With September beginning tomorrow, 2018 is already beginning to wind down. However, this year is far from over, and there’s still a lot of time for natural disasters to strike. The largest storm of 2018 is making its way toward Japan, which is concerning many of the residents in its projected path.
Super Typhoon Jebi began swirling to life earlier this week, beginning its cycle near Guam on August 27. In a matter of days, it has evolved into a massive storm, one that could wreak serious havoc on the people of Japan. According to Weather, the eye is already 20 miles wide, and the accompanying winds have reached 175 mph.
At its current rate, Jebi is developing into the largest storm of 2018. It has grown from a tropical storm to a Category 5 super typhoon, with its current wind speeds rivaling those of hurricanes Irma and Maria, which each saw winds of 180 mph and 175 mph respectively. Luckily, the storm will not be this strong when it finally reaches Japan, and will likely be a Category 2 or 3 storm once it makes landfall.
Analysts are currently unsure where exactly Jebi will hit, but everyone along the southern coast of Japan should be expecting some unpleasant weather. The typhoon is expected to slam into Honshu on Tuesday, before making its way up to Hokkaido.
According to Adam Douty, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather, coastal flooding and severe winds are the main concern with Jebi. He also stated that Jebi’s “weakened” state will not be weak in the slightest.
“While we expect some weakening as Jebi nears landfall in Japan, it should still have the equivalent strength to that of a Category 3 hurricane. Highest sustained winds at landfall can be about [110-130 mph], which will have the potential to cause significant damage. Some wind gusts near the coast could be higher than this.”
This is bad news for many of the coastal residents in Japan, who have already seen heavy rain and typhoon activity this year. According to Gizmodo, over 21,000 people throughout central and western Japan have been forced to evacuate already. Four people have died so far, and others have become trapped in landslides and terrorized by severe winds.
With Super Typhoon Jebi coming in for more, Japan is a long way from being safe. Typhoon season usually lasts well into November, and there’s no guarantee that another storm won’t follow Jebi. It only took days for the super typhoon to form, and there’s quite a bit of time until the season is over.