Typhoon Trami and its giant eye as it heads toward Japan. (Colorado State)

Typhoon Trami won’t quit. A Category 2 equivalent, the storm is packing winds around 105 mph.

Trami is likely to impact Japan with significant winds, torrential rains and major coastal flooding. Although the storm reached Category 5 status a few days ago, it continues to be large and dangerous despite some weakening.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimates the storm will remain at or above Category 2 strength as it arrives in southern Japan on Sunday into Monday.

Winds of roughly 100 mph in addition to a two- to five-foot storm surge, or rise in water above normally dry land at the coast, are expected to bring dangerous conditions. They’ll first affect the Ryukyu Islands on Saturday before sweeping north through Kyushu and eventually into southern Honshu.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency has issued gale and high wind warnings for southern portions of the archipelago nation.

Unfortunately for Japan, Trami doesn’t look to weaken much more anytime soon. In fact, the behemoth looks to gather renewed strength over the next 24 hours.


The official forecast for Typhoon Trami. (Joint Typhoon Warning Center.)

“Continued favorable sea surface temperatures, upper level outflow and vertical wind shear will allow [the cyclone] to re-intensify to 100 knots,” the Joint Typhoon Warning Center said in a recent advisory.

The storm will eventually lose its tropical characteristics, but it will still pack a punch. Heavy rain, storm and high wave warnings are all in effect.

Tokyo could see significant effects — and probably airport delays — beginning Sunday afternoon, then stretching through Monday evening. Trans-Pacific flights connecting through the Japanese hub should check their latest flight status over the weekend, as a number of flight delays or cancellations are likely. Gusts as high as 80 mph may overspread the city to go with the heavy rain. Rowdy conditions will probably subside by noontime Monday.

In the past 24 hours, Trami has developed an incredibly large eye. While a clear, concrete wet-and-dry eye tends to be a harbinger of an intense cyclone, the size of the eye can also be a crucial factor. When the eye expands to an exceptional size, such as here, it can be a sign of an overall change in storm structure.

Think of ice skaters drawing in their arms. When they reduce their radius, they spin faster. The same is true with hurricanes. Thanks to the conservation of angular momentum, a smaller storm can sometimes pack more of a punch wind-wise. When a storm begins to expand its wind field, the force of the winds may reduce, but the area affected enlarges. As such, almost the entirety of the Japan will feel the storm’s effect as it sprints northeastward Sunday and Monday.

Typhoon Trami is the latest in natural disasters that have struck Japan in 2018. The most memorable includes a 6.1-magnitude Osaka earthquake in June, followed by typhoon-aided west-Japan floods in July, and then record heat in July. There was also Typhoon Jebi and a 6.7-magnitude earthquake in Hokkaido earlier this month.