Western Pacific typhoon Guchol, with winds to 110 mph - equivalent to a category 3 hurricane - is one day away from crashing into Japan. But by the time it gets there, it’s expected to be a weaker though still formidable storm.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) writes Guchol is in the early stages of winding down. Its eye has “filled in” (see image above) as destructive wind shear has increased. The forecast? Additional loss of strength says JTWC:
[THE STORM] WILL CONTINUE TO WEAKEN AS OCEAN PARAMETERS BECOME MORE UNFAVORABLE AND WESTERLY VERTICAL WIND SHEAR INCREASES.
Guchol is projected to make landfall near Kyoto Tuesday as it transitions from a tropical to a mid-latitude weather system. It will lash the east coast with large waves, torrential rain and strong winds up to 65 mph or so.
Heavy rain may cause the most problems over Japan.
“Heavy rain could lead to mudslides and flash flooding, especially in the mountains just west of Tokyo,” writes AccuWeather.
The Japan Meteorological Agency says up to 16 inches (40 centimeters) of rain is possible in 24 hours (source: the Agence France Presse).
Rainfall amounts may be limited by the storm’s rapid movement. Guchol should cross the country in as little as 12 to 18 hours.
The Stars and Stripes Pacific Storm Tracker blog said Guchol passed 81 miles east-southeast of Okinawa earlier today. The island “took a relatively light dusting” the blog reported, with a peak wind gust of 52 mph and 0.7” of rain.