Super Typhoon 05W (Guchol), # 16: Okinawa in TCCOR 3
Published: June 13, 2012
11 p.m. Saturday, June 16, Japan time: Joint Typhoon Warning Center upgraded Guchol to super typhoon status with its 23rd warning on the storm issued just awhile ago. JTWC forecasts Guchol to peak at 173-mph sustained winds and 207-mph gusts at its center Sunday into Monday morning. As it rambles past Okinawa, 100 miles east-southeast at 10 p.m. Monday, those winds will diminish slightly, 155-mph sustained and 190-mph gusts at its center. We should get an updated wind forecast timeline from Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight in an hour or so.
8:20 p.m. Saturday, June 16, Japan time: Okinawa entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3 at 7:48 p.m. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are anticipated within 48 hours.
Typhoon Guchol continues to strengthen and is expected to become a super typhoon overnight Saturday. The silver lining: The latest forecast track from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center projects Guchol to rumble even further east than earlier forecast, 95 miles east-southeast of Kadena Air Base at around 9 p.m. Monday.
Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight’s latest forecast wind timeline follows:
-- Onset of 35-mph winds, 6 a.m. Monday.
-- Onset of 40-mph winds, 9 a.m. Monday.
-- Onset of 58-mph sustained winds, 6 p.m. Monday.
-- Peak 85-mph gusts, around 9 p.m. Monday.
-- Winds subsiding below 58 mph, midnight Monday.
-- Winds subsiding below 40 mph, 6 a.m. Tuesday.
-- Winds subsiding below 35 mph, 9 a.m. Tuesday.
One more day plus for everybody to make final preparations for Guchol. In addition to that commissary and PX run, make sure to stop at the gasoline stand and fill up, and visit the ATM to get cash and local currency, enough to last three days, should the power go out for that long.
For the moment, Okinawa remains in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4, though that could change very quickly.
Sasebo Naval Base (255 miles southeast at 1 p.m. Tuesday) and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni (215 miles southeast at 6 p.m. Tuesday) remain well out of harm’s way, as Guchol is forecast to track rapidly northeast, almost directly over Yokosuka Naval Base at 9 a.m. Wednesday. It should still be packing 70-mph sustained winds and 85-mph gusts as it skirts the Kanto Plain.
11:20 a.m. Saturday, June 16, Japan time: Time to start cleaning up around home or office. Typhoon Guchol is strengthening down south and Okinawa is fixing to take a pretty good pounding.
Guchol is forecast to pass 65 miles east-southeast of Kadena Air Base at 11 p.m. Monday, packing Category 3-equivalent 121-mph sustained winds and 150-mph gusts at its center.
Latest forecast wind timeline from Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight:
-- Onset of 40-mph winds, 3 p.m. Monday.
-- Onset of 58-mph winds, 9:30 p.m. Monday.
-- Peak sustained 75-mph winds, 92-mph gusts, 11:30 p.m. Monday.
-- Winds diminishing below 58 mph, 6 a.m. Tuesday.
-- Winds diminishing below 40 mph, 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Between 8 to 10 inches of rain is also forecast.
Guchol should then move rapidly away from Okinawa and rapidly lose its punch as it moves over cooler water and makes a beeline toward the Kanto Plain, skimming between 9 and 31 miles from Camp Fuji, Yokota Air Base, Yokosuka Naval Base, Camp Zama and Naval Air Facility Atsugi around mid-morning Wednesday, still packing 58-mph sustained winds and 69-mph gusts at its center.
With the weekend upon us on Okinawa, most folk should take advantage and begin a general cleanup around your home or office. Pick up, store and tie things down. Bring the grill and bicycles inside, dismantle the trampoline and bring it inside.
Now’s a good time to visit the commissary and PX and get those typhoon necessities, bottled water, enough non-perishable foods, pet food, diapers and so on to last a few days. If you don’t have ’em, now’s the time to buy a portable radio with batteries.
1:15 a.m. Saturday, June 16, Japan time: With every passing warning from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Typhoon Guchol’s forecast track continues bending to the east. More of a chance of Okinawa receiving the west, less dangerous quadrants of the storm, but still enough to cause plenty of wind and rain overnight Monday into Tuesday.
Guchol is now forecast to rumble 63 miles east-southeast of Kadena Air Base at midnight Monday, packing sustained 115-mph winds and 144-mph gusts at its center. Again, Guchol is powerful at its center but somewhat small in diameter; the further east it’s forecast to track, the less peak wind speeds the island will experience.
Okinawa remains in seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4. Latest wind forecast timeline from Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight reads this way:
-- Onset of 35-mph winds, 6 p.m. Monday.
-- Onset of 40-mph winds, 8 p.m. Monday.
-- Maximum 52-mph winds and 75-mph gusts, 8 p.m. Monday-3 a.m. Tuesday, peak winds at 9 p.m. Monday.
-- Winds diminishing to 40 mph, 3 a.m. Tuesday.
-- Winds diminishing to 35 mph, 6 a.m. Tuesday.
Sasebo Naval Base (250 miles southeast at 3 p.m. Tuesday) and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni (205 miles southeast at 9 p.m. Tuesday) will likely enter TCCOR-4 as a precaution, though Guchol’s track continues to bend further east of each location.
Guchol should then move rapidly northeast toward the Tokyo area, skimming eastern Honshu on Wednesday morning packing 63-mph sustained winds and 80-mph gusts. Guchol is forecast to track 10 miles north of Camp Fuji and Yokota Air Base, 22 miles north of Camp Zama and Naval Air Facility Atsugi and 41 miles north of Yokosuka Naval Base at mid-mnorning Wednesday.
9:30 p.m. Friday, June 15, Japan time: Initial forecast wind timeline from Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing Weather Flight. Peak winds 52-mph sustained gusting to 75 mph forecast between 8 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. Tuesday.
-- Onset of 35-mph winds, 6 p.m. Monday.
-- Onset of 40-mph winds, 8 p.m. Monday.
-- Peak sustained winds of 52 mph, 9 p.m. Monday.
-- Winds subsiding to 40 mph, 5 a.m. Tuesday.
-- Winds subsiding to 35 mph, 8 a.m. Tuesday.
Stay with PST for updates.
6:30 p.m. Friday, June 15, Japan time: Most parameters remain the same, except Typhoon Guchol is now forecast to pass 13 miles east of Kadena Air Base, rather than west, and about 5 hours earlier than last forecast, 2 a.m. Tuesday.
In most circumstances, getting the storm’s west quadrants would be better than enduring the east quadrants. Except that Okinawa would still experience the most central part of Guchol next to the eye itself. And while Guchol is a small storm in terms of diameter, it contains fierce winds at its center.
How fierce? An official with Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight projects 40-mph winds to pick up starting mid-afternoon Monday, increasing to peak sustained 110- to 115-mph winds and 140-mph gusts at closest point of approach, then gradually decreasing below 40 mph by mid-day Tuesday. About 18 to 21 hours of wacky, windy weather.
Though Guchol is approaching the Philippines, its projected path takes it out over very warm seas en route to Okinawa, sea-surface temperatures approaching 90 degrees – as nurturing an environment for a typhoon as a mother nurses her newborn. Even around Okinawa, sea surface temperatures are nearing 80 degrees. More than enough to sustain a storm.
Looking further ahead, Guchol is now forecast to pass further east of Sasebo Naval Base (168 miles southeast at 9 p.m. Tuesday) and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni (131 miles southeast at 3 a.m. Wednesday), rapidly losing its punch as it makes landfall over Kansai on Japan’s main island of Honshu.
Guchol is then forecast to pass 30 miles north of Camp Fuji, 65 miles north of Camp Zama and Naval Air Facility Atsugi, 61 miles north of Yokota Air Base and 85 miles north of Yokosuka Naval Base at around 3 p.m. Wednesday, still packing 58-mph winds and 75-mph gusts at its center.
In advance of Guchol’s arrival, Marine Corps Community Services officials announced that this weekend’s Futenma Flightline Fair has been postponed until June 30, and its accompanying Everclear concert scheduled for Sunday has been pushed ahead to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Ocean Breeze on Camp Foster. For information, click here.
On the Web: Get the latest from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center by clicking here. Join Kadena Air Base’s Facebook page by clicking here. Catch “Stormy’s” typhoon blogs on Commander Fleet Activities Okinawa’s Facebook page by clicking here. See looping imagery of Typhoon Guchol and its projected path by clicking here.
4:10 p.m. Friday, June 15, Japan time: Given Typhoon Guchol's forecast track, 17 miles west of Kadena at around 7 a.m. Tuesday, that should put Okinawa right in the crosshairs of the worst part of the storm, the east quadrants' center, right next to the eye or storm's center.
That should mean from mid-evening Monday to mid-day Tuesday, Guchol should rock Okinawa with 98-mph sustained winds and 121-mph gusts. Too early to tell at this point how much rainfall that will mean for Okinawa.
Next up on the itinerary appear to be Sasebo Naval Base, 78 miles to the east at 3 a.m. Wednesday, and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, 6 miles west at 9 a.m. Wednesday. By then, Guchol will have lost much of its punch, but will still pack 52-mph sustained winds and 63-mph gusts.
12:30 p.m. Friday, June 15, Japan time: Latest from Joint Typhoon Warning Center pegs Typhoon Guchol to rumble 17 miles west of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, around 7 a.m. Tuesday, packing Category 2-equivalent sustained 98-mph winds and 121-mph gusts at its center. Details and specifics later this afternoon after 18th Wing typhoon strike meeting. The silver lining, if there is one, is that Guchol is forecast to move rapidly through the Okinawa area toward Kyushu, losing strength quickly as it whirls 78 miles east of Sasebo around 3 a.m. Wednesday. More later. Stay with PST.
11:30 p.m. Thursday, June 14, Japan time: Guchol was upgraded to a Category 1-equivalent typhoon Thursday evening, and while forecasts peg Guchol to rumble 61 miles west of Okinawa, 17 miles further than last projected, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s weather will still be rugged, to say the least.
Guchol’s closest point of approach should be around 10 a.m. Tuesday, according to the latest warning from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Officials at Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight say Okinawa can expect 86-mph sustained winds and 110-mph gusts as it rumbles past. Too early to say for how long; depends entirely on how quickly Guchol moves.
And as it moves north, it looks as if Sasebo Naval Base may be next on Guchol’s itinerary, perhaps Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning at the latest. Again, too early to say, but PST will certainly keep an eye on things.
6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 14, Japan time: Better begin battening down the hatches. Tuesday and Wednesday are gonna be windy and wild for Okinawa.
Warning 14 from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center projects Tropical Storm Guchol to strengthen into a Category 1-equivalent typhoon overnight Thursday, then begin a long, slow arc toward Okinawa. Closest point of approach is forecast for 44 miles west of Kadena Air Base at 3 p.m. Tuesday, with Guchol packing sustained 92-mph winds and 115-mph gusts.
If it remains on its forecast track, Okinawa should receive Guchol’s eastern quadrants – always the worst of the lot because they unleash the nastiest parts of the storm, with all that moisture sopped up from southern latitudes.
For Okinawa, that means the onset of 50-mph winds starting mid-morning Tuesday, followed by Category 2-equivalent sustained 80-mph winds and 105-mph gusts at Guchol’s peak passage, continuing into Wednesday. If Guchol deviates west, that could mean less; if it deviates east, some parts of the island could see experience eye passage.
In any case, please include in your weekend plans a few trips around the office or yard, picking up, storing and tying down loose objects.
A visit to the commissary wouldn’t hurt; you might beat the rush by the people who wait until accelerated tropical cyclone conditions of readiness are declared.
Store up on non-perishable food, bottled water, diapers, pet food and if you don’t have one already, grab a portable radio and some lithium batteries.
Already, on Facebook, I caught one comment about shining up the boards. I can’t emphasize enough – you’re playing with fire if your plans are to go trying the waves in that kind of weather. Doesn’t matter how much wave experience you have; all it takes is one coral deposit just below water level or one rip current and you’re as good as gone. Leave the danger to the locals. You only get one chance.
As always, stay tuned to PST for the latest.
4:30 p.m. Thursday, June 14, Japan time: Looking more and more like Tuesday or Wednesday for Tropical Storm Guchol to put Okinawa square in the crosshairs.
Warning No. 13 from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center projects Guchol, the fifth numbered storm of the Northwest Pacific’s tropical cyclone season, to be 120 miles southwest of Okinawa at 9 a.m. Tuesday, packing Category 2-equivalent sustained 98-mph winds and 120-mph gusts at its center.
Latest from the 18th Wing Weather Flight at Kadena projects Guchol to rumble slightly west of Okinawa Tuesday and Wednesday, packing a rather significant punch – sustained 52-mph winds and 63-mph gusts at closest point of approach, still to be determined.
We should be fine for the weekend. Still, if you have a few moments, be thinking about picking up, storing and tying down loose objects such as grills, bicycles and trampolines.
11:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, Japan time: Okinawa by Tuesday or Wednesday. That appears to be Guchol’s destination, according to the 11th warning issued on Tropical Storm Guchol by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center late this evening.
It’s still six days or so away, and things could change in the meantime, as these things can be a bit unpredictable.
Guchol passed north of Yap early Wednesday evening, is tracking northwest and is forecast to strengthen into a typhoon by mid-evening Thursday, then gradually curve north and northeast toward Okinawa early next week.
Officials at Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight said while Guchol is not forecast to become a Category 4- or 5-equivalent, it should still be quite powerful. Guchol is forecast to be 250 miles southwest of Okinawa at 9 p.m. Tuesday and headed right for the island, packing Category 2-equivalent 92-mph sustained winds and 115-mph gusts. Initial forecasts call for winds of up to 70 mph on Okinawa.
Stay tuned. PST will remain on top of it.