Tropical Storm Saola Speeding Toward Tokyo

Tropical Storm Saola sped toward Tokyo, Japan on Saturday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Saola was located at latitude 32.4°N and longitude 134.4°E which put it about 370 miles (595 km) west-southwest of Tokyo.  Saola was moving toward the northeast at 24 m.p.h. (39 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 979 mb.

Tropical Storm Saola was weakening and making a transition to an extratropical cyclone.  A primary band of showers and thunderstorms wrapped around the eastern side of the circulation.  There were other thinner bands of showers revolving around the core of the circulation.  Strong westerly winds in the upper levels were causing significant vertical wind shear which was tilting the upper part of the circulation toward the northeast.  Cooler drier air appeared to be flowing toward the western part of the circulation.

Westerly winds in the middle latitudes were steering Tropical Storm Saola quickly toward the northeast.  The center of Saola will pass south of Shikoku.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Saola will pass near Tokyo in about 12 hours.  Tropical Storm Saola will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to Shikoku and central Honshu.  The heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations.