Tuesday, 12 July 2011
Even though the Atlantic hurricane season is quiet right now, that doesn’t mean the tropics all across the globe are quiet. Today, Tropical Storm 08W formed over the western Pacific Ocean. Water temperatures are warm and wind shear is weak. Other atmospheric conditions are expected to be favorable for strengthening over the next several days as the storm moves west-northwest across the western Pacific. As a result, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center is forecasting maximum sustained winds to reach 95 knots (around 110 mph) this weekend as the storm begins to turn more towards the northwest in the general direction of Japan. That intensity would be considered a strong Category 2 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale if this storm was located in the Atlantic Ocean.
Computer models are indicating this storm will turn northward to very close to the coast of Japan early next week. How close the storm comes to Japan will depend on the strength and timing of a trough moving out of eastern China this weekend. At any rate this storm is something that residents in Japan should watch closely.