time.

Tornado Injures 8 In Kansas Town, Part Of Towering, ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Complex Of Storms

A tornado ripped through the town of Eureka, Kan., on Tuesday, injuring eight people. Gov. Jeff Colyer declared a state of emergency for the area because of widespread damage.

The tornado was part of a violent yet visually stunning complex of storms that left storm chasers in awe.

Eureka, home to about 2,450 residents, is located about 60 miles east of Wichita in Greenwood County. The town reportedly took a “direct hit” from the tornado and the Red Cross opened a shelter for storm victims.

Weather.com reported the storm knocked out power to at least 1,300 customers and left behind extensive tree damage.

The National Weather Service forecast office in Wichita said it is sending a team to assess the tornado damage and will classify the storm on the 0 to 5 Enhanced Fujita rating scale.

The complex of storms that spawned the Eureka twister tore through central and eastern Kansas on Tuesday, resulting in numerous instances of damaging winds and large hail, up to the size of eggs.

Storm satellite imagery showed the thunderstorm complex shooting up tens of thousands of feet into the atmosphere.

Photographers and storm chasers caught images of towering rotating thunderstorms that resembled spaceships. “Some of the most stunning storm structure I’ve seen,” tweeted Travis Heying, a photojournalist for the Wichita Eagle. Stephen Jones, a storm chaser, called the sky scenery “jaw-dropping.”

In the storm’s wake, dramatic mammatus clouds covered the sky, illuminated by the sun dropping beneath the horizon. “Many, many people are saying they have never seen ‘clouds like that,’” said Mike Smith, a retired meteorologist in Wichita. Smith shared the photo below.

Tropical Storm Daniel Forms Far Off Mexico’s Pacific Coast

Tropical Storm Daniel formed well off Mexico’s Pacific coast Sunday, and forecasters said it was heading out to sea and posed no threat to land.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (75 kph) at midafternoon and was centered about 590 miles (950 kilometers) southwest of the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula.

The storm was moving north-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph), and it was projected to veer toward the west and move farther out in the Pacific in the coming days.