MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti), Ekaterina Blinova - Japan is facing the threat of Typhoon Phanfone, just a few days after a horrific volcano eruption struck Mount Ontake on Saturday, resulting in at least 47 deaths.
"Typhoon Phanfone, currently the equivalent of a strong category three hurricane, is on track to threaten landfall this weekend. Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, and Tokyo could all be affected by heavy rain and strong winds, should the storm stay on its current predicted course," Slate Magazine reports.
Eric Holthaus, an American meteorologist, points out that the typhoon, which previously had "a pinhole eye," is now intensifying. "That sort of storm structure is typical of an extremely intense cyclone. Phanfone is expected to continue strengthening for the next day or two before encountering cooler water as it nears Japan," he warns.
The meteorologist claims that since Mount Ontake is situated about 105 miles (169 km) northeast of Nagoya, it would be also hit by hurricane. That could complicate the rescue mission, the expert notes. He explains that the volcano may even strengthen the typhoon's rainfall in the area due to a process called orographic uplift.
Despite the fact that the hurricane's center may "stay just offshore", it will inevitably result in heavy rainfall in Japan, due to the typhoon's huge size, Eric Holthaus underscores.
Sky News reports that the typhoon is likely to increase from a category three to a category four hurricane.
"It was a category three this morning but has since strengthened into a category four, which is the second strongest, with a category five classed as a super typhoon," says Sky News Weather Producer Rebecca Yussuf.
"It's still in an area where there are the conditions for it to strengthen further, which is why people are talking about super typhoon. There is the potential for a super typhoon," she adds.
The typhoon will reach a width of 300 miles (483 km) with winds around 125 mph (201 kph) and gusts of 150 mph (241.4 kph), she points out. The area hit by the typhoon may get between three and 10 inches (7.62 – 25.4 cm) of rain.
It should be noted that earlier this year, Japan was hit by Typhoon Neoguri and Typhoon Halong.