Guchol To Hit Japan; Atlantic Quiet
There is only one tropical cyclone on Earth right now, and that is powerful Super Typhoon Guchol in the West Pacific. Guchol is currently moving NNW at about 15mph and will soon take a more north and then northeast turn according to the official forecast. It currently has maximum sustained winds of 130 kts according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, making it a high end Category 4 typhoon. It is forecast to begin weakening soon and likely already has, slowly, as the remainder of its forecast track brings it over cool waters, high wind shear, and dry air.
Figure 1: Official forecast path of Guchol.
As Figure 1 shows, Guchol will likely track by and into Japan on Tuesday. This track has been shifted significantly west since yesterday, meaning a direct hit on Japan is very likely. Luckily, due to the hostile conditions, Guchol will be falling apart as it heads into Japan, but it will still pack quite a punch. Strong, hurricane force winds will be likely, especially in coastal areas. The biggest concern however will be heavy rains as Japan is currently very saturated from recent wet weather. Storm surge will also be a concern. Luckily Guchol will be accelarating rapidly as it passes Japan, so it won't stall out and cause bigger problems.
Figure 2: Despite starting to slowly weaken, Guchol remains an extremely dangerous, well organized storm.
Figure 3: Possibly the next West Pac storm, Invest 92W currently has a TCFA on it.
Meanwhile, the Atlantic is mostly quiet this 17th day of the season. A non tropical area of low pressure is currently located just over 100 miles SSW of Bermuda, drifting NNE at about 15mph. Slow development of the low is possible over the next few days, and the National Hurricane Center gives it a 10% chance of becoming a tropical or subtropical cyclone in the next 48 hours. I give it about a 30% chance of developing at any point in its lifespan. There remains considerable uncertainty as to a potential storm developing in the Gulf of Mexico in about 5 days time. I give development there during the next week about a 50% chance at this time. At this point it appears anything that develops will remain fairly weak and short lived, but as ususal with Gulf systems it should be closely watched if it does develop.
Finally, in the East Pacific, former Hurricane Carlotta dissipated yesterday over the mountains of Mexico. While it is no longer a tropical system, it still will provide a threat for heavy rains that could trigger life threatening flooding and mudslides. Two people have already been killed by the storm.
I had to get this blog out today because I'll be leaving for Cape Cod tomorrow afternoon and staying a few days to escape an impending Northeast heat wave, with temperatures expected to soar into the 90s Wednesday through Friday. Thank you for reading, and have a great week!