According to catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide, after crossing over more than 350 kilometers [219 miles] of the main Japanese island of Honshu, Typhoon Roke, the 15th named storm of the 2011 Northwest Pacific typhoon season, has moved out to sea and is currently headed toward the Kuril Islands, northeast of Hokkaido. Roke passed to the west of Tokyo early yesterday evening local time.
‘Roke made landfall about 250 kilometers [156 miles] southwest of Tokyo in Shizuoka Prefecture near Hamamatsu City at about 2:00 pm local time,’ stated Dr. Peter Sousounis, principal scientist at AIR Worldwide.
He also noted that the storm had “intensified rapidly from a Category 1 typhoon to a Category 3 typhoon during its approach to Japan, but it weakened before making landfall. Roke came ashore with winds of about 180 kilometers per hour [112.5 mph]—a borderline Category 2/Category 3 storm—and moved to the northeast (toward Tokyo) at about 46 km/h [29 mph]. Weakening after landfall, Roke’s winds during most of the storm’s passage across Honshu were at about 150 km/h [94 mph].’
Dr. Sousounis indicated that “minimal structural damage from wind is expected given Roke’s wind speeds over land.’ AIR also noted that most of the buildings in the storm’s path were generally solidly constructed, made of “reinforced concrete or steel,” and could be expected to experience only “minor damage to roofs and sidings.”
Dr. Sousounis concluded: ‘At present, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), the circular movement of Roke’s winds—its deep convection—is weakening rapidly. Most of the deep convection is now in Roke’s northeast quadrant. The JTWC expects Roke to undergo extra-tropical transition over the next twelve hours as it tracks northeastward rapidly, and thereafter for the storm to dissipate, although there remains a slight chance it could regenerate.’
Source: AIR Worldwide
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