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Upgraded Saola heading to Okinawa but expected to arrive weaker than previously thought

Good morning from the Western Pacific Weather team.

While it’s not a sigh of relief, those living in Okinawa will be dealing with a much weaker storm than originally feared. Saola was originally expected to develop into a strong typhoon, but as it continues to struggle organizing itself in a significant way, Saola is now expected to arrive as a severe tropical storm rather than a strong typhoon.

It is important to note that the weekend will still be stormy for those on the island. The storm still packs some heavy rainfall, and so flash flooding is possible in some locations in southwestern Japan. The storm’s sustained winds are expected to be up to 55 knots, though conditions on the ground are expected to be less windy than that. Saola will arrive close to Okinawa Saturday morning before making a significant turn to the east. A low pressure system along with a trough coming from the north is expected to help push the much weaker Saola out to sea, which will be helpful news for the Lan-battered areas of Japan, though those along the Pacific coast will need to look out for the possibility of some impacts as the circles of concern continue to cover those areas.

Those living in Okinawa should still make sure to tie down loose objects outdoors as tropical storm force winds are still expected overnight Friday and through the daytime hours Saturday. While it might not be as serious as once expected, it would still be prudent to have some supplies prepared as the system approaches, and be on the lookout for poor traveling conditions during that time period.

Jonathan Oh
Meteorologist, Western Pacific Weather

20171027 Friday 00 UTC Track

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About Jonathan Oh

Jonathan Oh is a meteorologist on Western Pacific Weather and appearing on NHK World. Jonathan has been working in the field for more than 10 years with a focus on broadcast, radar, and computer model forecasting. He is currently based in Tokyo, Japan.

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