Large Powerful Typhoon Hagibis Turns Toward Japan

Large powerful Typhoon Hagibis turned toward Japan on Tuesday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Typhoon Hagibis was located at latitude 20.2°N and longitude 140.1°E which put it about 350 miles (565 km) south of Iwo To.  Hagibis was moving toward the northwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 160 m.p.h. (260 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 195 m.p.h. (315 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 915 mb.

Typhoon Hagibis appeared to complete an eyewall replacement cycle on Tuesday.  The original tiny pinhole eye was no longer visible on satellite imagery.  A larger circular eye with a diameter of 24 miles (39 km) was at the center of Hagibis.  The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Typhoon Hagibis.  Storms around the core were generating strong upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the typhoon in all directions.

Completion of the eyewall replacement cycle increased the size of the circulation around Typhoon Hagibis.  Winds to typhoon force extended out 115 miles (185 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 350 miles (565 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Typhoon Hagibis was 35.0.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 38.1 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 73.1.  Hagibis was capable of causing extensive catastrophic damage.

Typhoon Hagibis will move through an environment capable of supporting intense typhoons during the next 24 to 36 hours.  Hagibis will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Typhoon Hagibis will move closer to the upper level westerly winds in the middle latitudes in two or three days.  Those winds will cause more vertical wind shear and Hagibis will weaken when the shear increases.

Typhoon Hagibis will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the Western North Pacific Ocean.  The high will steer Hagibis toward the north-northwest during the next 48 hours.  The upper level westerly winds will steer Typhoon Hagibis quickly toward the northeast later this week.  On its anticipated track the center of Typhoon Hagibis could approach the coast of Honshu near Tokyo in 72 to 84 hours.  Hagibis could bring strong winds and heavy rain to Tokyo.  The large circulation around Typhoon Hagibis will mean that much of central Honshu could experience gusty winds and winds to tropical storm force could affect parts of Kyushu and Shikoku.