AUSTIN (KXAN) — While already trying to overcome a one-year delay and juggling athlete and spectator safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tokyo Olympic Games organizers have another hurdle coming their way: a typhoon.
Typhoon Nepartak formed late Friday (Japan time) and is forecast to intensify over the coming days.
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) is expecting the storm to move northwestward, directly toward Tokyo, host of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. The most likely time for potential landfall in Japan appears to be Tuesday. Ironically enough, the Olympic surfing finals are scheduled to take place on Tuesday.
The JMA forecast keeps Typhoon Nepartak as a the equivalent of a tropical storm (weaker than a hurricane) through Tuesday as it approaches Japan.
The European forecast model (above) as well as the official track from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (U.S. Navy forecast) suggest a more northerly track, potentially bringing landfall north of Tokyo. Even on this forecast, however, Tokyo remains within the cone of uncertainty as to where the storm’s center may track.
Heavy rain, flooding and potentially damaging wind are all possible with this storm.
In Depth: What is a typhoon?
The name “typhoon” is given to stronger storms in the western Pacific. Other parts of the world use the word “hurricane” or “cyclone.”
The international standard definition for a typhoon is wind speeds of 64 knots or 74 mph, the same definition as a Hurricane.
Japan has a different definition for a typhoon. In Japan a storm is considered a typhoon with wind speeds of 34 knots or 39 mph, the same definition as a Tropical Storm.
Stay with KXAN for the latest on this developing situation, and our own Candy Rodriguez reporting live from Tokyo.