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Severe Tropical Storm “Francisco” to hit Kyushu with violent winds and heavy rain, Japan

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Japanese weather officials are warning residents of Kyushu of violent winds, high waves, mudslides, swelling rivers and flooding in low-lying areas as Severe Tropical Storm "Francisco" makes landfall and starts moving over Kyushu early on Tuesday (JST), August 6, 2019. Francisco is the 8th named tropical cyclone of the 2019 Pacific typhoon season.

Up to 250 mm (9.8 inches) of rain is expected in southern Kyushu and 200 mm (7.8 inches) in northern Kyushu and the Shikoku region, JMA said.

At 03:45 UTC on August 5, the center of Severe Tropical Storm "Francisco" was located about 400 km (250 miles) E of Miyazaki and 350 km (220 miles) ESE of Kochi.

The system was moving WNW at 30 km/h (18 mph) with central pressure of 980 hPa.

According to the JMA, the system had maximum wind speed near the center of 111 km/h (69 mph) and gusts 155 km/h (98 mph).

By 15:00 UTC on August 6, Francisco's center is expected to be well over Kyushu, about 15 km (9 miles) SE of Sasebo and 36 km (22 miles) N of Nagasaki, with maximum sustained winds of 75 km/h (45 mph), gusts to 110 km/h (69 mph) and central pressure of 996 hPa.

Severe Tropical Storm "Francisco" and Tropical Storm "Lekima" at 03:30 UTC on August 5, 2019. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8

Normally the most active region for tropical cyclones, the NW Pacific has been unusually calm in the first 8 months of the year. Since January 1, it had only one typhoon (Wutip) and 0 between February 28 and August 1 for the first time since 1998, Dr. Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University said.

A much stronger storm than Francisco is expected to approach central Japan by August 11 and 12:

Featured image: Severe Tropical Storm "Francisco" at 03:30 UTC on August 5, 2019. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8

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