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Summer Games in Japan may see interruptions from tropical cyclone

Saturday, July 24th 2021, 2:09 pm - With Tropical Cyclone In-fa weakening and pushing away from southern Japanese islands, a secondary storm is on the doorsteps for the country next week -- which could deliver untimely impacts on the Summer Games in Tokyo.

With the Summer Games now underway in Tokyo, the country is keeping a close eye on a storm that could potentially interrupt some of the events next week as a tropical cyclone.

In the meantime, the country's southern islands will soon bid adieu to Tropical Cyclone In-fa after bringing heavy rain and strong winds Friday and Saturday local time. It has since weakened and lost its typhoon status.

In-fa is currently located about 275 kilometres west-southwest from Okinawa, currently track to the northwest. It now has winds up to 110 km/h near its centre, as of the recent update from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC).


Earlier in the week, In-fa had lost some strength because of drier air and slightly cooler sea-surface temperatures.

Forecasters with JTWC aren't expecting significant strengthening of the storm at this point, but it will still be equivalent to a weak hurricane that will bring torrential rainfall and blustery winds to land in the northwest Pacific Ocean.

The centre of the storm is anticipated to trek far north of Taiwan, but considerable amounts of rain are forecast for the island. An additional 50-150 mm is projected through Saturday night local time.

In-fa rain

As In-fa moves further away from Japan and Taiwan, the storm will then trek towards eastern China, likely impacting the region beginning Sunday. It is forecast to make landfall between Shanghai and Wenzhou, bringing howling winds and heavy rain.


With In-fa tracking away from the southern Japanese islands, Tropical Cyclone Nepartak developed in the Philippine Sea Friday. This storm could put some events at the Summer Games in jeopardy of being delayed early next week.

The official forecast track has Nepartak approaching the coast of Japan to the north of Tokyo early next week as a weakening tropical storm. At this point it does not look like the storm will have a major impact on Japan other than localized torrential rain and gusty winds.


"However, with the [Summer Games] underway, this is definitely a storm that warrants watching very closely during the next few days. Wind and rain associated with Nepartak has the potential to delay some outdoor events, and could pose a serious hazard to some outdoor water sports," said Dr. Doug Gillham, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

"However, this certainly was a well-known risk in planning for the Games as we are in the heart of the typhoon season in a part of the world that is no stranger to being impacted by tropical cyclones."

According to JTWC forecasters, Nepartak may lose its tropical cyclone status by the time it makes landfall along the eastern coast of Japan on Tuesday. At this point, Nepartak is not anticipated to strengthen into a typhoon as it reaches the country.

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