THE storms just keep getting bigger.

Authorities are tracking a super typhoon across the Pacific as it heads, seemingly relentlessly, for Japan.

Headline writers in Europe focused on the threat posed to the Rugby World Cup from ferocious winds.

There was talk of group stage deciders involving both Scotland and England this weekend being cancelled - and being officially registered as scoreless draws. The typhoon is expected to power just to the east of the Japanese mainland and the port of Yokohama, where both England and Scotland are scheduled to play on Saturday and Sunday respectfully.

However, the sheer scale and pace of the typhoon, called Hagibis, struck climate watchers.

The weather system intensified from a tropical storm to a super typhoon Monday. And it did so incredibly quickly. So much so that forecasters admit they cannot be exactly sure of where it is headed.

“The wind speed increased by 100 mph in only 24 hours,” said a a CNN meteorologist called Brandon Miller. “Which is nearly three times what is needed to be considered rapid intensification.”

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Another expert, Colorado State University meteorologist Philip Klotzbach, tweeted that Hagibis had undergone the “most intensification by a tropical cyclone in the western North Pacific in 18 hours since Yates in 1996.”

US authorities declared an emergency yesterdayon Tuesday as the storm neared their Pacific possessions. The super typhoon is near the Northern Mariana Islands with winds of 160 mph. In the Atlantic that would count as a Category 5 hurricane.

Hagibis comes a year after the Marianas were in emergency for another super typhoon, Yutu. One of the Marianas, Saipan, was razed to the ground by Yutu last year. Sustained winds of 160mph were thought to be blowing off Saipan yesterday.on Tuesday

“At Saipan, their automated observing system is likely down right now because of the storm,” Mike Middlebrooke, a senior forecaster at the National Weather Service in Guam, told the Washington Post.

“It’s a heavily populated island. They probably got, and are still receiving, some low-end typhoon-force gusts.”

Guam itself was under warning of flash floods of up to seven inches yesterday.

The storms in the Pacific come after Scotland was hit this weekend by the tail of what had been the most northerly and most easterly Atlantic hurricane on record.

Hurricane expert Brian McNoldy of the University of Miami, spelled out just how unusual the storm is.

The water, Mr McNoldy said, is “about 1°C warmer than average... just enough to give it that extra jolt”.

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Andrew Latto, an expert at America’s National Hurricane Centre, told The New York Times how the storm came about. “You had warm waters, low shear, and there’s a decent amount of moisture,” he said. “It’s a delicate balance.”

Global heating in other oceans are having similar effects. Scientists predict a dramatic uptick in tropical storms over the next two decades as seas become warmer and more volatile.

A study last year by academics at Princeton said more and more tropical cyclones would undergo the kind of rapid intensification marked by Hagibis.

Experts even said that they thought typhoons and hurricanes would get so much stronger that a whole new level, category 6, would have to be introduced to describe their intensity.

Meanwhile, the good news is that Hagibis will slowcalm down to the strength of a category 3 hurricane, weather forecasters expect, by the time it gets to Japan.

But it will still bring a lot of rain.

CNN said as much as ten inches could fall in south-central Japan. Hagibis will slow down to the strength of a Category 3 hurricane

CNN meteorologist Monica Garret said: “Conditions in Japan will deteriorate through the day with the worst moving through central Japan late Saturday into Sunday local time.”

World Rugby said: “Public and team safety is our No 1 priority. While we have robust contingency plans in place for pool matches, such plans, if required, will only be actioned if the safety of teams, fans, and workforce can be guaranteed. It would be inappropriate to comment on any contingency plans at this stage. We will continue to closely monitor this developing situation .... fans are advised to monitor official Rugby World Cup channels for any updates.”

Hagibis is still estimated to be the strongest to hit Japan this year - despite previous storms leaving a trail of death and destruction. Last month one such storm killed three and injured 40 - and knocked out power for hundreds of thousands.