Japan is a fascinating place for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is at the crossroads of natural disasters. Typhoons, Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Volcanoes, landslides, about the only thing Japan doesn’t get regularly are wildfires. The weakening typhoon Vongfong is expected to sweep over the islands over the next few days, and this morning an offshore quake rattled the northern islands:
The quake shouldn’t have caused any damage; the typhoon may cause a few hundred million USD in impacts, but dumping more rain on the Fukushima site is always unwelcome.
Cyclone Hudhud continues to intensify, and should make landfall on the east coast of India tomorrow as a Category 3 storm on the Saffir Simpson scale. Here is the wind swath forecast using my TARU model and the JTWC forecast:
Storm surges are forecast to be over 4 meters (14ft), and due to a shift southward in the forecast track are now expected to peak at the coast in the vicinity of Visakhapatnam:
With the track shift and intensification, my Istanu model forecast impact has increased, now expected to be over $5 Billion USD. Given the differences in GDP and economies, that is the equivalent of about a $20 or $25 Billion dollar storm hitting the US (equivalent to something like Hurricane Ivan, that hit Florida in 2004). As with most storms, unfortunately the impacts are greatest on those at the lowest end of the income scale.
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It should stay offshore and not present any serious problems. There is another system off the lesser antillies (lower right of this image), but it isn’t very organized.
Very little change in the JTWC forecast, with the storm now less than two days from landfall. Here’s the forecast wind swath from my TARU Model:
Storm surges of up to four meters (14ft) may be expected to the north of Visakhapatnam. On the current track high winds should avoid the major city of Hyderabad, but tropical storm force winds will extend inland for up to 500km. Impacts are forecast to be nearly $4 Billion USD.
The track has shifted a bit from yesterday’s forecast, and the storm is now predicted by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center to track directly across Japan. Here’s the wind swath using my TARU model:
Impact forecast at $1.5 to $2 Billion USD, not a huge event for Japan, but given fragile economic conditions unwelcome. The big research question is the impact on Fukushima, and how much trouble the rain and runoff will aggravate the radiation washout situation.
Once Typhoon Vongfong starts to turn Northeast over the main islands it should decay rapidly. Impacts from Vongfong are forecast to be in the high hundreds of millions to or $1Billion USD unless it stirs up a giant radioactive dinosaur, in which case could be higher.
Currently just below typhoon/hurricane force, Cyclone Hudhud is forecast to rapidly intensify into a major storm, Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, before making landfall north of Visakhapatnam. Here is the predicted wind swath using my TARU model:
Storm surge, alway a concern in the Bay of Bengal, could top 4 meters (14ft) in the bays north of the landfall location (orange). Surges of over 2 meters are likely for over 100 km north of landfall:
On this track/intensity, the forecast is for over $3 Billion USD in impacts on India.
Typhoon Phanfone will be brushing by Japan over the next couple of days. Rain, some wind, damage probably under $100 Million or so . . .
Haven’t heard much about Fukushima lately, although projects are underway to stop the migration of radioactivity into the water table. The site is marked on the above map (click to zoom in). The storm shouldn’t cause things to be much worse than they are already . . .