The strongest global storm of 2022 is barreling toward the East China Sea, threatening Japan’s southern islands but posing only a potential risk to Taiwan or China’s east coast.
Super typhoon Hinnamnor, currently several hundred kilometers to the east of Okinawa, is expected to skirt the Japanese islands this weekend, according to a forecast from Japan Meteorological Agency. The storm is packing sustained winds of about 150 miles (241 kilometres) per hour and has gusts around 184 mph, according to the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
Hinnamnor would be the strongest storm of 2022 based on the maximum sustained wind speed recorded at this point, according to a JMA official.
Okinawa flights have already been disrupted by the storm. Japan Airlines Co. canceled flights to and from the region Wednesday, while ANA Holdings Inc. said eight flights have been scrubbed through Thursday. Both companies warned that depending on the course of the typhoon, flights could be affected throughout the week.
Forecasts show the typhoon moving south of Okinawa by Sept. 2, then moving northward to approach the island over the weekend. After that the path is uncertain, but projections indicate the storm will continue north toward the Korean peninsula next week, suggesting it will bypass Taiwan and the coast of mainland China.
The US JTWC forecasts the super typhoon will lose some of its strength over the coming days.
Things are somewhat quieter over in the Atlantic, where a sustained period of calm is putting the area between Africa and the Caribbean, known as Hurricane Alley, on course for its quietest August — typically the start of the hurricane season’s most active phase — in 25 years.
The expanse of ocean has only had two stormless Augusts in more than seven decades of record keeping — one in 1961 and the other in 1997, said Phil Klotzbach, lead author of Colorado State University’s seasonal storm forecast.