Tokyo may get hit by a typhoon during the Olympics

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European computer model projection of a potential typhoon near Japan on Monday, July 26

While already trying to overcome a one-year delay and juggling athlete and spectator safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tokyo Olympic Games organizers may have another hurdle coming their way: a hurricane.

The western Pacific has a hurricane season just like the Atlantic Basin, but they refer to their tropical systems as typhoons. The western Pacific is actually the most active basin in the world for typhoons and has spawned some of the world’s most intense tropical systems on record. Typhoon Haiyan, which killed thousands in 2013, packed 195-mph sustained winds.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center is the National Hurricane Center of the western Pacific. Meteorologists there are currently monitoring two active tropical systems, neither of which are heading toward Japan.

The storm that may disrupt the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games early next week has not even formed yet, making it more difficult to predict and track. Here is what one of our best computer models thinks may happen over the next several days.

Thursday afternoon forecast on the European model (Friday morning Japan time)
Sunday afternoon forecast (Monday morning Japan time), showing a potential typhoon developing over the warm ocean southeast of Tokyo (European model)
Monday midday forecast (early Tuesday Japan time) showing a potential typhoon approaching Tokyo, Japan (European model)
Closer view of the potential typhoon approaching Tokyo Monday afternoon (Tuesday morning Japan time)

Since the potential typhoon has yet to even develop, and any potential impact to the Tokyo Olympic Games is still five days away, predicting the exact track, intensity or impacts to the Games is nearly impossible.

Stay with KXAN for the latest on this developing situation, and our own Candy Rodriguez reporting live from Tokyo.

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