28 September (WNN) — AccuWeather forecasters said Typhoon Mindul lost some strength on Monday, but it remained a powerful storm. While the anticipated track of Mindul, which became just the third super typhoon of the year over the weekend, is forecast to keep the storm away from any direct impact on land, Mindul could reach the Japanese coast this week.
After initially developing last week, Mindul reached super-typhoon intensity on Sunday when its maximum 1-minute sustained winds reached 150 mph, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Winds of this strength are equivalent to a strong Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, used primarily in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific basins.
Early Monday, Mindul lost some wind intensity and was stripped of its Super Typhoon designation.
As of Tuesday afternoon, local time, Typhoon Mindul was located in the Philippine Sea and was tracking to the northwest at 6 mph. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, Mindul had maximum 10-minute average sustained winds of 109 mph and was the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific basins.
AccuWeather senior meteorologist Jason Nichols said that as Mindul tracks in the Philippine Sea, it could strengthen again sometime earlier this week.
The combination of favorable conditions along the path of the storm, including warm waters and mild vertical wind shear, could allow for additional strengthening in the first half of the week.
Even as the storm stays off land by the middle of the week, seas will form across the Philippine Sea and could cause dangerous boating conditions throughout the region.
Large waves can bring dangerous swimming conditions, including high rip currents, on the coasts of the western Pacific Ocean. Locations where the most dangerous conditions are expected include areas from the northeastern Philippines to eastern Taiwan, as well as Ryukyu Island and mainland Japan, including the south and east coasts of Kyushu, Shikoku and Honshu.
During its trek across the Philippine Sea, the storm is expected to slow and turn gradually toward the north and eventually northeast this week.
“Slow to the northeast, the storm is likely to affect southern Japan, with heavy rain and strong winds for the second half of the week,” Nichols said. “A sharp northeasterly turn could mean that the outer bands just brush the southern coast of Japan.”
As Mindul turns to the north and northeast, rain bands may begin to affect southern Japan around the middle of the week.
How close the storm eventually comes to these areas will determine how much rain and wind each region receives. Should the track be near the center, there could be flash floods, mud and wind damage.
AccuWeather’s current forecast predicts that bands of rain and wind will spread over parts of Shikoku and Honshu from Thursday through Friday.
This can lead to isolated flash floods especially in the hilly areas of the entire region. With the center of Mindul expected to move south of Japan, wind damage is not expected to be a significant concern, although it will become a concern if the storm passes close to land.
Residents of southern Japan should continue to monitor the forecast and remain aware of the situation. If the track of the storm approaches land, preparations should be completed in the coming days.