Typhoon Hagibis

Typhoon Hagibis, known in Japan as Reiwa 1 East Japan Typhoon (令和元年東日本台風, Reiwa Gannen Higashi-Nihon Taifū),[1] was an extremely violent and large tropical cyclone that caused widespread destruction in Japan. The thirty-eighth depression, ninth typhoon, and third super typhoon of the 2019 Pacific typhoon season, it was the strongest typhoon to strike mainland Japan in decades, and one of the largest typhoons ever recorded, with a peak gale-force diameter of 825 nautical miles (950 mi; 1529 km). The typhoon raised global media attention, as it greatly affected the 2019 Rugby World Cup being hosted by Japan.[2] Hagibis was also the deadliest typhoon to strike Japan since Typhoon Tip in 1979, and its death toll is marginally higher than that of Typhoon Bess in 1982 and Typhoon Tokage in 2004.[3]

Typhoon Hagibis
Typhoon (JMA scale)
Category 5-equivalent super typhoon (SSHWS)
Typhoon Hagibis at peak intensity on October 7
FormedOctober 4, 2019
DissipatedOctober 22, 2019
(Extratropical after October 13)
Highest winds10-minute sustained: 195 km/h (120 mph)
1-minute sustained: 295 km/h (185 mph)
Lowest pressure915 hPa (mbar); 27.02 inHg
Fatalities98 total, 7 missing
Damage$15 billion (2019 USD)
(Costliest Pacific typhoon in recorded history, unadjusted for inflation)
Areas affectedMariana Islands, Japan, Russia, Alaska
Part of the 2019 Pacific typhoon season

Hagibis developed from a tropical disturbance located a couple hundred miles north of the Marshall Islands on October 2, 2019. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued a red tropical cyclone formation alert - noting that the disturbance could undergo rapid intensification upon being identified as a tropical depression. On the next day, October 3, both the Japan Meteorological Agency and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center began issuing advisories on Tropical Depression 20W. The depression stayed at the same intensity as it travelled west toward the Mariana Islands on October 4, but on October 5, 20W began undergoing rapid intensification and early that day, the system was issued with the name "Hagibis" by the JMA, which means speed in Filipino. Sea surface temperatures and wind shear became extremely favourable for tropical cyclogenesis and Hagibis started extremely rapid intensification on October 6, and became a Category 5 super typhoon in under 12 hours - the second of the 2019 Pacific typhoon season. Edging closer to the uninhabited areas of the Mariana Islands, Hagibis displayed excellent convection as well as a well-defined circulation. The system developed a pinhole eye and made landfall on the Northern Mariana Islands at peak intensity, with 10-minute sustained winds of 195 km/h (120 mph) and a central pressure of 915 hPa (27.02 inHg).[4]

Land interaction did not affect Hagibis much, but as the system continued to move westward, it underwent an eyewall replacement cycle, which is usual for all tropical cyclones of a similar intensity. The inner eyewall was robbed of its needed moisture and Hagibis began to weaken, but the storm developed a large, cloud-filled eye, which then became clear, and Hagibis restrengthened to reach its second peak. Travelling toward Japan, Hagibis encountered high vertical wind shear and its inner eyewall began to degrade, and the outer eyewalls rapidly eroded as its center began to be exposed. On October 12, Hagibis made landfall on Japan at 19:00 p.m JST (10:00 UTC) on the Izu Peninsula near Shizuoka. Then, an hour later at 20:00 p.m. JST, (11:00 UTC), Hagibis made its second landfall on Japan in the Greater Tokyo Area. Wind shear was now at 60 knots (69 mph; 111 km/h), and Hagibis' structure became torn apart as it sped at 34 knots (39 mph; 63 km/h) north-northeast toward more hostile conditions. On October 13, Hagibis became an extratropical low and the JMA and JTWC issued their final advisories on the system. However, the extratropical remnant of Hagibis persistent for more than a week, before dissipating on October 22. Hagibis caused catastrophic destruction across much of eastern Japan. Hagibis spawned a large tornado on October 12, which struck the Ichihara area of Chiba Prefecture during the onset of Hagibis,; the tornado, along with a 5.7 magnitude earthquake off the coast, caused additional damage those areas that were damaged by Hagibis.[5][6] Hagibis caused $15 billion (2019 USD) in damages, making it the costliest typhoon on record.[7]


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