Natural Disasters

Super Typhoon Hinnamnor: 2022’s strongest storm heads to East China Sea, threatens Japanese islands

Storm must reach sustained winds of at least 240  kmph in order to be classified as a super typhoon

By Arya Rohini
Published: Wednesday 31 August 2022
Hinnamnor developed into a typhoon August 29, 2022. Photo: iStock
Hinnamnor developed into a typhoon August 29, 2022. Photo: iStock Hinnamnor developed into a typhoon August 29, 2022. Photo: iStock

The strongest tropical storm of 2022 is raging towards the East China Sea, threatening Japan’s southern islands, according to a forecast from the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The typhoon, currently several hundred kilometres to the east of Okinawa, is anticipated to pass through the Japanese islands this weekend. Taiwan or China’s east coast are only at a marginal risk.

Super Typhoon Hinnamnor, which is similar to a category-5 hurricane, is accumulating a sustained wind speed of about 241 kilometres per hour (kmph), according to the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

The epicentre of the storm was located about 643 kilometres south-southeast of Japan’s Kyushu island and was swirling west at 30 kmph, they added.

Hinnamnor, the 11th tropical storm of the year, developed into a typhoon August 29, 2022, afternoon, according to China’s Central Weather Bureau (CWB).

A storm must attain a sustained wind-speed of at least 240 kmph in order to be classified as a super typhoon.

A pre-existing meteorological disturbance, warm tropical waters, moisture and relatively mild winds are the key components of a typhoon. Fierce winds, large waves, heavy rains and floods are likely when the appropriate conditions endure for a long enough time.

There are now no warnings in effect for the majority of Japan as Hinnamnor moves westward. But storm and high-wave warnings have been issued for the Daito islands, which are located southeast of Okinawa and are home to around 2,100 people.

Uncertainty exists regarding the storm’s approach to Japan’s more populous islands as well as its potential impact on North American weather.

There is a slim chance that Hinnamnor’s eventual absorption into a mid-latitude low-pressure system in seven to 10 days will deflect the jet stream just enough to affect North American weather for the next two to three weeks.

On Tuesday, the Japanese satellite Himawari-8 captured an alarming aerial photograph of the storm. The storm was compact, with the eye hollowed out and surrounded by a single, intense zone of convection or thunderstorm activity.

Hinnamnor is unlikely to impact the current situation in China and the country will continue to receive insufficient rainfall. A devastating drought and scorching heatwave have been wreaking havoc on agricultural production across the country.

“The typhoon is expected to continue moving westward and lingering over waters south of Japan’s Ryukyu Islands from Wednesday to Friday and could develop into a super typhoon within 24 hours,” CWB forecaster Liu Yu-chi told Focus Taiwan, a news portal.

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