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Tropical Storm Malou (10W) Passes Over Japan’s Ryukyu Islands – September 4th, 2010

29.0N 128.2E

September 4th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm Malou (10W) - September 3rd, 2010

Enhanced image

Track of TS10W - September 3rd, 2010 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TS 10W

Convection Associated with TS10W

Parts of Japan, China and North Korea will again become the target of a tropical system in the upcoming days. The danger this time is at the hands of Tropical Storm Malou (10W).

Malou is currently a minimal tropical storm churning northwestward through the northern Philippine Sea.

Here, the main image focuses on the eastern part of the storm, south of Japan (visible in the upper part of the full image). The thumbnail image shows convection associated with Malou, to the west of its center, over mainland Asia. The entire system can be observed in the animated image.

Malou will continue on that heading into Friday evening EDT, tracking across Japan’s Ryukyu Islands in the process. Bands of torrential rain and gusty winds will increase today across the Ryukyu Islands as Malou approaches. Tropical storm-force winds will begin howling this afternoon, mainly over the island of Okinawa.

The gusty winds and torrential rain will persist into this evening as Malou passes by. The winds will be of minimal tropical storm force, but they will still be capable of causing some tree damage and power outages. Any loose lawn items would easily be blown around.

Malou will enter the East China Sea on Saturday, but heavy rain will continue to drench the Ryukyu Islands occasionally. Some additional rain could fall on Sunday as moisture wraps into the center of Malou.

The upcoming soaking across the Ryukyu Islands threatens to trigger flooding, especially since the islands where just inundated by Typhoon Kompasu on Tuesday.

After leaving the Ryukyu Islands, Malou will press northwestward through the East China Sea this weekend. The tropical storm should then reach the Yellow Sea early next week. During this time, Malou will strengthen into a stronger tropical storm. It is also possible that Malou will reach minimal typhoon status.

There are concerns that Malou will curve northeastward towards the border of China and North Korea, where landfall may occur by the middle of next week. Strong winds high in the atmosphere, also known as wind shear, should increase across Malou just prior to landfall. That should keep Malou from being a powerful typhoon when it moves inland and could even lead to some weakening. The negative aspect of the wind shear is that it should act to push Malou’s torrential rain onshore well ahead of the storm’s actual landfall. The rain could spread over northeastern China and North Korea as early as Tuesday.

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