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Typhoon Sanba approaching South Korea


The storm passed by Okinawa and southwestern Japan over the weekend. Courtesy: NASA
The storm passed by Okinawa and southwestern Japan over the weekend. Courtesy: NASA

Staff writers

September 16, 2012 — Typhoon Sanba is on track to make landfall in South Korea on Monday, after dousing Okinawa and knocking out power to thousands of homes in Japan.

The eye of the storm (yellow) as it appeared on Thursday, surrounded by thunderstorms (purple). Courtesy: NASA
The eye of the storm (yellow) as it appeared on Thursday, surrounded by thunderstorms (purple). Courtesy: NASA

Typhoon Sanba brought heavy rain and strong winds to Japan's Ryukyu Islands, including Okinawa, on Saturday, flooding houses and roads in the archipelago before moving on, with no immediate reports of deaths or injuries.

But when the powerful storm, boasting winds of up to 185 km/h, passed near southwestern Japan, it left more than 60,000 homes without power, grounded numerous flights and cancelled ferries.

By the time it makes landfall in South Korea, likely on Monday, the storm will boast winds of up to 167 km/h.

Typhoons -- the Pacific equivalent of hurricanes -- are not given a formal classification, but that wind speed would make it the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane. At its peak on Thursday, the storm's 280 km/h sustained winds would have put it at Category 5 strength.

Those strong winds, along with very rapid strengthening, some forecasters to dub Sanba a "super typhoon" last week.

On Saturday, Sanba contributed to severe weather in the Philippines, where hundreds were forced to evacuate parts of the capital, Manila, after being inundated with flood water.

Typhoon average wind-speeds in the Pacific are measured over a ten-minute average by the Japan Meteorological Agency. In the Atlantic, hurricane average wind speeds are recorded over a one-minute average by the National Hurricane Centre in the United States.

Closer to home, Atlantic Canada was no stranger to powerful storms last week thanks to Tropical Storm Leslie, which made landfall in Newfoundland on Tuesday.

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