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Friday, July 15, 2011

Typhoon Ma-on Could Devastate Japan Early Next Week

A powerful hurricane (called Typhoons in the Eastern hemisphere) that could reach category 5 speeds of 150 mph (240 km/h) could hit Japan with devastating consequences, especially if it hits Fukushima.

Typhoon Ma-on projected to strike Japan Tuesday
 Typhoon Ma-on, now as strong as a category four hurricane, continues on a path through the western Pacific towards Japan. The storm, located 270 nautical miles south-southeast of Iwo Jima, contains maximum sustained winds of about 130 mph. Currently moving west around 15 mph, track guidance steers Ma-on towards the coast of central Japan Tuesday, just southwest of Tokyo.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) describes a healthy storm with “excellent equatorward outflow as well as enhanced northwesterly outflow.” This outflow serves as an important mechansim for releasing energy and supporting storm intensification.
JTWC projects the storm will reach peak intensity in about 48 hours, with winds to 140-145 mph. Should the storm attain maximum winds of 150 mph, it would be classified as a super typhoon. Even as the storm nears mainland Japan and encounters some hostile wind shear, only slight weakening is forecast due to warm sea surface temperatures.  

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