A super typhoon in the Pacific Ocean is forecast to create double trouble with dangerous winds in Japan and frigid cold in the US.
The storm named Hagibis is on track to scrape Japan's southeast coast this weekend with Category 3 winds in excess of 179 kilometers per hour and torrential rain. Then, forecasters say, it's likely to head toward Alaska, energizing the jet stream - a ribbon of fast moving air circling the globe - in a way that will push sub-zero cold south into the US.
Hagibis may or may not make landfall on Japan, but it'll likely come close, said Bob Smerbeck, a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.
"Saturday into Saturday night is when the worst combination of wind and rain will hit places like Tokyo," Smerbeck said.
A weakened Hagibis will pull away from Japan by Sunday, but the storm's effects on the weather will just be getting started for North America, Smerbeck said. Hagibis "will be a formidable storm" as it crosses the Pacific and nears Alaska and British Columbia. At this point, it will run into the jet stream, he added, fueling it in a way that could cause a cascade of downstream effects.
For the US, it means a sub-zero cold blast racing out of Canada and striking deep into the Midwest, Jim Rouiller, chief meteorologist at the Energy Weather Group outside Philadelphia. That will come on the heels of a major snow storm that is forecast to put down from 1 to 2 feet (30 to 61 meters) across the Dakotas and southern Manitoba a few days earlier.
"It will be a pretty solid weather event," said Rouiller. "The cold will reach the Midwest, the Great Lakes, the Plains, basically the entire middle part of the continent."