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Typhoon Trami's uncertain future broadens its threat

Ben Domensino, Monday September 24, 2018 - 12:14 EST

It's another active week in the western Pacific Ocean, with Typhoon Trami threatening to bring severe weather to parts of East Asia in a matter of days.

On Monday morning, Typhoon Trami was located a little over 1,000km east southeast of Taiwan. The Japan Meteorological Agency,  which has an international responsibility to monitor typhoons in this part of the world, estimated that wind speeds near Trami's core were averaging 175km/h, with gusts reaching close to 250km/h. This makes it a Very Strong Typhoon on the Japanese scale.

Image: Typhoon Trami seen by the Himawari-8 satellite on Monday

Warm seas and favourable atmospheric conditions are expected to see this system intensify further during the next 12-24 hours, likely reaching the Japanese scale-topping status of 'Violent Typhoon' by Tuesday morning. This is equivalent to a Category 4 severe tropical cyclone on the Australian scale, with wind gusts reaching over 270km/h.

While there is good agreement between forecast models during the next 24-48 hours, things become less clear later in the week. Some uncertainty is common with tropical cyclone forecasting, although in this case, different computer models predict that Typhoon Trami will be in locations that are about 300km apart on Thursday. This disparity becomes exacerbated during Friday and over the weekend.

With model divergence like this, it's difficult to know where Trami will end up towards the end of this week. The best guess at this stage is somewhere between Taiwan and Japan, possibly affecting both countries at some stage.

It's worth pointing out that most forecast models expect Typhoon Trami to lose strength from Thursday as it moves into a less favourable environment.

Typhoon Trami comes less than two weeks after Typhoon Mangkhut caused flooding rain and destructive winds in parts of the Philippines, Hong Kong and southern China.

Earlier this month, Typhoon Jebi became one of the strongest Typhoons in recent decades to make landfall in Japan, causing a number of deaths, widespread flooding and extensive structural damage.

The future movement of Typhoon Trami is uncertain, so check the latest advisories for updated information at:

Japan Meteorological Agency - http://www.jma.go.jp/en/typh/

Taiwan Central Weather Bureau - https://www.cwb.gov.tw/V7e/prevent/typhoon/ty.htm?  

Joint Typhoon Warning Centre - http://www.metoc.navy.mil/jtwc/

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