Typhoon Malakas Threatens Western Japan and Taiwan (Friday Update)

On the heels of the deadly record breaking Typhoon Meranti our attention is quickly shifting to Malakas another Typhoon which threatens Taiwan and Western Japan this coming weekend in to early next week.


This storm has been gradually strengthening for several days now reaching a current intensity equivalent of a Cat 2 -3 Hurricane in the Atlantic.


Sea surface temperatures where the storm is located is about 1-3 degrees above average despite upwelling created by Meranti, furthermore it has ample exhaust aloft allowing the “typhoon machine” to operate rather smoothly as the storm nears Taiwan, thus expect the storm to intensify until it rounds the ridge access near the southern Islands of Japan.



Who Will Be Impacted?


Depending on the speed of a passing trough out of eastern china the storm could skirt the coast of Taiwan or run right over Miyako Jima just to the east. Both locations should be ready for typhoon strength winds and heavy rains, but either way the southern islands of Japan including Ishigaki and Miyako will stay on the right side of the storm, the more dangerous side and thus the higher winds while Taiwan will mainly see a rainfall threat across the mountains of the island.

 Check latest Satellite Imagery Here 

The north east coast of Taiwan will be the hardest hit on the island, wind gust here could get up to 100kts Saturday afternoon in to Sunday morning, this includes Yilan county in the countries North East.

The mountains east of Yilan are prone to landslides and also could see up to 300-400mm of rain.

Expect delays at Taipei for any travelers heading through the hub this coming weekend.

If I was a storm chaser at this time I would want to be in Ishigaki or Miyako Jima as those two areas will take a direct hit from this storm.


Sunday and Okinawa?


It’s a close call, Tropical Storm Strength winds are probable though as Meranti passes north of the island. Depending on its timing around the sub-tropical ridge though will determined how exactly close it could get to Okinawa.


Remember the pressure gradient in typhoons is compact and not very large, thus is why winds are so high in the storms. S the distance of a mere 50-100km could make the difference between low end tropical storm conditions or Cat 3 strength winds and is why continue to check in with JMA or for the military in Okinawa JTWC for the latest tracks on this storm.


Early Typhoon prep is always smart though, and at this time for residents of Okinawa it sounds like a broken record repeated over and over stating to secure lawn furniture and tie down light objects that easily can fly. (Trampolines) But every storm some sort of thing goes…


Kyushu and Western Japan will see rainfall from Meranti as it gets wrapped up with the fall rainy season from “akisame” early next week. Still will bring breezy conditions further north but the rain will be a bigger threat as the storm becomes sub-tropical.



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