A slow start to race preparations in the Japanese city of Chiba have been caused by increasingly strong weather conditions due to the arrival of Typhoon Noul tonight.
The completion of the Race Airport, located along the waterfront of Tokyo Bay, will take place once the winds drop and the risk of potential flooding from the waves passes. We visited Weathernews Inc. in Chiba to speak to their expert team of meteorologists and aviation specialists to understand what to expect from Typhoon Noul.
"Typhoon Noul is approaching our area and around midnight we should expect the passing of this weather system. We can expect gusts of up to 40kts and sea swells of 3-4m," explained Chief Meteorologist Kunihiro Naito. "A tropical depression formed on 2 May and three days later, this was upgraded to a typhoon. It started on the East China Sea and has travelled around 6000km so far."
While the full effects of Noul were felt mainly in the Philippines on Sunday 10 May, the strength of the weather system has dropped significantly as it progressed further north towards Japan. It's not expected that the weather will pose a problem for the weekend's racing, although the setting up of the water racetrack will commence later than planned once the sea swell reduces to a safe level.
"The peak took place on 12 May and now it's getting weaker. In another twelve hours, we expect it to be downgraded again. By tomorrow early morning, we expect the situation to clear with all cloud disappearing. We could still have some strong south-westerly winds," added Naito.
We also talked to the pilots and Race Director Steve Jones. Watch the video.