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Tropical Storm Leepi a Flood Risk to Philippines, Japan

Leepi, a minimal tropical storm as of Tuesday, was expected to pose a flooding rain threat to the Philippines and Japan while tracking northward this week.

However, as the storm was not expected to approach typhoon intensity, widespread damaging winds were not seen as a significant threat.

As of Tuesday morning, EDT, the center of Tropical Cyclone Leepi was located more than 500 miles northeast of Manila, Philippines, or nearly 1,350 miles southwest of Tokyo, Japan, heading northward at 12 to 13 mph, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). Highest sustained winds were 40 mph.

Although movement of Leepi was away from the Philippines, interaction between the storm's inflowing winds and the rugged landscape of the archipelago was expected to yield localized excessive rainfall and flash flooding.

Farther north, the storm was forecast to veer northeastward beginning Thursday, tracking near or south of Japan through Saturday. At this time, interaction with a cold front over Japan was anticipated, the result being outbreaks of heavy rain and potential flooding over the southwestern half of the nation.

The tropical weather system was first upgraded to a tropical depression late Monday followed by Leepi's naming as a minimal tropical storm overnight.

The western Pacific Ocean tropical basin is normally the Earth's most prolific for tropical cyclones, so outbreaks of adverse weather such as flooding rain are a yearly occurrence. The typhoon season begins in June.