Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather
By: Angela Fritz , 7:45 PM GMT on June 18, 2012
Typhoon Guchol is a category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with winds of 110 mph, gusting to 130mph. Guchol is on a path to southern Japan, where it is expected to make landfall Tuesday evening. The typhoon is moving north-northeast at 20 mph, and has been weakening, a trend that the Joint Typhoon Warning Center thinks will continue. Guchol's eye is completely clouded over, and the heavy thunderstorms on the west side of the typhoon have weakened, possibly due to an increase in wind shear from the west. Both Guchol and Talim, a tropical storm in the South China Sea, are drenched in tropical moisture. The elements that prevent Guchol from maintaining its strength are increasing wind shear and decreasing sea surface temperature.
Figure 1. High resolution, true color satellite imagery from MODIS of Typhoon Guchol captured today, June 18th, at 12:45 am EDT.
Forecast for Guchol
Guchol is forecast to weaken further as it continues its track northeast toward Japan. Sea surface temperature will decrease as the typhoon moves north out of favorable water, and wind shear is expected to continue to increase. Guchol will probably start to become non-tropical as it makes landfall near Kyoto. However, tropical storm conditions, heavy rain and gusty winds will likely affect a large portion of Japan through Wednesday. The Japan Meteorological Agency forecasts that up to 16 inches of rain (40 cm) is possible from Guchol, and so flash flooding and landslides are a potential hazard from the storm.
North Atlantic Invest 95L
An area of thunderstorms in the North Atlantic now has a 50% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone, according to the National Hurricane Center. 95L originally spun up as a non-tropical disturbance, but is starting to gain tropical characteristics. It's possible that, if 95L gains enough strength, it will be characterized as subtropical. This system poses no threat to the U.S. or Canada—models agree that 95L will track east away from North America, and will likely remain weak should it develop.
Figure 2. North Atlantic invest 95L as of 2pm EDT on June 18th.
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