Japan and India Braced for Tropical Cyclones

9 10 2014

Last weekend Typhoon Phanfone brought strong winds and heavy rain to many parts of Japan causing damage and disruption to travel. Japan is now preparing for another typhoon which could be just as disruptive, if not more so.

Typhoon Vongfong has been gathering strength and moving slowly across the western Pacific all week and has become the strongest tropical cyclone to have occurred anywhere in the world since the devastating Typhoon Haiyan which struck the Philippines last November. At its peak Vongfong was estimated to have sustained winds near 180 mph and a central pressure of 900 mb.

Forecasts for Typhoon Vongfong have been very consistent and predict that it will firstly cross some of the Ryukyu Islands of Japan at the weekend. The typhoon will then turn north-eastwards and cross Japan’s main islands at the beginning of next week starting with Kyushu in the south-west. At that time Vongfong is likely to be weaker than at present, but still expected to be a typhoon bringing strong winds and heavy rain and likely to cause disruption.

Typhoon Vongfong seen on 8 October 2014

Typhoon Vongfong seen on 8 October 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, in the Bay of Bengal Tropical Storm Hudhud has formed and threatens India at the weekend. Exactly a year ago intense Cyclone Phailin formed in a similar location and took a similar track that Tropical Storm Hudhud is expected to take. Hudhud (an Omani name for a type of bird) is expected to make landfall on the Indian coast early on Sunday and bring stormy conditions to both Andhra Pradesh and Odisha states. By that time it is expected to have developed into a fully blown ‘cyclone’ – equivalent to a typhoon or hurricane.

Tropical Storm Hudhud seen on 9 October 2014 Image courtesy of the India Meteorological Department

Tropical Storm Hudhud seen on 9 October 2014
Image courtesy of the India Meteorological Department

 

Official warnings of west Pacific tropical storms are produced by the Japan Meteological Agency and north Indian Ocean warnings are produced by the India Meteorological Department. The Met Office routinely supplies predictions of cyclone tracks from its global forecast model to regional meteorological centres worldwide, which are used along with guidance from other models in the production of forecasts and guidance.

Met Office StormTracker provides a mapped picture of tropical cyclones around the globe with access to track history and six-day forecast tracks for current tropical cyclones from the Met Office global forecast model and latest observed cloud cover and sea surface temperature. We also provide updates on current tropical storms via @metofficestorms on Twitter.





Typhoon Phanfone heading for Japan

3 10 2014

October is usually one of the most active months for tropical cyclones in the western North Pacific. These storms can affect many countries with Pacific coasts including the Philippines, China, Korea and Japan. In 2013 there were eight tropical cyclones in this region in October, most of which developed into strong typhoons.

In recent days Typhoon Phanfone has been developing in the western Pacific. Although initially far from land it has been taking a north-westward track as it has intensified and poses a threat for Japan at the weekend. On 2nd October winds were estimated at over 130 mph near the very small ‘pinhole’ eye seen in the satellite image. Phanfone has been maintaining strength since then, but the main threat comes from rain as the typhoon moves further north.

Typhoon Phanfone seen on 2 october 2014 Image courtesy of the Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey

Typhoon Phanfone seen on 2 october 2014
Image courtesy of the Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey

Typhoon Phanfone poses a threat to the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday at Suzuka, although there is still some uncertainty as to the timing of impacts over Japan. The eye of the typhoon may come ashore or pass just offshore some hours after the scheduled completion of the race.
However, typhoons in this region are renowned for producing large plumes of heavy rain which can propagate well to the north and east of the centre of the typhoon itself. Hence, heavy rain over southern Japan is likely even if the eye keeps offshore.

Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Simon has formed in the eastern North Pacific and may pose a threat to the Baja Peninsula of Mexico in a few days time. It has been a very active hurricane season in this region. Only one more storm is required for the region to have produced the largest number of storms for 22 years.

Official warnings of west Pacific tropical storms are produced by the Japan Meteorological Agency and east Pacific warnings are produced by the US National Hurricane Center. The Met Office routinely supplies predictions of cyclone tracks from its global forecast model to regional meteorological centres worldwide, which are used along with guidance from other models in the production of forecasts and guidance.

Met Office StormTracker provides a mapped picture of tropical cyclones around the globe with access to track history and six-day forecast tracks for current tropical cyclones from the Met Office global forecast model and latest observed cloud cover and sea surface temperature. We also provide updates on current tropical storms via @metofficestorms on Twitter.





Cyclone Phailin and more Pacific Typhoons

14 10 2013

As per forecasts discussed in our blog last week, Cyclone Phailin struck the east coast of India over the weekend with winds estimated at near 130 mph.

It brought a strong storm surge along the coast and more than 230 mm (9 inches) of rain was recorded as the cyclone passed.

The cyclone was of a similar strength to one which struck just a little further up the coast in 1999, which claimed more than 10,000 lives.

Excellent forecasts for Phailin, combined with well executed warning and evacuation procedures, meant the loss of life was much less this time around.

Phailin became a tropical storm a little more than three days before landfall, but computer models were able to give far greater warning than this.

Medium range prediction models suggested a higher risk of cyclone formation in the Bay of Bengal a full nine days before Cyclone Phailin struck.

At six days ahead, shorter range models were predicting that the north-eastern coast of India could be under threat, although the timing was not certain at that stage.

Four days ahead, computer models were able to pinpoint the location and timing of landfall to a high degree of accuracy – all before the storm was strong enough to be named.

Cyclone Phailin originated from a disturbance in the far west Pacific basin and was one of a series of tropical storms seen in this region recently.

Stitched image for 0600-0700 HRS on Saturday, 12 October 2013. Phailin is on the left, Nari in the centre, and Wutip on the right. Images from CIMSS http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/

Stitched image for 0600-0700 HRS (GMT) on Saturday, 12 October 2013. Phailin is on the left, Nari in the centre, and Wipha on the right. Images from CIMSS http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/

Nine storms have developed in the west Pacific in the last month, including Typhoons Usagi and Fitow which struck China, Typhoon Wutip which struck Vietnam, and Typhoon Danas which caused heavy rain in South Korea and Japan.

More recently Typhoon Nari crossed the Philippines on Friday and is about to strike Vietnam. Typhoon Wipha may cause disruption in southern Japan and it seems likely another typhoon will develop later this week.

Despite this recent activity, in 2013 the northern hemisphere as a whole has still only had about 60% of the expected activity for this point in the season and regions such at the Atlantic have only seen about 30% of normal activity.

Northern hemisphere activity tends to diminish through November as the southern hemisphere season begins.

Official forecasts of Indian Ocean tropical storms are provided by the Indian Meteorological Department. Official warnings of west Pacific tropical storms are produced by the Japanese Meteological Agency (JMA).

From Tuesday 15th October a graphical display of Met Office forecast tracks of active tropical storms will be available from our web pages. We also provide updates on current tropical storms via @metofficestorms on Twitter.





Typhoon Roke brings heavy rain and strong winds to Japan

21 09 2011

Typhoon Roke made landfall at about 0600 UTC 21 September near Hamamatsu on the south coast of Japan. Winds were estimated to be close to 100 mph near the typhoon centre and the lowest central pressure recorded was 952mb.

Rainbands extended along way ahead of the typhoon as it approached and 598mm (23.5″) rain were recorded at Tokushima (west of the landfall point) in the 48 hours prior to the centre reaching Japan. Rain and the strongest winds have now cleared from southern and western parts of Japan.

As of 1200 UTC Japan Meteorological Agency still classified Roke as a typhoon centred over eastern parts of Honshu a short distance south-west of Fukushima. Heavy rain is continuing in this region and will do so for a few more hours before clearing. It is likely to be downgraded to a tropical storm soon.

The centre of the storm is currently emerging back out over the ocean east of northern Honshu. It is expected to accelerate north-east and becomes a strong post-tropical storm in the north Pacific Ocean.

Radar imagery of Typhoon Roke

Met Office updates on Twitter: @metofficestorms





Japan earthquake and the UK Met Office role

17 03 2011

Following the earthquake in Japan on Friday 11 March 2011, here is summary to clarify the roles and responsibilities of organisations around the world:

  • The Japan Meteorological Agency has responsibility for Japanese earthquakes, tsunami, nuclear and volcanic ash warnings.
  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) maintains a system of Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres (RSMCs) which, when requested, run their dispersion models in accordance with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and WMO Procedures. Under this system the IAEA http://www.iaea.org/ is the lead authority in declaring the current activity as a radioactive release incident. Tokyo RSMC (Japan Meteorological Agency http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/indexe.html), Beijing RSMC (China) and  Obninsk RSMC (Russia) are the joint leads and authoritative sources for this event.
  • The Met Office both as an RSMC (Exeter RSMC) and as a World Area Forecast Centre has not issued any warnings regarding the incident in Japan although it does have ICAO responsibilities to keep the aviation industry informed that an incident is occurring.





Japan Earthquake

11 03 2011

An earthquake with a magnitude of 8.9 struck 250 miles (400km) from Tokyo on 11 March.  Following the earthquake there continues to be a risk of aftershocks and tsunamis throughout Japan. Tsunami warnings have been put in place around the Pacific Ocean

Further information is available from the Japanese Meteorological Agency, the British Geological Survey and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre. If you are concerned about a friend or relative that may have been affected by the earthquake, please refer to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.

 

 








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