Super Typhoon Nuri continues to head towards southern Japan, but thankfully, the country is likely to merely experience a glancing blow from this intense storm.
Nuri reached ‘super’ typhoon status over the weekend, reaching the equivalent of a Category 5 storm on the five point Saffir-Simpson scale. Sustained winds, based on satellite observations, reached 290kph.
Nuri formed as a weak tropical disturbance near the island of Guam on Tuesday of last week. It developed into a tropical storm on Friday.
Further intensification over the weekend saw Nuri reach typhoon strength with a rapid deepening of its central pressure on Sunday – falling 65mb to 910mb
Nuri has tied with Super Typhoon Vongfong as the strongest typhoon of the 2014 season, although according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, Vongfong’s central pressure was lower, at 900mb.
Nuri is expected to weaken as it heads northeastwards over cooler waters and its violent winds are not expected to have any impact on the Japanese mainland. It is possible however, that the outer rainbands will briefly bring heavy rain to the Tokyo region during Thursday.
Thereafter, Nuri will continue to track out into the northern Pacific as an extra-tropical storm across the Aleutian Islands. Computer forecasts suggest that Nuri will then head towards Alaska.
It could strike the US state as an intense area of low pressure of 916mb, making it the deepest low pressure system to hit the state on record.