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WEATHER

Japan Is Next Target of Tropical Storm Kong-rey

As Tropical Storm Kong-rey pushes away from Taiwan, Japan will become the next target of its potentially flooding rain.

Kong-rey is crawling northward through the East China Sea with its heavy rain lingering across Taiwan and far eastern China and threatening to cause more flooding and landslides.

Torrential rain from Kong-rey already caused flood waters to rise to second-story levels in Taiwan's west coast cities of Chiayi, Tainan and Kaohsiung, according to the Associated Press.

Officials in Tainan were also forced to evacuate 29 residents from a nursing home and to cancel some train services.

An eventual curve to the northeast will take Kong-rey over or near Japan's northern Kyushu island on Saturday local time (Friday night EDT). Northern Kyushu is home to the city of Nagasaki.

Kong-rey will then race northeastward through western and northern Honshu island as the rest of the weekend progresses.

There is some concern that Kong-rey will be slower to leave the waters just north of Taiwan, delaying its path through Japan by a day.

Kong-rey will either be a minimal tropical storm or transitioning to a non-tropical system when it reaches Japan, which will limit any damaging wind gusts of 80 kph (50 mph) to coastal areas of Kyushu.

Flooding rain remains the greatest concern from Kong-rey across Japan, especially with a frontal boundary and its downpours preceding the storm.

Through this weekend, the potential exists for 100 to 200 mm (4 to 8 inches) of rain across Kyushu and northern and western parts of Honshu. That rain could easily trigger flash flooding and landslides.

Additional such problems may arise for the first half of next week across these areas as the front that will eventually absorb Kong-rey lingers overhead, continuing to draw in tropical moisture and leading to more downpours.

While the city will miss out on the soaking from Kong-rey, Tokyo should see the return of wet weather next week from the front.