A tropical storm could impact the Tokyo Olympics, but there's a silver lining

·2 min read

In case a global pandemic and Japan’s oppressive summer heat weren’t problematic enough, the Tokyo Olympics have encountered another hiccup.

A tropical storm has formed off the east coast of Japan and could impact Tokyo.

If Tropical Storm Nepartak stays on its current path, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimates it could reach landfall north of Tokyo on Monday or Tuesday. “It will not develop into a vigorous storm and is not expected to reach 50 knots during its life cycle,” the JTWC predicted.

Olympic organizers appear to be taking no chances despite the largely optimistic forecast. They’ve moved up some rowing events originally scheduled for Monday in order to create a day off with no racing.

The arrival of a tropical storm is a regular occurrence in Japan this time of year. Japan’s typhoon season ranges from May to October and peaks in August and September.

There is one silver lining to the imminent arrival of Tropical Storm Nepartak. In its assessment of the storm, the JTWC lightheartedly noted, “The system will manage to generate some raised surf for the Olympic surfing events.”

Surfers had worried the swells at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach would be underwhelming, but they may now get the waves they need to showcase their talent. Surfline.com now projects the swells to be at least chest high throughout the Olympic surfing competition, which begins Sunday. As of Saturday, the site expects five-to-seven foot waves to arrive on Monday.

That forecast was music to the ears of Australian surfer Owen Wright.

“I just finished my first warm up session at the comp site,” he wrote on Instagram. “Yess it’s small but there is swell on the way! Let’s go.”

Brazil's Tatiana Weston-Webb rides a wave during a free training session of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach, in Chiba, on July 24, 2021. (Photo by Olivier MORIN / POOL / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER MORIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Brazil's Tatiana Weston-Webb rides a wave during a free training session of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach, in Chiba, on July 24, 2021. (Photo by Olivier MORIN / POOL / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER MORIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

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