Fox News Weather Center

Developing Tropical System Eyes Japan; Taiwan on Alert

A developing tropical system in the western Pacific will most likely track toward Japan, but those in Taiwan should not let their guard down.

The Hurricane Center expects an area of low pressure north-northeast of Guam to organize into a minimal tropical storm in the next 12 to 24 hours.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency has already declared the system a tropical depression with maximum sustained winds of 56 kph (35 mph). The Joint Typhoon Warning Center, the official source for, has yet to follow suit.

The system will continue gaining strength as it tracks to the west-northwest through Friday, by which Meteorologist Eric Wanenchak expects it to become a typhoon.

During that time, it will continue to spread squally and drenching rain bands across the Northern Mariana Islands.

Two scenarios for the future typhoon's movement early next week are on the table, and they hinge on a cold front moving through eastern Asia.

One solution involves the storm tracking through Japan's Ryukyu Islands before taking aim on Taiwan and neighboring southeast China. This would occur should the front slide by to the north and not turn the storm to the northeast.

A second scenario involves the front successfully "picking up" the cyclone and turning it northeastward toward Japan.

Widespread flooding rain, damaging winds and extremely rough surf would accompany the storm in both scenarios.

Current indications point toward the second scenario involving mainland Japan as the one most likely to unfold, according to Wanenchak. However, residents in Taiwan and neighboring southeast China should not let their guard down as the other scenario cannot totally be ruled out. Meteorologist Dan DePodwin contributed to the content of this story.