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WEATHER

Taiwan, Japan Brace for Tropical Storm Kong-rey's Floods

Flooding rain remains the greatest danger to Taiwan and Japan from Tropical Storm Kong-rey this week.

After soaking the Philippines, Kong-rey's rain has reached Taiwan and will continue to expand across the island through Thursday. Jump to Kong-rey's impacts to Japan.

While not an extremely large tropical system, the true danger of Kong-rey lies in its slow forward speed. As a result, Kong-rey threatens to be a two-day rain event for much of Taiwan.

For some, the event may even stretch to three days as moisture feeding into Kong-rey's center passes over Taiwan on Friday.

AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Eric Wanenchak expects a general 100 to 200 mm (4 to 8 inches) of rain from Kong-rey across Taiwan. The island's mountains and east coast are at greatest risk for amounts on the upper end of that range.

Such rain could easily trigger flash flooding. Mudslides are also a serious concern in the mountains, where amounts may top 300 mm (12 inches).

The arrival of a front and its rain after Kong-rey's departure could lead to more flooding problems and mudslides this weekend.

Midday Thursday local time (around midnight Thursday EDT) is when the center of the tropical storm will make its closest approach to northeastern Taiwan before beginning reaching the South China Sea.

Kong-rey's close proximity to Taiwan should prevent rapid strengthening and generally hold winds to 65 to 80 kph (40 to 50 mph) along the northeastern coast on Thursday. Such winds could damage trees and loose items on structures and lawns. Power outages may result.

The strongest winds are expected to remain east of Taipei, but a few gusts to 65 kph (40 mph) could still graze the capital city around midday Thursday local time.

While chances for this to occur are low, the opportunity for Kong-rey to strengthen into a typhoon would come as it tracks away from Taiwan late Thursday and Thursday night.

Any strengthening, however, will quickly be lost as the weekend approaches and Kong-rey begins to interact with a frontal boundary that will start soaking Japan as soon as Thursday.

That soaking will continue this weekend as Kong-rey makes landfall on Japan's Kyushu island Saturday afternoon as a minimal tropical storm or tropical rainstorm, then rides along the nation's southern coast during the following 24 hours.

Rain amounts from Thursday to Sunday across Japan will generally range from 100 to 200 mm (4 to 8 inches) with the highest totals likely occurring across northern and western Honshu island and Kyushu island.

Tokyo, however, may not even receive close to 100 mm (4 inches) of rain as Wanenchak expects the heaviest rain from both the front preceding Kong-rey and the storm itself to remain north of the city.

"The best chance for any heavy rain in Tokyo will be Sunday through Monday as Kong-rey moves away," Wanenchak stated.