By Adam Douty
Halong rapidly intensified this weekend, becoming a super typhoon early Saturday night, local time.
Halong is expected to remain a very dangerous typhoon through the beginning of the week, though it may weaken below super typhoon strength.
There is currently some wind shear affecting the storm which, if strong enough, typically weakens tropical systems. However, Halong is still managing to overcome this shear as it remains a strong typhoon. This wind shear would be the factor responsible for any weakening when it occurs.
While not brining significant impacts to land through at least Tuesday local time, Halong will remain over the open waters of the Philippine Sea and creating life-threatening, dangerous seas for shipping interests.
Satellite Image of Super Typhoon Halong as of Sunday evening, local time, courtesy of NOAA.
Early in the coming week, environmental conditions will remain conducive for tropical development along the track the storm. This should allow Halong to remain a very powerful typhoon. As a result, AccuWeather.com meteorologists expect there to be the potential for a major typhoon to impact the southern Japan later in the week. This includes the Ryuyku Islands to the south of the large islands.
While the current path of Halong puts the areas from the central Ryukyu Islands to southern Japan at greatest risk of a direct landfall with heavy rain, damaging winds and coastal flooding, all residents of Japan, South Korea and even northeastern China should closely monitor the typhoon for potential dangers and any adjustments to the forecast track.
Tokyo is one location that is currently not expected to receive the worst of the storm, but the city and surrounding areas will likely see gusty winds and locally heavy rainfall as tropical moisture rotates across the country.
Impacts in southern Japan are expected to worsen beginning from Thursday night into Friday with typhoon conditions possibly lasting into Saturday in some locations.
Not only will the impacts from Halong have the potential to cause serious impacts in southern Japan, this same area has already seen flooding rainfall during the past several days as a result of former Tropical Storm Nakri.
During the past few days, Nakri has brought 250-500 mm (10-20 inches) of rain to some places in Kyushu and Shikoku, according to observation sites across these islands. Multiple locations received more than 10 inches within a single day. While the heaviest rain is over in these areas, additional showers and thunderstorms will remain through the beginning of the week as Halong nears.
Because of this recent heavy rain and likelihood for some additional rain, impacts from Halong will likely be exacerbated. With the current forecast track, major flooding will occur in southern Japan along with mudslides, wind damage and coastal flooding due to storm surge.
Some relief from the tropics will come to residence along the western Pacific in the wake of Halong as no other tropical systems are expected to affect land through at least the beginning of next week. The western Pacific was very active during July with five tropical systems. Of these, four strengthened to typhoons and three were super typhoons.