Typhoon Hagibis Is Moving Across Japan and Is Bringing Torrential Rainfall, Strong Winds and Storm Surge Flooding

weather.com meteorologists
Published: October 12, 2019

Typhoon Hagibis is moving quickly across Japan, where torrential rainfall, storm surge flooding and strong winds will persist into Sunday

Hagibis made landfall over Izu Peninsula at Kawasaki City around 7 p.m. Saturday local time and was at Category 2 strength, according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Hagibis had previously been a super typhoon – a term given to typhoons with estimated maximum winds of at least 150 mph – for 78 hours, since rapidly intensifying Sunday into Monday.

(LATEST NEWS: Hagibis Impacts Japan With at Least One Dead

Torrential rainfall and flooding are serious concerns and heavy rain has already fallen southern parts of Honshu, Japan's largest island, and conditions will continue to deteriorate into Saturday night. More than a foot of rainfall has been measured over the Tokai region as of midday Saturday and 37 inches has been reported at Hakone in Kanagawa Prefecture from late Friday into Saturday evening.

Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued its highest alert level for unprecedented rainfall in parts of Honshu, including the Tokyo area, on Saturday. This means that there is a very high probability that a serious disaster due to landslides or inundation is occurring.

A wind gust of 100 mph has been measured at Kozushima in Tokyo Prefecture and a gust of 98 mph was recorded at the Tokyo Airport. The highest sustained wind has been 78 mph at Haneda, also in Tokyo Prefecture.

A tornado also caused damage in Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture Saturday morning where a man was killed when his vehicle flipped over and several others were injured.

Hagibis is striking Japan just over a month after Typhoon Faxai hammered Tokyo and Chiba Prefecture, damaging 34,000 buildings, knocking out power to 930,000 homes, snarling air and rail travel and causing over a half-billion dollars in agricultural damage, according to The Straits Times.

Travel has also been impacted, including in the Tokyo area, where some flight and train cancellations have been announced. Hagibis is also disrupting Rugby World Cup matches in Japan this weekend, including a match between England and France and a match between New Zealand and Italy that were scheduled for Saturday but have been canceled.

Beach houses are damaged as typhoon hits the beachfront area in Miura, south of Tokyo, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019.
(Kyodo News via AP)

Hagibis Forecast

Hagibis is weakening but remains a powerful Western Pacific Ocean tropical cyclone. It is the second formidable typhoon in just over a month's time to strike Japan, including Tokyo.


Current Satellite, Storm Information and Wind Field

Hagibis has turned to the north-northeastward, allowing it to track across parts of Honshu, including near the city of Tokyo.

(IN DEPTH: Tokyo Hit From Hagibis Possible

Given the large size of the storm, at least tropical-storm-force winds (39-plus mph) will rake across parts of southern Honshu. Typhoon-force winds (74-plus mph), capable of more widespread wind damage and power outages, will occur near where the center of Hagibis tracks over land.


Projected Path

Heavy rainfall will continue overnight into early Sunday and this heavy rain is expected to trigger flash flooding and mudslides, particularly in higher terrain.

River flooding will also likely last for several days.


Rainfall Forecast

Hagibis' Rapid Intensification

Maximum sustained winds near the center of Hagibis increased from 60 mph at 8 a.m. EDT Sunday to 160 mph at 8 a.m. EDT Monday. That means Hagibis intensified from a tropical storm to a Category 5 equivalent in just 24 hours.

Based on wind speed, the rapid intensification of Hagibis rivals one of the most extreme typhoons on record. Maximum sustained winds in 1983's Super Typhoon Forrest increased by 100 mph in one day, according to NOAA's Hurricane Research Division.

Hagibis brought bands of heavy rain and gusty winds to the Northern Mariana Islands, including Guam and Saipan, Monday night into Tuesday. Anatahan Island saw the brunt of the strongest winds from Hagibis, although that island has no population.

The Western Pacific Ocean is the most active basin for tropical cyclones on Earth.

Hagibis is the 19th named storm of the year in the Western Pacific Ocean, according to Digital Typhoon.

From 1981-2010, an average of 26 Western Pacific named storms formed each year, 17 of which became typhoons – more than double the average of Atlantic Basin named storms (12) and hurricanes (6).

Since these Western Pacific systems can form any time of year, there really is no season.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.


The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.