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Tropical Storm Chaba to rip across South Korea with violent winds on path toward Japan

October 04, 2016; 5:04 PM

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Tropical Storm Chaba will threaten lives and property across mainland Japan and South Korea this week after lashing the Ryukyu Islands on Monday night.

Chaba reached super-typhoon status, strengthening to the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, on Monday afternoon, local time. Chaba has since weakened to a tropical storm, but residents of Japan and South Korea should not let their guard down.

Powerful winds, torrential rain and rough seas around Chaba's center will pose significant danger to shipping interests across the East China Sea, Korea Strait and Sea of Japan through Wednesday night.

Residents of southern mainland Japan and southern South Korea need to prepare for Chaba to make a direct hit or pass dangerously close into Wednesday.

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After battering Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, on Monday night, Chaba will target Jeju, Korea, which could suffer a direct hit on Tuesday night.

Widespread winds over 160 km/h (100 mph) are expected across the island which could cause widespread power outages and structure damage. Flash flooding is also expected as 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) falls across the island.

All residents of South Korea and Japan should monitor the progress of Chaba closely as a small shift in track could result in significant changes to the forecast.

Chaba is expected to move into the Korea Strait late on Tuesday night with a potential landfall on the southern coast of South Korea between Yeosu and Busan.

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Regardless of whether or not the cyclone makes landfall, severe impacts are expected across southern South Korea into early Wednesday afternoon.

Widespread damaging winds and inundating storm surge and flash flooding are all expected.

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Southern South Korea is likely to bear the brunt of Chaba's impacts as the center passes near or just south of the southern coastline on Wednesday.

Rainfall of 75-150 mm (3-6 inches) will be widespread across southern South Korea with local amounts over 250 mm (10 inches) resulting in flash flooding.

Kyushu and southwestern Honshu will endure the most significant impacts in Japan on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Locally damaging winds and flash flooding are possible.

Wind gusts of up to 95 km/h (60 mph) are possible across western Kyushu, including around Nagasaki. Damaging wind can also advance northward across southwestern Honshu and into Yamaguchi and Shimane.

Conditions will improve in these areas on Wednesday afternoon as the worst impacts shift into western and northern Honshu.

Rainfall will average 25-75 mm (1-3 inches) across northern Honshu as Chaba quickly moves through the area. Localized amounts over 125 mm (5 inches) are possible.

The heaviest rain is expected to fall to the north of Niigata and Sendai, but will also spare Hokkaido.

The greater Tokyo area will escape the worst impacts from Chaba with a period of light rain and gusty winds expected late on Wednesday into Wednesday night.

The combination of rain and wind could cause some travel disruptions.

A second tropical threat may develop in the western Pacific and could bring impacts to the northern Philippines, Taiwan and southeastern China later this week.

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