Tropical Depression 11W (Damrey) # 1; Tropical Storm 10W (Saola) # 2
Published: July 29, 2012
3:20 p.m. Sunday, July 29, Japan time: Traffic is picking up out there in Typhoon Alley; a second storm spawned overnight Saturday, but Tropical Depression Damrey, like Tropical Storm Saola, appear to be moving on paths that should keep Okinawa out of harm’s way … for the moment.
Damrey was sitting quasi-stationary about 1,250 miles east of Okinawa at 3 p.m. Sunday. Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasts call for it to pick up forward speed and start tracking west-northwest, taking it 305 miles north-northeast of Okinawa and 160 miles south of Sasebo Naval Base between 9 p.m. and midnight Wednesday. It should top out at 52-mph sustained winds and 63-mph gusts at its center around 9 a.m. Wednesday. FYI, Damrey is Cambodian for elephant.
As for Saola, which was sitting about 610 miles south-southwest of Okinawa at 3 p.m. Sunday, it should start tracking north-northwest toward Taiwan, maxing out at 110-mph sustained winds and 132-mph gusts at its center. It’s forecast to barrel ashore around 9 a.m. Thursday, passing just south of Taipei packing 92-mph sustained winds and 115-mph gusts. It should remain well west-southwest of Okinawa, some 400 miles away at its closest point of approach around 3 p.m. Wednesday.
So, what does all that mean for Okinawa?
According to Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight’s extended forecast, expect winds to pick up from the east Tuesday evening, 20 mph with gusts up to 30, increasing to 23 mph with 35-mph gusts on Wednesday and 30 mph with 40-mph gusts on Thursday. Rainshowers and the chance of thunderstorms thrown into the mix, naturally.
As these tropical systems still are young, there’s every chance their tracks might change. Keep an eye here on PST, your local commanders’ access channels and Facebook pages and AFN Okinawa for the latest.