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Tropical Storm Krosa may cause shipping troubles in eastern Asia

Image: Japan Meteorological Agency

Japan is about to get hit by a third cyclone in as many weeks. As the nation recovers from the impacts of Typhoon Francisco and Tropical Storm Nari, Tropical Storm Krosa is forecast to produce flooding, mudslides and damaging winds in the Land of the Rising Sun as early as Wednesday, August 14. With Japan’s biggest port in the storm’s potential path, Krosa will likely disrupt ocean cargo as well as peoples’ everyday lives for a while.

Tropical Storm Krosa consists of a broad system of fragmented, flaring convective bands wrapping into a large, ragged and fully exposed low-level circulation. In other words, Krosa is not highly organized or tightly wound. So, fortunately, Krosa will not likely do major damage when it strikes Japan.

As of 8:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight TIme (EDT) today, August 13, 2019 – 9:00 p.m. Japan Standard Time (JST) – Krosa was spinning over the northern Philippine Sea, centered about 475 miles south-southwest of Osaka, Japan. Krosa’s maximum sustained winds at the time were measured at 50 mph with gusts near 65 mph. Krosa has weakened since yesterday, but could get a bit stronger, possibly becoming a typhoon with winds of 80 mph just prior to landfall. This landfall is forecast by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) to happen in western sections of Shikoku and Honshu islands on the night of Wednesday, August 14 into the morning of Thursday, August 15. But gusty  winds, heavy rain and storm surge will begin 12 to 24 hours before landfall.

SONAR Critical Events: Tropical Storm Krosa as of 8:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on August 13, 2019. Note: all times on map are EDT.

One of the ports in Krosa’s potential path is Nagoya. This is Japan’s largest and busiest trading port, accounting for about 10 percent of Japan’s total trade value. The Port of Nagoya is located in Ise Bay at the confluence of the Kiso, Ibi and Nagara rivers. Notably, this port is the largest exporter of cars in Japan, and the Toyota Motor Corporation exports most of its automobiles from Nagoya.

Krosa’s impacts will include disruptions to ocean shipping routes around Japan, as well as short-term disruptions – closures of two days or fewer – at Nagoya and several other ports, including Osaka. Temporary delays in production are possible at several oil refineries. Based on FreightWaves’ SONAR data, the two refineries possibly at a high risk of damage are in Okayama Prefecture, operated by JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. and Japan Energy Corp. Minor to moderate disruptions in local supply chains in southern Japan are also likely through the rest of this week.

Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.