Unique Hagibis Heading for Tokyo

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Major Typhoon Hagibis heading for Tokyo

Hagibis crossed warm 86-87F water earlier this week causing a transition from a TS to a category 5 super typhoon in 24 hours

Similar crossing of very warm water plume inspired intensification of Dorian in Bahamas

Fig. 1: Latest 5-day forecast track for Major Typhoon Hagibis.

Discussion: Category 4 Major/Super Typhoon Hagibis will turn north today/tonight and north-northeast tomorrow heading to just east of Tokyo in about 36 hours (Fig. 1). Both fresh water and ocean water flooding for coastal Japan will occur including 100+ mph wind risk along the coast in the Tokyo area. Hagibis weakens to a category 2 typhoon once passing Tokyo and quickly fades to a tropical storm accelerating northeastward later this weekend. Earlier this week Hagibis intensified from a tropical storm to a category 5 major/super typhoon in a 24-hour period as the storm moved from 83-84F to 86-87F water surface (Fig. 2). The rapid intensification was similar to what was observed with Dorian in the Bahamas due to passage of the storm over much warmer surface water.

Fig. 2: Hagibis transitioned from a tropical storm to a category 5 Super Typhoon in 24 hours due to passage of a warm (86F) plume of water.