Japanese Grand Prix – Typhoon Hagibis is threatening this weekend’s race at Suzuka, after a recent update from storm to typhoon status.
Meteorologists are paying close attention to the Hagibis tropical storm, which has strengthened in recent hours to reach ‘Super Typhoon’ status.
The huge storm is currently to the south-east of the Asian continent, but is expected to continue on a north-westerly path towards Japan over the course of this week. Apparently, it will hit Japan on Saturday, but will have been weakened considerably by then.
According to Weather.com, maximum sustained winds near the center of Hagibis increased from 60 mph at 2 a.m. EDT Sunday to 150 mph at 2 a.m. EDT Monday. Additional strengthening is expected and Hagibis could become equivalent in strength to a Category 5 hurricane soon (winds 157 mph or greater).
While the typhoon will have weakened by the time it hits Japan, it should still be considered a ‘strong and dangerous typhoon’.
Steffen Dietz, a former meteorlogist for Formula 1, has been updating social media with his forecasts, saying that it’s uncertain at this point how hard Japan will be hit:
#Hagibis has explosively intensified and is now already a super typhoon! (= hurricane category 4)
Track forecast towards Japan and #F1 is quite consistent. Likelihood for any impact is high, however, details remain uncertain at this stage. (1/2)
Sources: JMA, JTWC, Weathernerds pic.twitter.com/ZzJfSqRywi
— Steffen Dietz (@sdietzf1) October 7, 2019
“Generally the system will weaken significantly before reaching Japan, but it will stay powerful. Today models see a slightly faster propagation, so main impact on #F1 could be already on Saturday.”