Typhoon In-fa is currently located about 200 miles (320 kilometers) from Okinawa and is starting to move northwest. Maximum winds for the storm are 95 mph (150 km / h), as of the 5 p.m. ET update from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC).
In-fa saw a slight weakening mid-week due to dry air, weakening its thunderstorms, as well as slightly cooler sea surface temperatures.
The good news is that no significant strengthening of this storm is expected because of this; but it will still be an equivalent Category 2 hurricane affecting the lands of the Northwest Pacific Ocean.
In-fa will continue to move slowly in a general northwesterly direction until Friday local time with maximum winds of around 100 mph (160 to 165 km / h) while impacting Okinawa and other parts. islands of southern Japan.
In addition to strong winds, there will continue to be heavy rains. The area in and near Miyakojima, Japan will be spot on for heavy rain, with more than 20 inches (over 500 millimeters) of additional precipitation forecast.
The center of the storm is expected to pass more than 100 miles north of Taiwan, but the island will still receive significant amounts of rain.
“Taiwan’s mountain range could send up to a meter of rain over the region, while Taiwan faces its worst drought in about 50 years. This amount of rain could lead to flash floods and catastrophic landslides. “said the CNN meteorologist. Tom Sater.
About 15 to 20 inches (380 to 500 millimeters) are expected until Saturday local time.
As In-fa moves away from Japan and Taiwan over the weekend, the storm will move towards eastern China and likely affect the region from Sunday.
There are still differences in when it will make landfall, but it is expected to affect the area between Shanghai and Wenzhou, bringing strong winds and heavy rain.
The JTWC expects maximum sustained winds near the center of the storm to be around 70 mph (110 km / h), which is a strong tropical storm. However, the storm may still be typhoon-intense due to the uncertainty of the forecast.
The biggest concern is possible flood rains for heavily populated areas of China.
“Heavy rain will be history with this on the Shanghai side of the storm and where most of the moisture is pushed onto the shore,” CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.
“Precipitation up to 10 inches (250 millimeters) will be widespread with higher amounts up to 20+ inches (500+ millimeters) in isolated areas. Flooding will be a major concern because of this.”
Potential tropical cyclone during the Olympics
In the wake of Typhoon In-fa, a new tropical cyclone could form in the western Pacific Ocean.
There are many unknowns surrounding the forecast for this next storm, but the model’s forecast for several days indicated a risk of a tropical storm or typhoon for northern and central parts of Japan around Sunday or Monday.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center gives this watch area an average chance of potential tropical development in the short term.
Right now, heavy rains and gusts of wind are possible for east-central Japan early next week, which could disrupt some events at the Tokyo Olympics.
We will have more details on this as the forecast becomes more certain.