6:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 11, Japan time: Tropical Storm Etau didn’t affect U.S. military facilities in Japan, didn’t become a typhoon in the classic sense, but the amount of rainfall associated with Etau was simply epochal. More than 2 feet of rain fell in Tochigi and Ibaraki Prefectures in a 24-hour period, causing widespread flooding and evacuation of some 300,000 people due to flooding and landslides, according to American and Japanese media reports; looked quite like the tsunami associated with the March 11 earthquake 4½ years ago. Etau has dissipated, but the cleanup could take weeks.
10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 7, Japan time: A new tropical depression spawned overnight Sunday southwest of Iwo Jima, but it doesn’t appear as if unnamed 18W may become a significant typhoon. It’s forecast to track rapidly north and dissipate over southwestern Honshu, close to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni but as a minor tropical depression. 18W is projected to peak at 69-mph sustained winds early Wednesday morning before rapidly eroding before it hits east Shikoku. PST will keep an eye on it in case it develops further.