Intensifying Typhoon Lan threatens Japan – but may miss mainland

Dr. Ryan Maue, now of has been tracking Typhoon Lan, which is predicted to become a “super” typhoon in the next two days. Here in a recent model output for Saturday:

He notes: HWRF develops concentric eyewalls — massive size Typhoon Lan. Research Maps page:

He adds:

The Japan Meteorological Agency has the details now:

Analysis at 12 UTC, 18 October
Intensity Strong
Center position N14°00′ (14.0°)
E131°20′ (131.3°)
Direction and speed of movement NW 20 km/h (10 kt)
Central pressure 970 hPa
Maximum wind speed near center 35 m/s (65 kt)
Maximum wind gust speed 50 m/s (95 kt)
≥ 50 kt wind area ALL 90 km (50 NM)
≥ 30 kt wind area S 560 km (300 NM)
N 390 km (210 NM)

The JMI central pressure prediction is a bit more conservative, at 945hPa:

Forecast for 12 UTC, 19 October
Intensity Very strong
Center position of probability circle N16°55′ (16.9°)
E130°00′ (130.0°)
Direction and speed of movement NNW 15 km/h (8 kt)
Central pressure 945 hPa
Maximum wind speed near center 45 m/s (85 kt)
Maximum wind gust speed 60 m/s (120 kt)
Radius of probability circle 90 km (50 NM)
Storm warning area ALL 240 km (130 NM)

And, the worst case pressure for Lan from JMI at this point is predicted to be 920hPa:

Forecast for 12 UTC, 21 October
Intensity Very strong
Center position of probability circle N23°25′ (23.4°)
E130°40′ (130.7°)
Direction and speed of movement N 15 km/h (9 kt)
Central pressure 920 hPa
Maximum wind speed near center 50 m/s (100 kt)
Maximum wind gust speed 70 m/s (140 kt)
Radius of probability circle 310 km (170 NM)
Storm warning area ALL 540 km (290 NM)

The JMI forecast track suggests the typhoon will miss Japan completely:


That jog in the track is curious, we shall see. It bears watching.

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October 18, 2017 12:25 pm

I still go by the ages old ideology that the bigger the difference in cold at the poles to the heat at the equator determine the intensity of storm’s. Lately, more evidence shows more ice accumulation at the poles that brings colder air and water towards the warmer summer equator. That’s simple science. That during this Solar Minimum – that’s expected to last decade’s – is the only real Climate Change and we cannot control it by reducing fossil fuels use, that has proven false in making the claims of AGW. That a real Global Warming is the only way to reduce future storm’s by reducing the glaciers..another impossibility that human’s have no control over. A warmer environment is preferable – to this cold one we are in now – for a healthier environment.

Richard Barraclough
Reply to  johchi7
October 19, 2017 12:43 am


Mary Catherine
Reply to  Richard Barraclough
October 19, 2017 11:37 am

Three in the last eight lines!

Reply to  Richard Barraclough
October 19, 2017 12:23 pm

Excuse me if my grammer or writing skills do not fit your satisfaction in a comment section. I did not know that this was being graded by teachers or something presented to be published anywhere. Frankly, at least you are nit picking those and not the substance of what I have written. I therefore assume you were able to understand what I generally said and at least agree with it.

Reply to  johchi7
October 19, 2017 2:33 am

While this may be the case in the mid-latitudes, hurricanes (typhoons) extract their energy from the ocean surface, not from horizontal temperature gradients in the atmosphere i.e. via baroclinic instability. And also, temperature gradients in the tropics are generally very weak w.r.t. the mid-latitudes for several reasons. As such, the equator-pole temperature difference is not really a causative factor in hurricane frequency. The mean equatorial ocean temperature would be a far better predictor I’d imagine.

Reply to  Anon
October 19, 2017 5:50 am

I don’t pretend to be a meteorologist. But I have been watching the weather news on TV quite often in my 57 year’s. Unfortunately they tend to localize it and not show a wider view. So for around a decade with cable and satellite I’ve watched some global TV weather forcasts. Along with keeping up with how jet stream’s and ocean current’s flow in online site’s. Understanding the different layers of the Atmosphere having different temperatures as well as the Ocean’s mechanics of colder where deeper and warmer at the surface. Scientists have still no real answers to how these Hurricanes, typhoons and other weather is created. But observations show ocean current from Antarctica moving up the western coast of Africa where it deflects west nearing the Equator and the rotation of the Earth drives it westward more. The jet stream coming across Canada downward with the La Nina is only seen if there are clouds the satellites can detect. Both of which causes the counter clockwise rotation of them in the Atlantic minn and their Northward trek is driven by the Ocean Current and the Ocean Current coming from the Arctic is colder and moves along the West of Europe adding to the rotation near the Equator that is also deflected by Africa westward. With the colder undercurrents converging forcing the warmer water upwards and the colder higher altitude jet streams meeting the lower elevations warmer air stream as heat rises it is the differences in temperature that meet and form these Hurricanes or Tropical Storm’s depending upon the degree”s of the temperature variations. When a single temperature exists there is no wind. Wind is created by 2 differnt temperatures meeting by high and low pressures. The Sun is the obvious driver of all of it, as it heats the Equator more than at the poles. And with a Solar Minimum the Poles grow more Ice that the cold pushes the heat closer to the Equator – instead of being over a wider area – condensing it in the Ocean’s at the surface, causing higher evaporation that feeds the cooling in the higher elevation as heat rises that transports it there. Other’s have given theories on this site and that’s mine.

October 18, 2017 12:33 pm

I was assuming a direct hit on the Philippines again, only a day ago or so. Seems almost like these storms have a mind all of their own. But of course they don’t, but are following the path of least resistance in transporting equatorial heat to polar regions. What we need now is honest record keeping of data so that we can hind cast the conditions that made the storm act like it did, so as to make future casting more accurate. More raw unfiltered accessible data would be good.

Bob Denby
October 18, 2017 1:08 pm

Constructing a huge computer model has got to be tedious work. It’s perfectly understandable (although perhaps not advisable) that he who constructs it would like to show it off — for some reason we don’t any longer punish those who cry, ‘Wolf!!’

October 18, 2017 1:13 pm

I’m sorry..but the first thought that goes through my head is “hype”……..
Not my fault…I didn’t put it there

Pop Piasa
October 18, 2017 1:34 pm

With the Madden-Julian Oscillation in a strong phase 5 state, it might get interesting. Joe Bastardi shows the incredible correlation of reality with the MJO teleconnection model on today’s update. Worth a watch.

Tom Halla
October 18, 2017 1:34 pm

Interesting that the main land the map shows are the Phlilipines and Taiwan, without the track extending as far as Japan or even Okinawa, particularly as the info is coming from the Japanese Met agency.

Reply to  Tom Halla
October 19, 2017 12:19 am

Yet I was just watching the news on TV over lunch here (Taiwan) and they showed the full projected track of this storm. Right to Tokyo!

And going to Weather Underground, they also showing the storm hitting Tokyo between Monday and Tuesday. It may technically miss the mainland, but it looks to be hitting Tokyo before curving back out to sea.

Walter Sobchak
October 18, 2017 1:41 pm

What is a “super” Typhoon? How does it compare to a Cat 5 Hurricane?

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
October 18, 2017 2:27 pm

ALL storms from now on will carry the title “SUPER”

Reply to  Old44
October 18, 2017 4:08 pm

Sounds right to Me !

Or make that “Left” ???

But is it a Male Storm or a Female Storm, or, wait, I got it, it’s a Transgender Storm serving both, oops I meant “any” number of traits…

Question is, What is this “thing” and what happens next ?????

It’s truely is a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World !!!

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
October 18, 2017 2:41 pm

if the max wind speed is 100 kts…..we would call it a Cat 3

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
October 18, 2017 3:29 pm

A “super” typhoon is equivalent to CAT 3 or higher. The terminology has been around for a while (a quick NGram search shows it first appearing in 1971). I lived through a very stormy time in Taiwan during the early 1960’s. As I recall, within about 16 months there were nine typhoons that impacted Taiwan: 3 CAT 1, 1 CAT 2, 2 CAT 4 and 3 CAT 5. Some of these were not at full strength when they hit Taiwan; but still, a lot of stormy weather. Nothing new about “Super” Typhoons, certainly not as evidence of “climate change” (not that you said so, just sayin’).

Frederik Michiels
Reply to  blcjr
October 19, 2017 3:27 am

a super typhoon is coined by the JTWC since decades, it is given to a high end category 4 equivalent hurricane (130 kts one minute sustained winds) the JMA uses 10 minute sustained windspeeds just like the WMO does giving lower values.

October 18, 2017 3:11 pm

Too early to say anything important about this one. Projected track is a nothing burger. The previous zig zag is interesting; local sea conditions?

October 18, 2017 3:25 pm

The above comments noted.

However, even 65 knot [just about Hurricane force [Beaufort Force 12] winds are very unpleasant for even a big, modern merchant ship.
For smaller ships – let alone coasters or fishing vessels [even fish factory ships] a Hurricane needs avoiding very urgently.

120 knots – even for a short time – a few hours – will most certainly find any problems on board – water-tight closures that aren’t; main engines with insufficient lube oil – so rolling causes the ME to stop [lack of Lube Oil suction] rendering the ship helpless in the winds.

Note also the large windages of modern gas and container – and car-carrier – ships.


Reply to  Auto
October 19, 2017 1:00 am

The Typhoon (Cobra) which caught the USN Task Force 38 in 1944 was a Cat 2. It sank 3 destroyers (DDs). Every one of them were low on fuel. Ballast is important for stability and for a destroyer or many other types of smaller vessels fuel generally makes up the majority of the ballast. Many other ships were damaged but even Destroyer Escorts (DEs) that we’re smaller than the DDs survived. Vessels like the DDs and DEs are notorious for the severity of the “whip” when they are caught in the trough in heavy seas. Many a man on those kinds of vessels have been injured by being slammed into bulkheads or equipment in heavy seas. Of course the higher a person is in the superstructure the worse the “whip”.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Rah
October 19, 2017 5:59 am

I knew an Aerographer’s Mate who served on a “tin can” (DD) for a while in the North Atlantic. He related that during heavy seas it wasn’t uncommon for sailors to walk up the side of the walls while the ships was rolling. Weak stomachs need not apply.

October 18, 2017 3:55 pm

As I note in a reply above I lived in Taiwan in the early 1960’s during a very stormy period. Wikipedia has some great pages chronicling Pacific typhoon season history. For the 1961 Pacific Typhoon season there were a total of 21 typhoons: 9 CAT 1; 2 CAT2; 4 CAT 4; and 6 CAT 5. For the 1962 Pacific Typhoon season there were 22 typhoons: 8 CAT 1; 3 CAT 2; 3 CAT 3; 3 CAT 4; and 5 CAT 5.

“Super” Typhoons are CAT 3 or higher. Of the 43 typhoons those two seasons 22, or just over half, were “Super” Typhoons. Having lived through most of those two seasons in Taiwan (which was impacted by 9 typhoons while I was there, 5 of them CAT 4 or 5, i.e. “Super” typhoons) I’m a little jaded when people think “climate change” is making storms worse.


October 18, 2017 7:28 pm

I live right on the beach in Japan and I’m amazed at the West’s hyperbolic coverage of typhoons.

Over the centuries, Japan has built MASSIVE infrastructures to handle once-in-100-year storms.

It’s not pretty, with most large rivers having gigantic ugly concrete banks, shorelines with massive tetrapod barriers, huge earthen berms along coasts and rivers, massive concrete wave breaker many kilometers long, VERY strict building codes, ports surrounded by gigantic steel-reinforced concrete walls. prohibition of building in flood plains, etc.

These infrastructures are ugly as hell, but very effective. The irony is that the EPAs in most countries would never allow such infrastructures to be constructed because of environmental impact studies, or their governments are too cheap or poor to spend the $billion/$trillions necessary to properly protect their citizens. and rely on the largess of wealthy nations to pay for their mistakes when weather events devastate their countries…

Even with these precautions, massive storms can cause problems as I lost 1/4 of my roof (which landed on top of my car…) about 10 years ago… My insurance covered everything and I didn’t get a dime from the government– as it should be. I accept the responsibility for living on the beach and bear the financial responsibility for that decision–as it should be…

Reply to  SAMURAI
October 19, 2017 1:09 am

Yep, the Japanese do a lot more than about any other nation to prepare for certain types of disasters. But then again being on relatively highly developed and industrialized islands in a very seismically active portion of the ring of fire might have something to do with that.

Jsn L
Reply to  SAMURAI
October 19, 2017 8:33 pm

I’m stationed in Okinawa. Homes here are built like above ground bunkers; ugly concrete buildings that are nice on the inside. This isn’t even making news here. In fact, my golfing buddies are still talking about golfing this Saturday. The wife and I plan on picking up DVDs for the kids to watch since we won’t be able to play outside.

Reply to  Jsn L
October 20, 2017 7:22 am

JSN— First of all, thank you for service to our country.

I often visit Okinawa on business and your description of bunker architecture is appropriate. Moreover, they’re seldom even painted— just dirty gray concrete boxes… but Indestructible.

During one of trips to Okinawa, a large typhoon made a direct hit over Naha, reversed course, hit Naha again, and moved Northeast.. I was forced to hunker down in my hotel room for two days..

When the storm finally passed, I flew back home to Fujisawa, and incredibly, the same damned typhoon made landfall in Shonan with the eye of the storm passing right over my house on the beach..

The same damned typhoon hit me three times… One of those, “Only in Japan stories”..

It reminded of that old Farside cartoon with God looking at a man on a computer monitor with his finger over the SMITE button..

October 20, 2017 11:39 am
Reply to  brians356
October 20, 2017 11:39 am


Reply to  brians356
October 20, 2017 11:53 am
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