Tropical Storm Dujuan has the potential to strengthen into a significant typhoon and take aim at Japan, including the Ryukyu Islands, later this weekend and next week. Those in eastern China and Taiwan should also not let their guard down.
Dujuan is currently far from a significant typhoon. The tropical storm is disorganized and struggling to strengthen due to disruptive wind shear.
If the wind shear proves too much for Dujuan, AccuWeather Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani stated that it is possible that it may weaken further to a tropical wave without a low-level circulation. In this scenario, the tropical threat would diminish altogether for Japan and surrounding areas unless redevelopment can occur.
However, latest indications point toward Dujuan overcoming its battle with the wind shear and eventually strengthening into a typhoon.
"Wind shear is expected to relax over the next 18 to 36 hours," said Sagliani. "Afterwards, environmental conditions favorable for organization and intensification will begin, provided the system does not weaken further into a tropical wave."
Should Dujuan survive its current environment, it will likely become a typhoon this weekend as it churns north-northwestward through the Philippine Sea.
"We expect [Dujuan] to approach Okinawa, Japan, Sunday into Monday, potentially as a significant typhoon with winds in excess of 160 kph (100 mph)," continued Sagliani.
Such a powerful typhoon would threaten Okinawa and other parts of the Ryukyu Islands with destructive winds, flooding rain, dangerously rough surf and an inundating storm surge.
"The system should then begin turning to the northeast toward Kyushu," said Sagliani, causing mainland Japan to brace for impacts around Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.
Sagliani quickly added that the track of Dujuan is far from set in stone. Since the system is disorganized, computer models (tools used by meteorologists to make forecasts) may struggle with its projected path.
As a result, residents of eastern China and Taiwan should closely monitor the progress of Dujuan in the event the system takes a more westward track than currently expected and bears down on or grazes communities such as Taipei, Taiwan, and Shanghai, China.
It is also not out of the question for Dujuan to be drawn northward just east of the Ryukyu Islands before hooking to the northeast south of mainland Japan.
AccuWeather will continue to provide updates and more details on the projected track of Dujuan and any hazards to life and property.