Large Typhoon Hagibis Threatens Honshu

Large Typhoon Hagibis threatened Honshu on Thursday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Typhoon Hagibis was located at latitude 27.9°N and longitude 137.8°E which put it about 555 miles (895 km) south-southwest of Tokyo, Japan.  Hagibis was moving toward the north-northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 140 m.p.h. (220 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 165 m.p.h. (265 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 933 mb.

Powerful Typhoon Hagibis weakened slowly on Thursday.  There was still a circular eye at the center of Hagibis and the eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms.  The strongest winds were in the ring of thunderstorms, but the wind speed decreased slowly during Thursday.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Typhoon Hagibis.  Storms near the core were generating strong upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the typhoon.

Although the circulation around Typhoon Hagibis weakened slowly on Thursday, it remained a large typhoon.  Winds to typhoon force extended out 80 miles (130 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 345 miles (545 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Typhoon Hagibis was 28.3.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 28.6 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 56.9,  Hagibis was capable of causing widespread significant damage.

Typhoon Hagibis will continue to weaken slowly on Friday.  Hagibis will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  An upper level trough over eastern Asia will move toward Typhoon Hagibis.  The upper level trough will produce southwesterly winds which will blow toward the top of Hagibis.  The wind shear caused by those winds will create increasing vertical wind shear.  Increased wind shear will cause Typhoon Hagibis to weaken a little more quickly in 12 to 24 hours.

Typhoon Hagibis will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the Western North Pacific Ocean on Friday.  The high will steer Hagibis toward the north during the next 12 to 24 hours.  The upper level trough over eastern Asia will steer Typhoon Hagibis toward the northeast in about 24 hours.  On its anticipated track Typhoon Hagibis could reach the coast of Honshu near Tokyo in less than 36 hours.  Hagibis will still be a typhoon when it reaches Tokyo.  It will bring strong winds and heavy rain to the part of Honshu around Tokyo.  Heavy rain is likely to cause flash floods in some locations.