Tropical Storm Barrels Towards Japan as Olympics Begin

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Jul 24, 2021 - 03:00 PM

The long-awaited Tokyo Olympics is underway this weekend, and in addition to facing COVID challenges, a weather disturbance may disrupt the Games next week. 

Tropical Storm Nepartak developed in the Philippine Sea and is barrelling towards mainland Japan by Tuesday, with Tokyo in the forecast cone. 

Japan Meteorological Agency said Nepartak could bring "hazardous phenomena such as heavy rain, strong winds, and high waves." Winds speeds could reach over 50 mph on Monday, with potential landfall Tuesday north of Tokyo. 

At the moment, there's no indication Nepartak will strengthen into a typhoon, but that can't be ruled out. 

Jim Rouiller, a lead meteorologist with the Energy Weather Group, told Bloomberg that a tropical storm is coming "right toward Tokyo," and this isn't what they need during the Games. 

Some games slated for early next week have been brought forward to Sunday due to deteriorating weather forecasts early next week. 

Outdoor water sports, such as surfing, rowing, and sailing, could be the most at risk next week. Indoor games could be impacted as well if the intensity of the storm increases over the weekend. 

Takaya Masa, the spokesperson of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, said weather forecasts are closely being monitored. 

"Unlike an earthquake, we're able to predict the path of a typhoon so we can make plans, and indeed when it comes to rowing, as a preventative measure, we have decided to change the schedule for the event," Masa said. "Changing the schedule is not a rare event, and we understand the burden it'll have on athletes."

Tokyo is already grappling with the more contagious Delta variant. This prompted the government to declare a state of emergency in the capital earlier this month.