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Japan weather agency to show projected typhoon courses from earlier stage

This Sept. 3, 2020 satellite image released by NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) shows tropical storm Haishen, lower center, sweeping northward. (NASA via AP)

TOKYO -- The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) will announce the predicted course of typhoons for five days from the tropical depression stage thanks to improvements in forecasting technology, the authority announced on Sept. 7.

    The JMA had previously showed the course and central pressure with a forecast map only when a tropical depression was expected to develop into a typhoon within 24 hours. As clouds in a tropical depression are not consistent, the JMA could only provide a forecast up to the next 24 hours. Those forecasts were not sufficient enough to tell whether a tropical depression could hit the Japanese archipelago once it developed into a typhoon.

    In 2018, the JMA introduced a supercomputer that offers them highly accurate predictions. With this new development, the weather agency will announce five-day forecasts of a tropical depression, and people will be able to know the possibility of typhoons approaching and hitting the Japanese archipelago one day earlier than before. The new forecast system will start on Sept. 9.

    In September 2019, powerful Typhoon Faxai brought severe damage to Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, and a tropical depression changed into the typhoon in waters near Japan just three days before landing. There were voices from the disaster-hit areas, saying, "We wanted to get information sooner." A representative of the JMA said, "We hope people will use the information so they can prepare for disasters at an earlier stage."

    (Japanese original by Shinji Kurokawa, City News Department)

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