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Still-powerful Typhoon Hagibis gradually nearing Japan

Friday, October 11th 2019, 9:00 pm - Hagibis still a monster storm as it continues to trek towards Japan, after quickly gaining Category 5-like strength

Typhoon Hagibis, which is the Tagalog word for "speed," continued to weaken from its peak strength of Category 5-equivalent Friday as it continued its slow march toward Japan.

As of Friday night, it boasted maximum sustained winds of 195 km/h, gusting up to 240 km/h, more or less the equivalent of Category 3.

The storm, which developed over last weekend, took only 18 hours to rapidly intensify to super typhoon status, maintaining this Category 5 hurricane strength equivalent for much of this week before beginning to lose its strength.

The storm's track is expected to bring it near Japan's most populous island, Honshu, by the weekend. Though expected to weaken, it is still predicted to make landfall as a Category 2-strength storm.

The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued warnings and advisories along Japan's entire southern coastline, ahead of Hagibis' expected downpours and strong winds.

JAPAN PREPARES AS SUPER TYPHOON APPROACHES

The incoming storm prompted residents of central and eastern Japan to begin preparations on Thursday and brace for potential upcoming evacuations that could be ordered through the weekend. The Japan Meteorological Agency has already issued warnings of heavy rain, gale-force winds, high waves and dangerous storm surge.

In what's being called a "no brainer" situation, some rugby fans were still left "bitterly disappointed" by the news that at least two matches at the Rugby World Cup in Japan have been cancelled in anticipation of Typhoon Hagibis over the weekend.

For the first time in over 30 years, the Rugby World Cup organizers cancelled Saturday's game between England and France as well as New Zealand's match against Italy due to the risk from the typhoon, while a Sunday game between hosts Japan and Scotland is also in doubt.

It was just last month when Typhoon Faxai hit eastern Japan, killing three people and leaving nearly 950,000 without power.

Because of the expected trajectory and strength of this storm, Weather Network meteorologists say it looks to influence the weather in western North America in the long range.

pattern teleconnections

Check back often for updates as we continue to monitor this storm.

WATCH BELOW: HURRICANE, TROPICAL CYCLONE, TYPHOON. WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?

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