Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Typhoon Trami a large, powerful storm off the coast of Japan is expected to make landfall in the southern part of the country on Saturday, meteorologists said.
The storm was heading north toward Okinawa on Wednesday and was forecast to make its way on land in the southern prefecture by Saturday, before shifting its course toward western Japan on Sunday, Japan's Meteorological Agency said.
Trami is expected to bring strong winds and rough seas to Okinawa before it makes landfall, with wind and rain forecast to intensify by Sunday in western Japan.
European astronaut Alexander Gerst shared photos of the storm from space on Tuesday, noting it looked as if "somebody pulled the planet's gigantic plug."
"Staring down the eye of yet another fierce storm. Category 5 Super Typhoon Trami is unstoppable and heading for Japan and Taiwan. Be safe down there!" Gerst wrote on Twitter.
The storm has since weakened to the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane, and is expected to carry winds between 115 mph and 125 mph when it makes landfall in Japan.
Trami is forecast to weaken slightly before gaining strength again as it nears land and its effects can already be felt in Japan.
Rainfall totals could reach more than 9.8 inches to 19.6 inches from Kagoshima through Tokyo, potentially causing flooding and landslides.
"Pre-typhoon rainfall could cause a threat of landslides; once the system moves in it'll enhance that rain," said CNN meteorologist Tom Sater.
Sater added that earlier models indicated the storm would make landfall in mainland Taiwan, but that outcome is less likely now.