Typhoon Goni batters Japan with record 159 mile-per-hour winds
After dumping deadly rains in the northern Philippines, Typhoon Goni strengthened on Sunday, bringing a record-shattering wind gust to the Japanese island of Ishigakijima.
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the wind on Ishigakijima Island reached a maximum gust of 158.8 mph, or 71 meters per second, on Sunday, breaking the site’s all-time record of 157 miles per hour, which was set in 1977.
The airport on Ishigakijima measured a wind gust of 150.7 mph, or 67.4 meters per second, at 10:18 p.m. local time, which was 9:18 a.m. ET on Sunday morning, according to weather.com.
Typhoon Goni has been battering Japan’s Ryukyu Islands with sustained winds of up to 115 miles per hour, or 51.4 meters per second, after the storm intensified throughout Sunday. In fact, the storm may intensify further through Monday, local time, before it begins to weaken as it heads toward the more heavily populated islands of Kyushi.
The Ryukyu’s have been the equivalent of a typhoon magnet this year, having been hit with at least three significant storms so far this season.
The storm will also impact Okinawa, including Kadena Air Base, a U.S. military facility. It is not expected to make a direct hit there, though.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center, or JTWC, which is a joint center run by the U.S. Navy and Air Force, is predicting that Typhoon Goni will pass about 100 nautical miles west of Kadena Air Base on August 24, followed by a potentially direct hit on Sasebo, Japan on the 25th.
That city has a population of about 280,000, and the storm is still expected to be a typhoon at that point, potentially even the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds between 96 to 110 miles per hour.
The storm is then forecast to veer close to the Korean Peninsula, bringing strong winds and heavy rain to southeastern South Korea, and then similar impacts to North Korea by August 26.
Taiwan, which saw more than 50 inches of rain from Typhoon Soudelor during the first week of August, missed major impacts from Typhoon Goni. Earlier forecasts showed the storm slowing down and meandering on top of the island for more than a day, raising the prospect of devastating floods.
Fortunately for Taiwan, that did not come to fruition, as the storm swung south, into the northern Philippines, before regaining strength a safe distance to the east.
Courtesy of mashable.com