Super Typhoon Neoguri is churning towards the southern islands of Japan this evening with the power equivalent to that of a category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean. Forecasters expect that Neoguri could have winds of 165 MPH when it comes dangerously close to Okinawa on Tuesday.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center, a joint weather forecasting effort by the Navy and Air Force that forecasts tropical cyclones in parts of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, expects that Neoguri will pass just west of Okinawa at 0600Z on July 8. Okinawa is 9 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (Z), which puts the center of the storm making its closest approach to the island around 3:00PM local time on Tuesday.
The latest JTWC forecast shows the island of Okinawa experiencing winds between 50 and 64 knots, or 57 to 73 MPH. A slight jog to the east could result in much stronger winds, rain, and storm surge for Okinawa, and a slight jog to the west could result in lesser effects.
After passing by Okinawa, the cyclone will hang a sharp right and begin to impact the main islands of Japan as a weaker but still dangerous storm with winds around 105 knots, or 120 MPH.
Neoguri is the only tropical cyclone on earth at the moment. The only other area of interest is in the Atlantic, where the National Hurricane Center gives a cluster of showers and storms off the southeastern coast of the United States a 10% chance of development over the next few days.
[Images via Japan Meteorological Agency, NOAA, and the JTWC]