Tropical Cyclone "Jebi" reached Super Typhoon strength on August 31, 2018, and tied with Jelawat and Maria for the strongest storm on the planet in 2018. The current forecast track takes Jebi over Japan's Honshu island on September 3. The main threat from this storm will be rainfall. Authorities are warning residents to prepare for flooding and landslides.
At 18:00 UTC on August 31, the center of Super Typhoon "Jebi" was located approximately 640 km (400 miles) south of Iwo To, Japan and was moving WNW at 26 km/h (16 mph) over the past 6 hours, according to the JTWC. Its maximum sustained winds were 278 km/h (150 mph) and gusts to 333 km/h (180 mph).
Animated enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows the system has retained a 41 km (25 mph) sharply outlined eye, albeit larger, after a recent eyewall replacement cycle. Feeder bands also remain tightly wound into the eye, making Jebi a compact and very symmetric cyclone.
Super Typhoon "Jebi" at 20:30 UTC on August 31, 2018. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA
JTWC's environmental analysis indicates the cyclone is in an area with low vertical wind shear, robust radial outflow enhanced by a TUTT cell to the northwest, and warm sea surface temperatures (29 - 31 °C / 84.2 - 87.8 °F).
Diminishing outflow, as the TUTT cell moves further away, will cause gradual weakening over the next 72 hours and Jebi's maximum sustained winds are expected to drop to 185 km/h (115 mph).
The system will accelerate northward to north-northeastward toward central Honshu after 18:00 UTC on September 3, exit into the Sea of Japan and be over eastern Russia near Sakhalin Island by 18:00 UTC on September 4.
Jebi is expected to weaken more rapidly during this phase as it encounters increasing vertical wind shear, land interaction and cool sea surface temperatures. Concurrently, it will begin extratropical transition by 18:00 UTC, September 4 and become a gale-force cold-core low with and expansive wind field by 18:00 UTC, September 5.
Jebi is the 21st named storm of the 2018 Pacific typhoon season. With maximum sustained winds of 278 km/h (150 mph) and central pressure of 915 hPa on August 31, it tied with Jelawat and Maria for the strongest storm on the planet in 2018.
Featured image credit; Super Typhoon "Jebi" at 20:30 UTC on August 31, 2018. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA