The Typhoon Hagibis forecast for Japan
On Wednesday evening (UK time), Typhoon Hagibis was located in the North Pacific around 900 miles south of Tokyo with estimated wind speeds of around 120mph and gusts of 170mph.
A Met Office spokesperson said it was on track to hit Japan this weekend, bringing severe winds, very heavy rain, large waves and the risk of flash flooding around Tokyo (Yokohama is 17 miles from Tokyo and Toyota City around 200 miles away).
Meteorologist and BBC weather forecaster Simon King said: “It is equivalent to a category five hurricane, making it one of the most powerful tropical cyclones around the world this year.
“The typhoon will start to weaken as it continues its track northward. However, forecasts from the Joint Typhoon Warning centre and the Japanese Meteorological Service suggest it will make landfall in southern Honshu, around the Tokyo area on Saturday lunchtime UK time.
“By this point, it’ll still be categorised as a ‘very strong typhoon’ with wind gusts in excess of 100mph and bring between 200-500mm of rain. This will be significant in a built-up area such as Tokyo with damage and flooding expected.”
It could still change before the weekend, however.
“Forecasting the path of a typhoon is a tricky one and while there is growing confidence of a landfall near to Tokyo, it still could shift path slightly, even up to 24 hours before time,” said King.
“However, Typhoon Hagibis is huge, covering a diameter of around 500 miles. On landfall, the most powerful winds are expected to extend out 60 miles from its centre. Therefore, even if the location of direct landfall changes, the winds, flooding rain and impacts will still be felt over a large area.”