Okinawa bases in recovery mode; be careful moving about

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Super Typhoon Vongfong is seen in this NOAA satellite image taken Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014. (NOAA.gov)
From Stripes.com
Super Typhoon Vongfong is seen in this NOAA satellite image taken Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014. (NOAA.gov)

Okinawa bases in recovery mode; be careful moving about

by: Dave Ornauer | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: October 13, 2014

11 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12, Japan time: 18th Wing commanding officer has issued seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4 for U.S. bases on Okinawa as of 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

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6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12, Japan time: Although Vongfong is weakening rapidly, it's still forecast to be a mid-grade tropical storm as it roars northeast past Sasebo Naval Base, 78 miles southeast at about 5 a.m. Monday. Fleet Activities Sasebo's official Facebook page predicts sustained 46- to 52-mph winds and 63-mph gusts between 6 and 9 a.m. Monday, along with between 2 to 4 inches of rain. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni should see sustained 18- to 29-mph winds and 35-mph gusts Monday afternoon as Vongfong passes some 98 miles southeast at about 5 p.m. Monday.

4:45 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12, Japan time: Vongfong has been downgraded to a tropical storm and is clearly losing its punch and intensity. All U.S. bases in Japan and Okinawa are in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch. PST will continue to watch Vongfong in case of any unexpected strengthening or regeneration.

 

3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12, Japan time: Vongfong has been downgraded to a tropical storm and is clearly losing its punch and intensity. All U.S. bases in Japan and Okinawa except Naval Air Facility Atsugi are in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch; Atsugi remains in TCCOR 4. PST will continue to watch Vongfong in case of any unexpected strengthening or regeneration.

From the Okinawa crisis management agency, 23 people reported injured, three seriously, from the storm. Evacuation advisory remains issued to 90,011 homes and 209,814 residents, while 434 residents remain in public shelters. Four homes flooded in Ginowan and Uruma, one home wiped out in northern Kunigami and three homes partially damaged. Landslides reported in three sites, Naha, Motobu and Kunigami. As of 10 a.m., 46,600 homes were without power. Roads and bridges in 16 locations remained closed to traffic, including the Okinawa Expressway.

9:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 12, Japan time: U.S. bases on Okinawa have entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-R (recovery). Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are no longer happening. But those same winds have wrought some significant damage. Downed power lines. Severed tree limbs, even whole trees. Flooding in low-lying areas. This doesn’t mean it’s OK to venture outdoors. Time to remain indoors until the all-clear is sounded after damage assessment teams get things in order.

8 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 12, Japan time: No longer the powerful menace it once was, Typhoon Vongfong continues to diminish as it moves over cooler sea surface and into areas of strong vertical wind shear just north of Okinawa.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-E (emergency); expect that to change to TCCOR 1-R (recovery) soon. Again, that is not the signal that everything is all clear. That’s the time that staff civil fans out to assess damage and make repairs. Downed power lines and tree limbs and flooding are the biggest threats. Stay inside until the all-clear is sounded.

Vongfong’s closest point of approach to Okinawa was 24 miles northeast of Kadena Air Base at 11:15 p.m. Saturday. Strongest winds occurred at 3 p.m. Saturday, 62-mph sustained and 89-mph gusts at Kadena, while northeast Okinawa saw 76-mph sustained winds and 108-mph gusts. As much as 24 inches of rain fell in some locations.

All eyes turn north and northeast on bases in Japan’s main islands, as Vongfong is forecast to weaken into a tropical storm, then accelerate rapidly over Kyushu, Shikoku and Honshu over the next day or so.

Fleet Activities Sasebo and Yokosuka each remain in TCCOR 3, while Naval Air Facility Atsugi is in TCCOR 4 and Yokota Air Base in TCCOR Storm Watch.

1 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 12, Japan time: Here’s the latest wind forecast timeline for Okinawa from Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight, which shows reductions in maximum wind values:

-- Maximum 81-mph sustained winds and 98-mph gusts for Kadena, occurring now.
-- Maximum 86-mph sustained winds and 104-mph gusts for northeast Okinawa, occurring now.
-- Winds diminishing below 58 mph, 9 a.m. Sunday.
-- Winds diminishing below 40 mph, 6 p.m. Sunday.

Midnight Saturday, Oct. 11, Japan time: The worst appears to be over for Okinawa, as Typhoon Vongfong is passing over the island packing sustained 86-mph winds and 104-mph gusts. It seems calm now, but the back side of the storm has yet to hit the island, even though Vongfong’s intensity has diminished. This is not the time to be complacent. Rather, remain vigilant until the all-clear is sounded.

From the Okinawa crisis management offices: As of 10 p.m., 22 people reported injured, three seriously. Evacuation was recommended to 64,761 households with 152,408 residents, and 276 households and their 751 residents remain in public shelters. Three homes were flooded and three partially damaged in Ginowan. A vehicle in Ginowan was hit by an uprooted tree. A landslide was reported at a location in Naha. Some 43,300 homes were without power.

  9:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, Japan time: Fleet Activities Sasebo remains in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3. Sustained destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are not forecast to occur, but the wind forecast timeline still depicts a wet, windy end to the three-day weekend.

9 a.m. Sunday, 18- to 23-mph winds, 35-mph gusts.
3 p.m. Sunday, 35- to 40-mph winds, 52-mph gusts.
Midnight Sunday, 40- to 46-mph sustained winds, 69-mph gusts.
3 a.m. Monday, 40- to 46-mph sustained winds, 63-mph gusts.
6 a.m. Monday, 35- to 40-mph sustained winds, 52-mph gusts.
9 a.m. Monday, 29- to 35-mph sustained winds, 52-mph gusts.
Noon Monday, 29- to 35-mph sustained winds, 46-mph gusts.
3 p.m. Monday, 18- to 23-mph sustained winds, 35-mph gusts.

 

9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, Japan time: Latest wind forecast timeline from Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight shows a reduction in maximum winds for Okinawa Saturday evening. But more rain is on the way as well.

-- Maximum sustained 92-mph winds and 110-mph gusts for Kadena, 11 p.m. Saturday.
-- Maximum 98-mph winds and 115-mph gusts for northeast Okinawa, 11 p.m. Saturday.
-- Winds diminishing below 58 mph, 9 a.m. Sunday.
-- Winds diminishing below 40 mph, 6 p.m. Sunday.
-- 29-mph cross winds no longer occurring, 9 p.m. Monday.

Weather flight now forecasts between 24 and 26 inches of rain.

6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, Japan time: Typhoon Vongfong still appears to be headed directly toward the heart of Okinawa, but the wind values have diminshed by a good 25 mph in the last six hours. New wind forecast timeline coming in the next four hours. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-E (emergency). Stay indoors. Don't take chances. Get your safe on and keep your safe on,

Okinawa! 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, Japan time: Fleet Activities Yokosuka and its satellite stations have entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are possible within 48 hours. No notification of any closures or suspension of services yet. Expect TCCOR upgrade Sunday or sooner if warranted.

12:45 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, Japan time: Latest wind forecast timeline from Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight:

■ Maximum 110-mph sustained winds and 132-mph gusts for Kadena, 11 p.m. Saturday.
■ Maximum 115-mph sustained winds and 143-mph gusts for northeast Okinawa, 11 p.m. Saturday.
■ Winds diminishing below 58 mph, 11 a.m. Sunday.
■ Winds diminishing below 40 mph, 7 p.m. Sunday.
■ 29-mph crosswinds no longer occurring, 11 p.m. Monday.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-E (emergency).

Okinawa’s crisis management office as of 10 a.m. Saturday reports that two people have been seriously injured while 10 others sustained slight injuries due to Typhoon Vongfong.

A total of 2,459 households and 4,673 residents were advised to evacuate their homes while 149 households and 410 people took shelter at public facilities throughout Okinawa prefecture.

The Okinawa expressway is closed, along with roads and bridges in 13 locations. No damage to roads or landslides have been reported.

According to the Okinawa Electric Power Company, 177,000 homes were without power.

Naha Airport is closed all day Saturday, airport officials said. More than 450 flights have been canceled. Japan Air Lines said 19,613 passengers have been affected and Sky Mark said 5,800 were stranded. No word on how many All Nippon Airways passengers have been affected.

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Noon Saturday, Oct. 11, Japan time: Fleet Activities Sasebo has set Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are possible within 48 hours. Typhoon Vongfong is forecast to pass about 140 miles southeast of Sasebo Naval Base around mid-morning Monday as a Category 1-equivalent typhoon, 74-mph sustained winds and 92-mph gusts at its center.

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11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, Japan time: It's happening. Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-E (emergency) is in effect, and it could be for quite some time. Sustained 58-mph winds and greater are occurring, and in some cases much higher in the northeast areas of Okinawa. Joint Typhoon Warning Center depicts Typhoon Vongfong making a direct hit on the central portions of the island early Sunday morning.

Latest forecast wind timeline from Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight:

--   Maximum 110-mph sustained winds and 127-mph gusts for Kadena, 11 p.m. Saturday.
--   Maximum 115-mph sustained winds and 143-mph gusts for northeast Okinawa, 11 p.m. Saturday.
--   Winds diminishing below 58 mph, 8 a.m. Sunday.
--   Winds diminishing below 40 mph, 10 p.m. Sunday.
--   29-mph crosswinds no longer occurring at Kadena, 3 a.m. Tuesday.

Get your safe on, Okinawa!

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1:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, Japan time: Okinawa campers: Expect an upgrade to Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-E (emergency) at any time. And expect it to last until 8 a.m. Sunday, perhaps beyond, followed by a lengthy TCCOR 1-R (recovery) period. This is a bad storm. It is headed directly at the heart of Okinawa.

Latest forecast wind timeline from Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight:

-- Sustained 58-mph winds, from 2 a.m. Saturday (any time, actually)
-- Maximum 104-mph sustained winds and 121-mph gusts for Kadena, 10 p.m. Saturday.
-- Maximum 115-mph sustained winds and 143-mph gusts for northeast Okinawa, 10 p.m. Saturday.
-- Winds diminishing below 58 mph, 8 a.m. Sunday.
-- Winds diminishing below 40 mph, 10 p.m. Sunday.
-- 29-mph crosswinds no longer occurring at Kadena, 3 a.m. Tuesday.

Next update at mid-morning Saturday. Get your safe on, Okinawa!

Midnight Friday, Oct. 10, Japan time: The news gets more grim with every passing
forecast track from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, which now depicts Typhoon Vongfong passing some 20 miles northeast of Kadena Air Base about 1 a.m. Sunday.

That would put Vongfong directly in the path of Camps Courtney, Hansen and Schwab along Okinawa’s east coast, packing sustained 121-mph winds and 155-mph gusts. A Category 3-equivalent storm. The worst the island has seen in quite some time.

And while the north side of Vongfong appears loaded with wind and heavy rain squalls, the back side is larger and potentially worse. Okinawa remains in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-C (caution). Expect an upgrade to that sometime mid-Saturday morning. Get your safe on, Okinawa. This is the one we’ve been fearing.

Vongfong is forecast to track at noon Monday some 146 miles southeast of Sasebo Naval Base, which remains in TCCOR Storm Watch. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni is next on the itinerary; Vongfong is depicted to track 107 miles southeast six hours later; Iwakuni remains in TCCOR 3.

The good news from there is, Vongfong is forecast to race rather rapidly northeast, making landfall over eastern Shikoku Island just south of Osaka, then chug through the rugged terrain of the Japan Alps and rapidly losing power, blasting 95 miles northwest of Yokota Air Base, 105 miles northwest of Naval Air Facility Atsugi and Camp Zama and 127 miles northwest of Yokosuka Naval Base early Tuesday morning.

NAF Atsugi and Yokota each remain in TCCOR Storm Watch, while TCCOR 4 is set for Yokosuka. Their projected TCCOR timeline follows:

TCCOR 3 estimated setting at midnight Saturday.
TCCOR 2 estimated setting at midnight Sunday.
TCCOR 1 estimated setting at noon Monday.
TCCOR 1-C estimated setting at 3 p.m. Monday.
TCCOR 1-E (emergency) estimated setting from midnight Monday to 9 a.m. Tuesday.
TCCOR 1-R (recovery) estimated setting at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Between 4 to 6 inches of rain are forecast for CFAY and its satellite stations.

Get your safe on, Japan!

7:20 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, Japan time: Without question, this is a tropical cyclone season that entered like a lamb and is trying to exit like a lion.

U.S. bases on Okinawa have entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-C (caution). Actual sustained winds of 40 mph or greater are occurring at a particular installation. Outdoor activity, except in direct support of urgent military missions, should discontinue. Exchange, commissary and other base facilities and services will close.

Latest forecast wind timeline from Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight:

-- Sustained 58-mph winds, from 10 a.m. Saturday.
-- Maximum sustained 74-mph winds and 104-mph gusts for Kadena, 10 p.m. Saturday.
-- Maximum sustained 115-mph winds and 143-mph gusts for northeast Okinawa, 10 p.m. Saturday.
-- Winds diminishing below 58 mph, 8 a.m. Sunday.
-- Winds diminishing below 40 mph, 5 p.m. Sunday.
-- 29-mph crosswinds no longer occurring, 3 a.m. Tuesday.

Fleet Activities Sasebo, Yokota Air Base and Naval Air Facility Atsugi remain in TCCOR Storm and Fleet Activities Yokosuka in TCCOR 4. CFAY’s official Facebook page says expect upgrade to TCCOR 1 by noon Monday, with the onset of destructive 58-mph winds expected about midnight Monday.
 

7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, Japan time: Of all the Tropical Cyclone Conditions of Readiness, the least predictable one is 1-R, or recovery. There’s no formula for how much time it remains in effect after it’s issued by the 18th Wing commanding officer. Because it’s subject to how quickly staff civil fans out to assess damage, limbs and trees, power lines, flooding and other things, then how quickly those problems are repaired. After a mild cyclone, that might mean an hour or two. After a big storm – as Vongfong appears to be – 1-R could last much longer, several hours, even the better part of a day. Patience is key. Listen to official channels. Though peak winds have passed, it may be more dangerous to be outside during 1-R than at any other time except 1-E, because of those present hazards.

5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, Japan time: Typhoon Vongfong’s center, also known as the eye, will be about 17 miles across by the time the cyclone reaches its current forecast point of approach, about 24 miles northeast of Kadena Air Base at about 2 a.m. Sunday.

Officials at Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight say it’s possible the very northeast portions of the island might see the eye. But just in case Vongfong’s forecast track continues edging west as it has most of Friday, and the eye reaches bigger portions of the island, here are a couple of tips to keep you safe.

The eye of any tropical cyclone can fool people into thinking that the storm is actually over and it’s safe to venture outside.

Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s as crucial a time as any to remain indoors.

As the eye passes over land, the winds cease to howl rather abruptly. As wide as Vongfong’s eye might be at that time, the calm that follows could last a couple of hours. The stars may be shining, the moon may be aglow, all may seem serene and peaceful … then, out of seemingly nowhere, the winds resume, in the opposite direction of before and sometimes more forceful than before.

Better safe than sorry. Best to remain indoors throughout the eye’s visit, during Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-E (emergency), and also through TCCOR 1-R (recovery), when base staff civil is out assessing damage, flooding, downed trees and power lines, etc.

New wind forecast timeline due out soon.

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3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, Japan time: Not good, folks. Peak projected winds have increased for Okinawa as Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s forecast track now takes Vongfong – no longer a super typhoon – about 43 miles northeast of Okinawa at around 9 p.m. Saturday. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 2; expect an upgrade around midnight Friday.

Latest forecast wind timeline from Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight as of 1:30 p.m. Friday:

-- 29-mph crosswinds at Kadena, 6 p.m. Friday.
-- Sustained 40-mph winds, from 4 a.m. Saturday.
-- Sustained 58-mph winds, from noon Saturday.
-- Maximum 69-mph winds and 92-mph gusts at Kadena, 9 p.m. Saturday.
-- Maximum 115-mph winds and 143-mph gusts for northeast Okinawa, 10 p.m. Saturday.
-- Winds diminishing below 58 mph, 7 a.m. Sunday.
-- Winds diminishing below 40 mph, 4 p.m. Sunday.
-- 29-mph crosswinds no longer occurring at Kadena, 3 a.m. Tuesday.

Between 16 and 19 inches of rain also forecast for Okinawa.

Fleet Activities Sasebo announced on its Facebook page that Sasebo Naval Base has entered TCCOR Storm Watch. Vongfong is forecast to pass 146 miles southeast of Sasebo at about 3 a.m. Monday, still as a Category 1-equivalent cyclone.

Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni has entered TCCOR 3. Vongfong is forecast to pass 95 miles southeast of Iwakuni at about 1 p.m. Monday. Maximum forecast winds there are 23- to 29-mph sustained with 40-mph gusts and isolated gusts up to 52 mph. Between 2 to 3 inches of rain also forecast.

And U.S. bases in the Kanto Plain are gearing up as well. Yokota Air Base and Naval Air Facility Atsugi are in TCCOR Storm Watch, while Yokosuka Naval Base has entered TCCOR 4.

Get your safe on, Japan.
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12:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, Japan time: U.S. bases on Okinawa have entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 2. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are anticipated within 24 hours.

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7:45 a.m. Friday, Oct. 10, Japan time: Here’s the latest wind forecast timeline for Okinawa from Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3, but that’s likely to change early Friday afternoon. Super Typhoon Vongfong is forecast to pass 64 miles northeast of Kadena at about midnight Saturday.
■ 29-mph crosswinds at Kadena, from 6 p.m. Friday.
■ Sustained 40-mph winds, from 4 a.m. Saturday.
■ Sustained 58-mph winds, from 1 p.m. Saturday.
■ Maximum 63-mph sustained winds and 74-mph gusts at Kadena, midnight Saturday.
■ Maximum 86-mph sustained winds and 115-mph gusts for northeast Okinawa, 11 p.m. Saturday.
■ Winds diminishing below 58 mph, 7 a.m. Sunday.
■ Winds diminishing below 40 mph, 4 p.m. Sunday.
■ 29-mph crosswinds no longer occurring at Kadena, 3 a.m. Tuesday.

Time for preparing is waning. Get your safe on, Okinawa.

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12:45 a.m. Friday, Oct. 10, Japan time: Ever so slight reduction in wind projection for northeastern Okinawa and a little bit of good news in Super Typhoon Vongfong’s forecast track: 77 miles northeast of Okinawa at about midnight Saturday, 18 miles further away than previously forecast. PST is sure the island will take any sort of relief it can get.

New wind forecast timeline has been issued by Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight, some slight changes in the timing of onset and diminishing of wind values, as is always the case with the most unpredictable of weather events, the tropical cyclone:
■ 29-mph crosswinds at Kadena, from 6 p.m. Friday.
■ Sustained 40-mph winds, from 4 a.m. Saturday.
■ Sustained 58-mph winds, from 3 p.m. Saturday.
■ Maximum 63-mph sustained winds, 74-mph gusts at Kadena, 8 p.m. Saturday.
■ Maximum 81-mph sustained winds, 98-mph gusts for northeast Okinawa, 8 p.m. Saturday.
■ Winds diminishing below 58 mph, 6 a.m. Sunday.
■ Winds diminishing below 40 mph, 4 p.m. Sunday.
■ 29-mph crosswinds no longer occurring, 9 a.m. Tuesday.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3. Expect an upgrade to that at mid-afternoon Friday.

The time for preparation is rapidly running out. Make that commissary, Exchange, ATM and gasoline stand run no later than Friday. And PST can’t emphasize enough, when the heavy stuff begins, don’t repeat the mistake of the six airmen from Georgia TDY to Kadena who ended up in the drink when they tried to take photographs along Okinawa’s northwest coast during Typhoon Phanfone’s passage earlier this week. Stay indoors. Be safe. You only get one chance.

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12:15 a.m. Friday, Oct. 10, Japan time: Doesn’t appear as if Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni is in for any destructive winds exceeding 58 mph when Vongfong is forecast to pass some 102 miles southeast at about 5 p.m. on Columbus Day. But the end of the three-day weekend promises to be a wet, windy one.

MCAS Iwakuni is in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4. Vongfong will have already begun interacting with the rugged, hilly terrain of Kyushu and Shikoku islands, increased vertical wind shear and cooler sea-surface temperatures, the big three that cause cyclones to weaken and diminish.

Iwakuni can expect sustained peak 23- to 40-mph winds and 46-mph gusts and between 2 to 3 inches of rain (as if the area needed any more rain, given all that fell during July and August).

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9:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, Japan time: Here’s the revised wind forecast timeline from Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight, which shows increased maximum wind values for Kadena and for northeastern Okinawa as Super Typhoon Vongfong is depicted passing 59 miles northeast of Kadena at about 9 p.m. Saturday. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3; expect an upgrade to that about mid-day Friday.
■ 29-mph crosswinds at Kadena, from 3 p.m. Friday.
■ Sustained 40-mph winds, from 1 a.m. Saturday.
■ Sustained 58-mph winds, from noon Saturday.
■ Maximum winds for Kadena, 69-mph sustained, 81-mph gusts at about 7 p.m. Saturday.
■ Maximum winds for northeastern Okinawa, 86-mph sustained, 110-mph gusts at about 7 p.m. Saturday.
■ Winds diminishing below 58 mph, 7 a.m. Sunday.
■ Winds diminishing below 40 mph, 4 p.m. Sunday.
■ 29-mph cross winds no longer occurring at Kadena, 11 a.m. Tuesday.

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1:45 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, Japan time: Super Typhoon Vongfong’s timeline has been accelerated some, according to the latest update from Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight. Closest point of approach remains 66 miles east-northeast of Okinawa, but at 7 p.m. Saturday, four hours earlier than previous projection. And sustained 58-mph winds now forecast to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, lasting until 6 a.m. Sunday. All other wind values remain the same. Weather Flight forecast also calls for between 16 to 19 inches of rain.

Time to initiate a cleanup around the house and office. Bring in or tie down loose objects. Yes, trampolines qualify as loose objects; PST will not soon forget one photograph of a trampoline lodged into a power transformer a couple of years ago. Things that might seem heavy and bulky can become dangerous projectiles in winds of 58 mph or greater. Time also to plan that visit to the commissary and Exchange. Flashlight and portable radio with batteries. Non-perishable food and bottled water lasting three days. Visit the ATM and gasoline stand; in case the power goes off, neither will function. Get enough currency to last three days. Fill the gasoline tank. Replenish your supply of diapers for the young’uns and don’t forget enough food for your furry friends. Have plenty of DVDs on hand, and some board games in case the power goes off. Get your safe on, Okinawa.

Beyond Okinawa, Vongfong’s forecast track takes it along Kyushu’s southeast coast, about 150 miles southeast of Sasebo Naval Base at around 9 a.m. Monday as a Category 1-equivalent cyclone, then 102 miles southeast of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni about eight hours later as a powerful tropical storm, then inland north of U.S. bases in the Kanto Plain overnight Monday into Tuesday. Too soon to say what effects will be felt up north. PST has its eye on things.

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1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, Japan time: Due to Super Typhoon Vongfong, Air Mobility Command at Kadena Air Base has announced a five-day delay in arrival and departure of the next Patriot Express, normally scheduled for arrival on Fridays and departure on Saturdays. The next Patriot Express is now due to arrive on Wednesday. Showtime for passengers with confirmed reservations will start at 2:30 a.m. Oct. 16 and space-available roll call will start at 6 a.m.

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12:45 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, Japan time: Here’s the updated wind forecast timeline for Okinawa courtesy of Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight as of 10:30 a.m. Thursday:
■ 29-mph crosswinds at Kadena, from 3 p.m. Friday.
■ Sustained 40-mph winds, from 2 a.m. Saturday.
■ Sustained 58-mph winds, from 11 a.m. Saturday.
■ Maximum 81-mph sustained winds and 104-mph gusts, 11 p.m. Saturday.
■ Winds diminishing below 58 mph, 6 a.m. Sunday.
■ Winds diminishing below 40 mph, 11 a.m. Sunday.
■ 29-mph crosswinds at Kadena no longer occurring, 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Super Typhoon Vongfong is forecast by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center to pass 66 miles east-northeast of Kadena at about 7 p.m. Saturday as a Category 2-equivalent cyclone.

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10:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, Japan time: U.S. bases on Okinawa have entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are possible within 48 hours.

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7:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, Japan time: Not good, campers. Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s latest forecast track depicts a slightly closer turn by Vongfong to Okinawa late Saturday into Sunday. Closest point of approach now projected at 62 miles east-northeast at about 10 p.m. Saturday.

That changes the wind forecast timeline for Okinawa given Vongfong’s latest forecast proximity to Okinawa. Here’s the latest from Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight:
■ 29-mph crosswinds at Kadena, from 3 p.m. Friday.
■ Sustained 40-mph winds, from 2 a.m. Saturday.
■ Sustained 58-mph winds, from 11 a.m. Saturday.
■ Maximum 63-mph winds and 74-mph gusts at Kadena, maximum 81-mph sustained winds and 104-mph gusts over northeastern Okinawa at 11 p.m. Saturday.
■ Winds diminishing below 58 mph sustained, from 6 a.m. Sunday.
■ Winds diminishing below 40 mph sustained, from 11 a.m. Sunday.
■ 29-mph crosswinds no longer occurring at Kadena, from 11 a.m. Tuesday.

All of this could change, since there’s a large disparity among dynamic model guidance. JTWC forecast tracks tend to fall toward center of model consensus. We’ll see how things go in the next couple of days. PST will keep this under finger.

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1 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, Japan time: Slight adjustments to the wind forecast timeline for Okinawa from Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight:
■ Onset of 29-mph crosswinds at Kadena, 3 p.m. Friday.
■ Onset of sustained 40-mph winds, 1 p.m. Saturday.
■ Sustained 58-mph winds, not forecast to occur at the moment.
■ Maximum 46-mph sustained winds and 63-mph gusts for Kadena, 52-mph sustained winds and 74-mph gusts for northeastern Okinawa, 11 p.m. Saturday.
■ Winds diminishing below 40 mph, 7 a.m. Sunday.
■ 29-mph crosswinds no longer occurring at Kadena, noon Tuesday.

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11:45 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, Japan time: One thing most certainly certain about tropical cyclones is … uncertainty. The most unpredictable things in the world, next to seismic anomalies (stated another way, earthquakes). Super Typhoon Vongfong’s track in the extended forecasts more than qualifies.

Although the Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s latest forecast track has Vongfong heading straight north over the next four days once it rounds the edge of a sub-tropical ridge in the next 12-24 hours, dynamic model guidance remains all over the yard as to where Vongfong might actually head. Some models depict a north-northeast track; others see a north-northwest track toward Okinawa.

JTWC’s six-hour updates almost always stay right at center of consensus. The most recent update, as of 9 p.m. Wednesday, has Vongfong passing 135 miles east of Kadena Air Base at about midnight Saturday, a bit faster than previous projections. It should still be a fairly strong Category 2-equivalent cyclone, 110-mph sustained winds and 132-mph gusts at its center.

For the moment, U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4; that might likely change in the next day or so, at least to TCCOR Storm Watch, perhaps to TCCOR 3 as a precaution. And all that could change should the long-range solutions indeed point to a track closer to Okinawa.

In the long term as Vongfong heads further north, it will interact with increasing vertical wind shear and cooler sea-surface temperatures, which tropical cyclones detest. JTWC’s extended outlook shows a curve northeast, some 120 miles southeast of Sasebo Naval Base at about 10 a.m. Monday and 100 miles southeast of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni about 10 hours later. The good news there is, both bases would be shielded, Sasebo by the rugged terrain northeast of the base and Iwakuni by Shikoku island to its southeast.

PST is keeping this under finger.

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7:45 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, Japan time: Slight changes to the maximum forecast winds that Okinawa, specifically Kadena Air Base, can expect on Sunday.

Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight forecast wind timeline follows:
■ 29-mph crosswinds at Kadena, from 3 p.m. Friday.
■ Sustained 40-mph winds, from 4 p.m. Saturday.
■ Sustained 58-mph winds, not forecast to occur.
■ Winds diminishing below 40 mph, from noon Sunday.
■ 29-mph crosswinds no longer occurring at Kadena, noon Tuesday.

Super Typhoon Vongfong remains forecast to pass 122 miles northeast of Kadena at 6 a.m. Sunday. Peak 46-mph sustained wins and 63-mph gusts at Kadena and 52-mph sustained winds and 74-mph gusts for northeast Okinawa forecast for 1 a.m. Sunday.

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7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, Japan time: Projected wind values for Super Typhoon Vongfong have dropped in the last six hours. But while perhaps not in line to replace STY Haiyan last November as the most powerful on record, Vongfong is a major beast on a grand scale.

The picture of the perfect tropical storm, Vongfong features a 40 mile-wide eye and a diameter extending 10 longitudinal and latitudinal degrees in any direction. About 400 miles across. At 3 p.m. Wednesday, when Vongfong was about 625 miles south-southeast of Kadena Air Base, it was packing sustained 167-mph winds and 201-mph gusts at its center. Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s latest update projects Vongfong to peak at 173-mph sustained and 207-mph gusts early Thursday morning. Monstrous, indeed.

JTWC’s track depicts Vongfong preparing to turn and tracking straight north in the next couple of days, while it diminishes as it tracks north of the northwest Pacific basin, which has some of the warmest waters on Earth, and into areas of vertical wind shear, which tropical cyclones do not like.

But Okinawa will still feel Vongfong’s effects over the weekend and into Monday, in what appears to be a slight zig-zag walk, a bit west toward Amami Oshima passing 122 miles northeast of Kadena at about 6 a.m. Sunday, then slightly back east toward the southeastern part of Kyushu island, close enough that Sasebo Naval Base might feel a dash of Vongfong or more.

Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight extended forecast doesn’t call for the base to experience destructive sustained 58-mph or greater at the moment. Kadena is forecast to get peak 40-mph sustained winds and 63-mph gusts and northeastern parts of Okinawa 52-mph sustained winds and 74-mph gusts at 4 a.m. Sunday, with rain starting Saturday and between 9 to 11 inches expected.

Shogunweather.com’s extended forecast calls for Kadena to get 18-mph sustained winds and 29-mph gusts overnight Wednesday into Thursday, increasing to 23-mph sustained and 35-mph gusts Thursday evening along with isolated showers. Friday continues mostly cloudy with isolated showers and 29-mph sustained winds and 40-mph gusts, increasing to 35 and 46 as it becomes cloudy with rainshowers Friday evenings. Saturday sees that pattern continue, with winds increasing to 38-mph sustained and 52-mph gusts as the peak stuff approaches Sunday.

Too early to say how much Sasebo will face, given that Vongfong is at least five days away. Initial outlook is optimistic, in that the track appears to take Vongfong east of Sasebo, which would be shielded from the winds by the rugged landscape to the north. PST has this well under finger.

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3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, Japan time: A slight revision to Vongfong’s wind forecast timeline for Okinawa according to the latest from Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight. Kadena can expect peak 40-mph sustained winds and 63-mph gusts at about 4 a.m. Sunday. Some northern and eastern parts of the island might see peak 52-mph sustained winds and 74-mph gusts around that time also.

Sasebo Naval Base could be Vongfong’s next destination after it passes about 150 miles east of Kadena at around 3 a.m. Sunday. Vongfong’s forecast track by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center has it beelining straight north to Kyushu, possibly affecting Japan’s southwesternmost main island sometime Monday or Tuesday.

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10:45 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, Japan time: The numbers are staggering. Typhoon Haiyan, at 185-mph sustained winds, was the strongest ever recorded when it made landfall over the central Philippines last November. Super Typhoon Vongfong’s windspeeds may exceed that over the next day or so, though it likely won’t affect land the way Haiyan did last year.

Vongfong, churning some 700 miles south-southeast of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, at 6 a.m. Wednesday, could peak in intensity at 190-mph sustained winds and 230-mph gusts overnight Wednesday into Thursday, according to Joint Typhoon Warning Center projections. That could make Vongfong the most powerful storm on record.

As for Okinawa, Vongfong is now forecast to pass 173 miles east of Kadena at about 7 a.m. Sunday, as still a powerful Category 2-equivalent cyclone, packing 121-mph sustained winds and 150-mph gusts at its center.

ShogunWeather.com says Okinawa is not forecast to see sustained destructive winds in the range of 58 mph or greater. Wind forecast timeline shows the island getting between 9 to 11 inches of rain and 46-mph sustained winds and 63-mph gusts at around 7 a.m. Sunday.

Winds should start picking up Wednesday, 18-mph sustained winds and 29-mph gusts into Thursday morning, increasing to 23-mph sustained and 35-mph gusts Thursday evening. Friday should see 29-mph sustained and 40-mph gusts in the morning, increasing to 35-mph sustained and 46-mph gusts into Friday evening. Next comes the weekend and 38-mph sustained winds and 52-mph gusts Saturday into Sunday before the peak stuff hits.

PST is keeping this one under finger.

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3 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, Japan time: We’re getting our first look at what Sunday could be like with the approach and proximity of Super Typhoon Vongfong. While the latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast depicts Vongfong to be diminishing as it veers near the island, Okinawa should certainly be feeling some strong effects from the storm as it cuts northeast of the island during the weekend.

Kadena Air Base’s Shogun Weather.com Web site indicates Okinawa could experience increased winds and gusts starting Wednesday, 18-mph sustained winds and 29-mph gusts into Thursday morning, increasing to 23-mph sustained and 35-mph gusts into Thursday evening.

As Vongfong approaches, it should worsen; forecasts call for winds to increase to 29-mph sustained winds and 40-mph gusts Friday morning, followed by 35-mph sustained and 46-mph gusts Friday evening. The weekend could get really interesting: 38-mph sustained winds and 52-mph gusts starting Saturday evening and continuing through Sunday. Isolated rainshowers and thunderstorms throughout the forecast period.

Always on the weekend, it appears. PST will keep this under finger.

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11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, Japan time: Vongfong has intensified into the sixth super typhoon of the northwest Pacific’s tropical cyclone season, settling, slowly and surely, over the northwest Pacific basin, with all that warm water vapor just begging to be swallowed by a storm of Vongfong’s nature.

At 9 p.m. Tuesday Japan time,  Vongfong was about 750 miles southeast of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, headed west and packing sustained 155-mph winds and 190-mph gusts at its center – Category 4-equivalent winds. And it’s forecast to set there for awhile, nourishing itself on those northwest Pacific basin warm waters, before resuming a projected northward track for a couple of days or so.

It shouldn’t be that bad when it approaches Okinawa.  But it will still be bad.The latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track takes Vongfong 173 miles east of Kadena Air Base at about 11 a.m. Sunday. Still expected to be a powerful Category 2-equivalent storm, packing sustained 104-mph winds and 127-mph gusts at its center.

See below for forecast wind values from Shogun Weather. PST is keeping this under finger.

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8:45 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, Japan time: After the previous few forecasts depicted a straight run north at Kyushu or the Sanyo area of Honshu, the latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center update now shows Typhoon Vongfong possibly heading just northeast of Okinawa come the weekend.

We’re looking at a pass 183 miles east-northeast of Kadena Air Base at high noon Sunday. It should still be a strong Category 2-equivalent storm, packing sustained 104-mph winds and 127-mph gusts at its center as it rages near Amami Oshima.

What this means for Okinawa according to Shogun Weather, starting Thursday evening into Friday, is sustained 23-mph winds and 35-mph gusts, increasing to 29 and 40 Friday evening and peaking at sustained 35-mph winds and 46-mph gusts Saturday morning.

Too soon to say about Sunday; the forecast only extends five days. PST will keep an eyeball on it.

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2:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6, Japan time: Now that Vongfong has exited the Marianas islands after lashing them with Category 2-equivalent winds and 10 inches of rain in some spots, the question is, where does Vongfong go from there?

Dynamic model guidance depicts a continued west-northwest track for the next day or two, followed by a turn north, almost hinting at a path similar to what Phanfone did before Vongfong. The question being, when will the northward turn come? And how close to Okinawa?

That’s where model guidance disagrees. Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s latest forecast track as always lies closest to the center of those models, taking it just east of the Daito island group east of Okinawa.

Kadena Air Base’s Shogun Weather.com long-range forecast calls for cloudy skies from Thursday into Friday with winds between 35 and 40 mph, with a 40-percent chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms. Much can change over the next few days. PST will keep a sharp lookout.

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2:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6, Guam time: The worst is over for Guam and the Marianas islands, as Typhoon Vongfong is now moving west-northwest away from the island chain. Guam has returned to seasonal Condition of Readiness 4.

Still not certain where Vongfong will head from there; Joint Typhoon Warning Center projects a west-northwest path for the next two days, followed by a turn north, but dynamic models project a rather large spread in the long term. PST will continue watching.
 

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With Machananao Elementary School filled to capacity with people seeking to escape Typhoon Vongfong, Governor of Guam’s office announced that Wettengel Elementary School in Dededo is opening its doors to folks seeking shelter. Folks up north who want to seek shelter are advised to contact their mayors’ offices. Bus service to shelters has been halted with the island in Condition of Readiness 1.

Most every passenger flight into and out of Won Pat International Airport on Monday has been canceled, and Federal Express cargo services has been delayed 24 hours until Vongfong passes. Passengers are urged to contact their airlines for rescheduling.

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7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, Guam time: Guam has been placed in Condition of Readiness 1 in anticipation of the arrival of Typhoon Vongfong, the governor’s office announced at 7 p.m.

Damaging winds of 58 mph or greater are anticipated within 12 hours. All island residents have been advised to stay indoors. On base, only mission-essential personnel are required to show for duty, Joint Region Marianas announced. National Weather Service forecasts sustained 55-mph winds and 74-mph gusts early Monday morning, 5 mph stronger over northern Guam.

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6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, Guam time: Typhoon Vongfong has picked up forward speed, moving west-northwest at about 24 mph, and while Monday may be a wet and windy one, Vongfong should track through the Marianas rapidly if it remains on its current forecast track. Guam remains in Condition of Readiness 2; expect an upgrade to that soon.

But it’s also intensifying as it goes, and is forecast to pass 61 miles northeast of Andersen Air Force Base as a Category 2-equivalent cyclone, packing 115-mph sustained winds and 143-mph gusts at its center. The north part of Guam remains within the Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s forecast 58-mph wind bands and the rest of the island within its 40-mph wind bands.

Most services on and off base will be shuttered Monday in anticipation of Vongfong’s arrival. Public schools and the Government of Guam offices will be closed. Joint Information Center advises island residents to monitor GovGuam’s and Guam Homeland Security’s Facebook pages and tune in to Isla 630 AM, K57 AM, i94 FM, Power 98 FM, 105 the KAT, KISH 102.9 FM and KHMG 88.1 FM for updates and information.

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4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, Guam time: DODDS officials announced Sunday that Andersen Elementary, McCool Elementary/Middle and Guam Hgh schools will be closed Monday due to the approach of Typhoon Vongfong.

Guam’s Joint Information Center reports that between 6 to 10 inches of rain is forecast through Tuesday morning, and with rain from previous days already saturating the ground, flooding is possible in low-lying areas, especially in the south part of the island, Route 1 Piti, Merizo, Inarajan and Pago Bay. As a result, the National Weather Service has issued a flash-flood watch until Tuesday morning.

Shelters have opened around the island for folks who don’t feel safe in their homes or if their homes are prone to flooding. North shelters are Astumbo, Machanao and Maria Ulloa Elementary Schools. Central shelter is George Washington High School. Southern shelters are Harry S. Truman and Talofofo Elementary schools. Phone 671-478-0209/10 for information.

Expectant mothers in the late stages of pregnancy and all high-risk expectant mothers can check in to Guam Memorial Hospital starting at 5 p.m. Please report to the Patient Registration Department, and bring personal ID and insurance cards, drinking water, prescription medicines, toiletries and reading materials or DVDs to help pass the time. Normal visiting hours are suspended and outpatient elective surgeries are canceled through Monday, the Guam governor’s office announced.

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1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, Guam time: Condition of Readiness 2 has been issued for Guam in anticipation of Typhoon Vongfong’s forecast pass north of the island early Monday morning. National Weather Service also has Guam and the other main Marianas Islands under a typhoon warning.

Vongfong is tracking more quickly than previous projections. Latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track takes Vongfong 62 miles northeast of Andersen Air Force Base at around 4 a.m. Monday, a few hours faster than earlier forecasts. JTWC has Guam well within forecast 40-mph wind bands and the northern part of the island within forecast 58-mph wind bands.

Uncertainty remains over the long term, about a 520-mile spread in solutions in the five-day extended forecast. PST will keep an eyeball out to see if Okinawa could be in Vongfong’s line of fire.
 

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12:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, Guam time: Well, the news gets a little better for Guam and perhaps way better for Okinawa, if the latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track holds.

Vongfong has tracked further northwest than previous projections and is now forecast to head 64 miles northeast of Andersen Air Force Base at about 9 a.m. Monday; that’s about 30 miles north of the last projection. But at least the north part of Guam remains well within the JTWC’s forecast 58-mph wind bands and the entire island in the 40-mph wind bands. So Monday should still be very wet and windy.

In the long term, there’s a great divide among dynamic computer models over where Vongfong will head. The models are in agreement over the next three days, but after that, JTWC says there’s a significant split, some models projecting a continued northwest track, others suggesting a curve north like the one Phanfone before it made. So Okinawa could be spared; then again, it might not. We’ll have to see. PST will keep an eye on it.

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6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, Guam time:In very short order, just in its second day of existence, Vongfong has morphed into a Category 1-equivalent and continues to steam rather quickly through Micronesia toward an expected Monday arrival through the Marianas.

The news is a bit worse for Rota and Guam, for the latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s forecast track takes it almost directly over Rota, and just 35 miles northeast of Andersen Air Force Base around 8 a.m. Monday. At which point, Vongfong is forecast to be a Category 3-equivalent cyclone with sustained 115-mph winds and 143-mph gusts at its center. JTWC’s latest forecast track shows Guam projected to be well within Vongfong’s 58-mph wind bands.

Guam remains in Condition of Readiness 3; expect that to be accelerated early Sunday morning.

Joint Region Marianas on its Facebook page advises island residents to: Set refrigerators to the coldest settings, freeze water in jugs, check and test-run generators and ensure fuel for them is safely stored, protect electronics, have a supply of rags and old towels. Double check your typhoon supply locker.

Shirt-tailing onto that: Visit the ATM and get enough cash to last three days in case of power outages. Fuel up your vehicles. Have enough non-perishables and bottled water to last three days. Portable radio and flashlight with batteries. Diapers for the little ones and food for your furry friends as well.

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12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, Guam time: Vongfong is intensifying more rapidly than earlier forecast, will likely become a typhoon later Saturday and is still on track to pass just north of Guam — which entered Condition of Readiness 3 Saturday afternoon — by midday Monday.

Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s latest forecast track takes Vongfong 77 miles northeast of Andersen Air Force Base at noon Monday, packing 104-mph sustained winds and 127-mph gusts at its center. The JTWC track places Guam well within Vongfong’s 40-mph wind bands. A typhoon watch has been issued for the main Marianas islands by the National Weather Service.

Still not certain which way Vongfong will head after it leaves the Marianas, but the extended forecast still takes Vongfong in Okinawa’s general direction. PST will keep an eyeball on it.

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1:45 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, Guam time: Little change to Tropical Storm Vongfong’s forecast track with regard to Guam; it’s forecast by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center to pass about 82 miles northeast of Andersen Air Force Base at high noon Monday, and the north part of the island remains well within Vongfong’s forecast 40-mph windbands.

Beyond that, there’s about a 420-mile spread in solutions among the dynamic computer models as to which way it will head in the long term. Some models are predicting a stairstep motion west-northwest, others are forecasting a turn poleward, as did Typhoon Phanfone before it. If it does threaten Okinawa, it wouldn’t be until Thursday or Friday, so plenty of time to prepare. One that bears considerable watching. Which PST will do.

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8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, Guam time: Not the best of news for folks on Guam; the latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track takes Tropical Storm 19W between Saipan and Guam, and projected to pass 77 miles northeast of Andersen Air Force Base at about 11 a.m. Monday.

It’s forecast to strengthen into a Category 1-equivalent typhoon by then, packing sustained 74-mph winds and 92-mph gusts at its center.

Rota and Tinian islands will likely bear the brunt of 19W, which if it becomes a named storm will be called Vongfong, a name contributed by Macao in China that stands for wasp.

No watches or warnings have been issued for the Marianas as of Friday evening, but the JTWC’s forecast track currently has the north part of Guam in 19W’s outer 40-mph wind bands.

Much uncertainty remains over where 19W will head from there, although the latest JTWC track shows 19W might split the difference between Okinawa and Iwo Jima, much the same way its predecessor, Phanfone, did. But it’s way too soon to say. PST is keeping a sharp eyeball on this.

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4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, Guam time: 19W has very quickly morphed into a tropical storm and appears initially to be making a track similar to Typhoon Phanfone before it, just north of Guam by mid-morning Monday, then in the general direction of Okinawa. Too soon to say definitively, but initial projections by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center suggest that 19W won’t be as powerful as Phanfone. And there’s much disparity in dynamic model guidance, whether 19W will head directly west, toward Okinawa, or curve north and northeast as Phanfone is forecast to do.

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For the moment, 19W is forecast to become a Category 1-equivalent typhoon at mid-morning Monday Guam time, about 130 miles north-northeast of Andersen Air Force Base, making a near-direct hit on Saipan, packing 74-mph sustained winds and 92-mph gusts at its center. No watches or warnings for the Marianas have been announced yet by the National Weather Service, but it has advised people in 19W’s projected path to keep tabs on the storm, as PST will do.