Severe Tropical Storm Dolphin has the potential to cause disruptions in eastern regions of Japan as it moves parallel to the country's east coast on Wednesday, September 23. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) warned that heavy rains on the country's Pacific coast could bring potential flooding and landslides between Thursday, September 24, and Friday, September 25. Up to 200mm (8in) of rainfall is expected to fall in Tokai region and the Izu Islands in the 24 hours prior to 06:00 (local time) on Thursday and by 06:00 on Friday, between 200-300mm (8-12in) of rainfall is forecast to fall on Tokyo and its surrounding prefectures. The East Japan Railway Company will suspend part of its network from Thursday whilst airlines warned that domestic flights could be disrupted. Weather warnings for high winds and heavy rains are currently in place across much of central and northern Japan and can be viewed on the JMA's website.
Severe Tropical Storm Dolphin was originally forecast to make landfall in the vicinity of Numazu (Shizuoka prefecture) between Thursday and Friday; however, the track of the storm has come further east, meaning that landfall is no longer forecast. Dolphin is currently positioned 284km (176mi) south of Katsuura (Chiba prefecture) and is sustaining winds of 102kph (75mph). Dolphin is forecast to weaken as it moves in a northeasterly direction.
Strong winds, heavy rainfall, and associated disruptions are possible in the coming days
The typhoon season lasts from May to October, whilst most storm systems form between July and September. In general, storms can bring heavy downpours and strong winds as well as trigger storm surges which threaten human population and infrastructure. Secondary effects include riverine floods and landslides, both of which can result in human casualties and mass evacuations, as well as travel and service disruptions. Although storm systems usually affect southern Japan, other parts of the country are also vulnerable to these hazards.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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