Meanwhile, Out in the Pacific Ocean… Meet Tropical Storm 08W, a Possible Threat to Japan

By Tom Yulsman | July 3, 2014 6:18 pm
Tropical Storm 08W

Tropical Storm 08W is seen swirling in the Pacific Ocean about 160 nautical miles southwest of Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. (Source: Cooperative Institute for Satellite Meteorology.)

As Hurricane Arthur begins to lash the North Carolina coast with high winds and storm surges, another cyclone is brewing — this one in the Pacific Ocean.

Today, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center upgraded it from a tropical depression to a tropical storm. Designated as Tropical Storm 08W, it is now located southwest of Guam and is expected to strengthen into a full-fledged typhoon on Saturday. (For an explanation of the different terminology used for tropical cyclones, see this.)

As the animation above shows, the storm is forecast to track northwest, and then begin to curve to the north-northeast. According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, it should reach a peak intensity of up to 120 miles per hour, which would make it a very powerful typhoon indeed.

Tropical Storm 08W

Tropical Storm 08W is seen off the coast of Guam in this image captured by the MTSAT weather satellite on Thursday, July 3, 2014. (Source: NOAA)

The storm is of concern because its forecast track takes it north toward land. But the typhoon center cautions that confidence in the track is low right now, in part because of uncertainty about when the storm will begin to curve.

Source: Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Source: Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Even so, have a look at the cone of uncertainty in the animation above. And click on the thumbnail at right for an even more detailed view. If the storm curves toward the eastern side of the cone, it might avoid land. If it doesn’t, it’s hard to see how it doesn’t make landfall.

If the storm tracks right down the middle, it might hit Japan on July 8. The typhoon center’s forecast pegs the storm’s intensity at that point at almost 110 miles per hour, with gusts to more than 130.

That’s many days away now, so for now we should take that forecast with a grain of salt. But in four days, we could be looking at another landfalling tropical cyclone.

  • mariajlandreth

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  • Clarke Dawson

    This is dragging all the rain clouds from indian subcontinent it seems…..Pretty powerful typhoon…..

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=my7.pack.rainclouds

    • sharongnewborn

      as Thelma
      explained I cannot believe that a stay at home mom can make $7420 in four weeks
      on the internet . more info here R­e­x­1­0­.­C­O­M­

  • http://autap.se Richard

    I’m in Okinawa, should be passing by us tomorrow. All balcony furniture has been moved indoors…

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ImaGeo

ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.

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