Typhoon Khanun – the equivalent of a Category 4 Atlantic hurricane – made its nearest pass to Japan’s southwestern Okinawa islands on 2 August 2023.
The center of Khanun is in the East China Sea, potentially making a turn toward Japan’s northern Ryukyu Islands over the weekend and avoiding a direct hit to China’s eastern coast.
An earlier typhoon, Doksuri, made landfall in southern China last week with the force of a Category 2 hurricane, pushing a mass of moist air northward that led to heavy rain in Beijing and other northern cities.
Tropical cyclone formation basins
Tropical cyclones, also known as typhoons or hurricanes, are among the most destructive weather phenomena. They are intense circular storms that originate over warm tropical oceans, and have maximum sustained wind speeds exceeding 119 kilometers per hour and heavy rains.
Tropical cyclones are referred to by different names depending on where they originate in the world.
Hurricanes occur in the Atlantic Ocean and the eastern north Pacific Ocean.
Typhoons occur in the western Pacific Ocean.
Tropical cyclones occur in the south Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean.
However, with only the rarest exceptions, these storms do not form within 5° latitude of the equator. This is due to the lack of sufficient Coriolis force, the force that causes the cyclone to spin. With the above criteria, there are seven regions around the world where tropical cyclones are likely to form.