Typhoon Mindulle could become a super typhoon and threaten Japan

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As Typhoon Mindulle strengthens across the Philippine Sea, AccuWeather forecasters say favorable conditions for tropical development along its track can lead to rapidly strengthening and the storm becoming a super typhoon.

“As Mindulle tracks across the Philippine Sea, it is expected to strengthen into early next week,” said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Jason Nicholls.

Strengthening Typhoon Mindulle is seen churning across the Philippine Sea early on Saturday night, local time. ACCUWEATHER
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The combination of favorable conditions along the storm’s path, including warm water and light vertical wind shear, will allow for significant strengthening into early next week.

A storm reaches super-typhoon intensity when its maximum 1-minute sustained winds reach 150 mph. This is equivalent to a strong Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans.

It is possible that Mindulle can reach the equivalent strength of a Category 5 hurricane early next week.

Even as the storm remains away from land through the middle of next week, seas will build across the Philippine Sea and can lead to dangerous boating conditions across the region.

Large swells can bring dangerous swimming conditions, including strong rip currents, to beaches across the western Pacific. Locations expected to have the most dangerous conditions include areas from the northeast Philippines to eastern Taiwan, as well as the Ryukyu Islands and mainland Japan, including the south and east coast of Kyushu, Shikoku and Honshu.

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During its trek across the Philippine Sea, the storm is expected to slow and make a gradual turn to the north and eventually to the northeast next week.

“A slower turn to the northeast may result in the storm impacting southern Japan with heavy rain and gusty winds during the second half of next week,” Nicholls said. “A quicker northeast turn could mean the outer bands just brush the southern coast of Japan.”

As Mindulle makes a turn to the north and northeast, rain bands can begin to impact southern Japan around the middle of the week.

How close the typhoon ultimately tracks to these areas will determine how much rain and wind each area receives. Should the center track nearby, or even move across land, there could be flash flooding, mudslides and wind damage.

AccuWeather’s current forecast predicts that bands of rain and wind will sweep across southern Shikoku and Honshu from Wednesday night into Friday.

This can lead to the threat for isolated flash flooding, especially in the mountainous terrain across the region. With the center of Mindulle expected to pass to the south of Japan, wind damage is not expected to be a significant concern, though should the storm pass closer to land, this would become more of a concern.

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Residents across southern Japan should continue to monitor the forecast and remain aware of the situation. Should the track of the storm approach closer to land, preparations should be rushed to completion in the coming days.