Tokyo has been hit with a record-setting heat-wave this summer has already killed more than 100 people, and now they’re about to face another weather disaster. Typhoon Shanshan is bearing down on the Japanese capital, currently carrying sustained wins of 126 km/hour (80 mph), which is expected to increase to 144 km/h (90 mph) by the time the storm makes landfall in Japan.
The storm is currently considered a “Strong” typhoon, which is the second-weakest category on the Japan Meteorological Agency’s (JMA) scale. It’s the equivalent of a Category 1 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale that will be more familiar to residents of the United States.
The storm is currently 1,150 kilometers southeast of Tokyo, and is moving north-northwest at 20 km/hour. The JMA currently projects that the storm will make landfall near Tokyo on August 9th – which is also the first day of the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships.
This storm comes on the tail of temperatures in the country that hit a record 41.1 degrees Celsius in late July (106 Fahrenheit). Record rains in early July killed more than 200 people in western Japan, with transportation to the region still disrupted as a result of that storm. If Shanshan continues on its projected path, it will be the 2nd typhoon to make landfall in 2018, after Typhoon Jongdari hit late last month.
Typhoons are meteorologically the same kinds of storms as hurricanes, with the only difference being geography: storms in the Atlantic and Northeeast Pacific are called hurricanes, while storms in the rest of the Northwest Pacific are called typhoons. The same storms in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans are referred to as “cyclones.”
We have asked USA Swimming if they have a contingency plan in place for a potential typhoon situation. A spokesperson for the organization tells SwimSwam that they are currently en route to Japan and will connect with the team upon arrival regarding the plan.