Typhoon Hagibis Aims at Tokyo

Typhoon Hagibis was aimed at Tokyo on Friday afternoon.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Typhoon Hagibis was located at latitude 31.5°N and longitude 137.4°E which put it about 345 miles (555 km) south-southwest of Tokyo, Japan.  Hagibis was moving toward the north at 11 m.p.h. (17 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 150 m.p.h. (240km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 949 mb.

Typhoon Hagibis was weakening slowly as it shifted onto a course toward Tokyo.  An eye was no longer visible on satellites images.  The ring of strong thunderstorms around the center of Hagibis was weaker in the southern half of the ring.  Most of the stronger thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the northern half of Typhoon Hagibis.  Bands in the southern half of Hagibis consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  An upper level trough over eastern Asia was producing southwesterly winds which were causing moderate vertical wind shear.   In addition, Typhoon Hagibis appeared to be pulling drier air into the southern half of the circulation.  The combination of wind shear and drier seemed to have weakened the southern half of the typhoon.

Even though it had weakened, Typhoon Hagibis remained a dangerous typhoon.  Winds to typhoon force extended out 60 miles (95 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 190 miles (305 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hagibis was 22.1  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 21.5 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 43.6.  Typhoon Hagibis was capable of causing major damage.

The upper level trough over eastern Asia will steer Typhoon Hagibis toward the northeast during the next several days.  On its anticipated track Typhoon Hagibis could approach the coast of Honshu southeast of Tokyo in 12 to 18 hours.  Hagibis will continue to weaken as it moves toward Tokyo, but it will still be a typhoon when it reaches the region around Tokyo  Typhoon Hagibis will bring damaging winds to the Tokyo metropolitan area.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms on the northern side of Hagibis are already dropping rain over portions of Honshu southeast of Tokyo.  The rain will continue for another 12 to 24 hours in many locations.  Locally heavy rain will cause flash floods in some parts of Honshu.