Brewing tropical system could impact Japan during final weekend of Toyko Summer Olympics

By Adam Douty, AccuWeather senior meteorologist Updated Aug. 4, 2021 7:33 PM MDT

Intense heat, humidity and even a tropical storm have already impacted the Tokyo Olympics, and now AccuWeather forecasters are warning that a new tropical threat could take aim at Japan during the final weekend of the Summer Games.

The sweltering conditions have caused some athletes and staff to suffer heat-related illnesses. Now, as the Games draw to a close, forecasters warn that a brewing tropical system could bring more impacts. 

This new tropical threat comes after Tropical Storm Nepartak led to the rescheduling of the surfing finals and rowing events last week.

Marcus Lawler, of Ireland, cools himself down after his heat of the men’s 200-meters at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

“An area of tropical low pressure is expected to become better organized near Japan’s Ryukyu Islands through the rest of the week and can strengthen into a tropical storm by Thursday or Friday,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls. 

As this low becomes better organized, it is expected to drift to the north in the general direction of Japan.

The budding tropical system is expected to bring gusty winds and heavy rain to southwestern Japan starting Friday, according to Nicholls.

AccuWeather meteorologists say there remains some uncertainty in the exact track and intensity of this system, but there is concern that this developing tropical threat could pass close enough to Tokyo to bring rain and wind to Japan’s capital city by the end of the week and into this weekend.

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Some rain and wind can reach southwestern parts of mainland Japan as early as Thursday night.

“Rain can spread north and reach Tokyo as early as Friday night, but the heaviest rain is expected later Saturday into early Sunday,” said Nicholls.

This is the final weekend for the Tokyo Olympics, with the closing ceremony set to take place on Sunday at 8 p.m., local time. 

Should this system strengthen into a tropical storm, there could be delays in the final competitions of the Olympics this weekend, especially any outdoor events. It may even impact the closing ceremonies on Sunday evening if the system moves slow enough.

Areas near where the storm tracks could receive rainfall heavy enough to lead to flash flooding and mudslides. Current forecasts indicate that this is most likely across southern Japan, including the Ryukyu Islands. As the storm becomes better organized and strengthens, winds will increase and could become locally damaging near its center.

Boaters across the East China Sea and northwestern Philippine Sea should use caution as seas build through the rest of the week.

AccuWeather meteorologists say that although the system could strengthen into a tropical storm, it is unlikely to develop further into a typhoon.

Active tropical conditions elsewhere across the western Pacific basin continue to be monitored by forecasters. Tropical Depression 13W strengthened into Tropical Storm Lupit Wednesday, local time, as it churned near the southern coast of China. Lupit is expected to bring impacts to southern and eastern China as well as Taiwan through the end of the week.

Tropical Depression 12W was also churning across the basin, though meteorologists said the system was far away from land and located well to the northeast of the Mariana Islands. (Click to Source)

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