Tropical storm likely to develop south of Japan

Japanese weather officials say a tropical depression to the south of Japan is likely to develop into a tropical storm as it approaches the country over the weekend.

The Japan Meteorological Agency says the developing system is expected to come close to western and eastern regions along the Pacific coast from Friday night through Saturday. It is then expected to be downgraded to an extra-tropical low by Sunday morning.

The system is forecast to bring heavy rain with lightning primarily to the Tokai, Kinki and Kanto-Koshin regions through Sunday. Localized downpours of more than 50 millimeters per hour are possible.

The amount of rainfall in the 24-hour period through Saturday morning is expected to be up to 200 millimeters in Kinki and Tokai and up to 120 millimeters in Kanto-Koshin.

Another 100 to 200 millimeters of rain are likely in Tokai over the next 24 hours through Sunday morning. Kanto-Koshin could get 100 to 150 millimeters.

Winds will intensify mainly off the Pacific coast of western and eastern Japan. High waves are likely in some areas.

Agency officials are urging people to be on the alert for landslides, flooding in low-lying areas and swollen rivers, as well as lightning strikes and gusty winds, including tornadoes.

They are also calling on holidaymakers to stay updated with the latest weather information when enjoying the outdoors during the three-day holiday weekend.