Weather tracker: South Korea and Japan brace for typhoon Hinnamnor

Destruction is imminent across southern Japan and South Korea as super typhoon Hinnamnor barrels northwards through the East China Sea this weekend.

The typhoon is so far the strongest tropical storm of the 2022 hurricane season and developed gradually this week out in the Pacific, edging towards the Philippines and Taiwan. By Thursday, maximum sustained winds had reached 160mph, leading to classification as a category 5 tropical cyclone, or a super typhoon.

Forecast models suggest that through the weekend and into next week, Hinnamnor will push northwards through the East China Sea, affecting mainland China, Japan and the Korean peninsula. Sustained winds are expected to stay at least at category 3 strength (100kts or 115mph) until Monday morning, when the eye will be nearing Nagasaki and South Korea.

By Monday evening, intense rainfall and severe flooding will have affected the Korean peninsula with some areas, such as Seoul, potentially receiving 10 inches of rain in 48 hours. Gusts are also expected to be very damaging, reaching 90mph until Tuesday morning.

Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are one of the most important drivers of hurricane and typhoon development, and despite the slow start to the Atlantic hurricane season, SSTs across the north Atlantic in particular have been increasing progressively and are anomalously high.

From the Atlantic tropics into the North Sea and Mediterranean, SSTs are widely at least 2C above average. This heat will probably add to the intensity and poleward progression of any tropical storm development through September, particularly as the anomaly is not expected to reduce any time soon.

It is likely that on Saturday a tropical depression in the middle of the north Atlantic, Storm Danielle, will intensify to become hurricane status, perhaps indicating the start of a much more active rest of the hurricane season.

The Guardian

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