Tropical activity may have settled down across the Atlantic and East Pacific basins, but the West Pacific continues to churn out new tropical systems. A newly formed depression may track toward southern Japan into next week.
As what was once Severe Tropical Storm Dolphin passed near eastern Japan late this week and into the weekend, a new tropical feature began taking shape in the West Pacific Basin.
This area of showers and thunderstorms organized into a tropical depression near 160 east longitude on Saturday, local time, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).
This depression will be located in an area of warm water and low wind shear as it tracks to the northwest then the north, which will allow the storm to gradually strengthen through Tuesday.
There is potential for the storm to reach typhoon strength with maximum sustained winds of at least 119 km/h (74 mph). This would be equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale used in the Atlantic and East Pacific basins.
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The next storm to reach tropical-storm status in the West Pacific will be given the name Kujira by the JMA.
After peaking in strength around Tuesday, the storm is expected to turn to the northeast and begin to lose wind strength as it tracks over cooler water and into an area of increased wind shear.
By the end of the week, the storm may transition into a nontropical system.
Regardless of exact strength and tropical characteristics, little impact to land is expected from this storm. The current track keeps the storm to the south and east of Japan and away from the smaller islands of the northern West Pacific Ocean.
However, if this storm is pulled farther north on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, some of the outer rainbands may reach southern Japan and produce tropical downpours and gusty winds across the regions of Chubu and Kanto.
Dolphin developed into a tropical storm early this past week and quickly strengthened into a severe tropical storm. While the storm lost some wind intensity by the end of the week as it passed to the south and east of Japan, it still brought areas of heavy rainfall.
Late Thursday night, 333 mm (13.11 inches) of rain fell in 5 hours at Muroto Misaki. Of this, an incredible 130 mm (5.10 inches) fell within a single hour.
Dolphin will continue to move east, away from Japan, through Sunday.
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