Tropical Storm 11W (Halong), #15: Visit to Okinawa possible?


Tropical Storm 11W (Halong), #15: Visit to Okinawa possible?

by: Dave Ornauer | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: August 01, 2014

4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, Japan time: PST hasn’t forgotten about Tropical Storm Halong, which a few days ago caused high winds and widespread flooding on Guam. While too soon to say definitively, over the last day, Halong’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track has varied west by some 200 miles, which may bring Halong to Okinawa’s doorstep. The last JTWC update forecasts Halong to come within 200 miles east-southeast of Kadena Air Base at mid-afternoon Wednesday, heading in a north-northwesterly direction. Not a cause for concern (yet), but something to keep an eye on moving forward, as PST will and always does.

4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, Japan time: U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch. Although the monsoon depression is moving north-northwest of Okinawa, it’s still in close enough proximity to produce 52-mph sustained winds and 75-mph gusts to the island the rest of the day Friday. MWR facilities at White Beach and Camp Shields have closed and will reopen for normal business hours on Saturday. Be safe, folks.

Storm Watch still in effect for Okinawa; Navy MWR facilities to close Friday afternoon

12:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, Japan time: MWR facilities at Camp Shields and White Beach will close at 1 p.m. Friday due to severe weather conditions, Fleet Activities Okinawa announced on its Facebook page at mid-day Friday. They are expected to reopen Saturday at normal business hours. Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch remains in effect for Okinawa. The tropical cyclone formation alert associated with the monsoon depression passing over Okinawa has been canceled by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Stay alert for possible flooding and airborne objects. Though this isn't a tropical cyclone per se, it's still a dangerous storm.

Get your safe on.

Storm Watch to continue into Friday for Okinawa

4 p.m. Thursday, July 31, Japan time: Still no tropical cyclone of any description, but Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch will continue into Friday for Okinawa, with gusts up to 58 mph and 5 more inches of rain expected on top of the 5 that have already fallen since the onset of this bad weather on Wednesday.

Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing commanding officer Brig. Gen. James Hecker addressed the base on its Facebook page early Thursday afternoon, saying winds are not forecast to exceed 58-mph sustained, but “there still exists a probability of high winds. Take the time to secure any loose items outside and be wary of possible flooding.”

Units should follow their commanders’ directions for limiting storm damage, Hecker’s statement continued. “Remain alert and monitor the radio or Exercise caution while outdoors.”

PST continues to watch this disturbance closely. Local forecasts call for rain to pick up Thursday evening into Friday; currently, rainfall is very heavy over eastern Kyushu. The disturbance is forecast to track toward Korea by Sunday, according to Japanese weather agencies. Some flights serving Naha International Airport have been canceled or delayed.

Get your safe on.

1 p.m. Thursday, July 31, Japan time: Though it's not been numbered or labeled a tropical cyclone of any description by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, a monsoon depression is close enough and strong enough that Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch has been issued for U.S. bases on Okinawa. Heavy rain and wind gusts up to 57 mph are forecast into Friday and perhaps Saturday. Better safe than sorry — stay alert and pay attention to official information channels.

8:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 30, Japan time: Wow, traffic appears to be picking up in Typhoon Alley. After more than a week of lurking as a tropical disturbance, first near Guam a week ago and off the coast of the Philippines for the past few days, an area of convection some 475 miles south-southeast of Okinawa is apparently taking on tropical cyclone characteristics.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued a tropical cyclone formation alert on this disturbance, which is moving north-northwest in Okinawa's general direction.

Much too early to determine where it will precisely go and how strong it may be, as it is with any tropical cyclone in its infancy. But Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing Weather Flight's extended forecast, provided by its newly launched website, indicates very wet and windy weather over the next few days for Okinawa.

  • Wednesday: Sustained 23- to 40-mph winds with 46- to 57-mph gusts, moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms.
  • Thursday: 36-mph sustained winds and 48-mph gusts, rain showers and numerous thunderstorms.
  • Friday: 36- to 38-mph sustained winds and 48-mph gusts, rain showers and numerous thunderstorms.
  • Saturday: 32-mph sustained winds and 35-mph gusts, rain showers and scattered thunderstorms.

PST will keep an eyeball on things.

8 a.m. Wednesday, July 30, Japan time: Again, no tropical cyclone associated with the windy weather Okinawa has seen the past couple of days (yet), but the island can still expect fierce winds and heavy rain over the next few days. According to Kadena Air Base’s newly launched website, winds between 23 and 40 mph with gusts between 40 and 57 mph are forecast for Wednesday, decreasing to between 38 and 48 mph on Thursday and Friday with plenty of rain showers and numerous thunderstorms. Forecast may turn for the better on Sunday. PST will keep an eye on things.