Tropical Storm 10W (Saola), # 4; Tropical Storm 11W (Damrey), # 3
Published: July 30, 2012
7:30 p.m. Monday, July 30, Japan time: Looking like a windy week on Okinawa as Tropical Storm Saola nudges further east and Tropical Storm Damrey to the north and east, still well out of full fury's way, but close enough that each storm should take turns battering Okinawa with their outer wind bands.
Easterly winds and gusts topping 23 and 40 mph can be expected through Wednesday, turning southerly and southeasterly on Thursday and Friday, according to the latest extended forecast from Kadena's 18th Wing Weather Flight. Call it a supplemental rainy season: both Kadena's weather flight and local Japanese forecasts call for rain and isolated thunderstorms all week.
Damrey continues to swirl due east of Kadena, 1,030 miles, heading west-northwest at 5 mph. Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasts call for Damrey to roll 305 miles north-northeast of Kadena and 143 miles south-southwest of Sasebo Naval Base between 1 and 3 a.m. Thursday. It's forecast to top out at 69-mph sustained winds and 86-mph gusts on Wednesday.
As for Saola, it continues to wobble 470 miles south-southwest of Kadena. It's sitting quasi-stationary at the moment, but is forecast by the JTWC to track north-northwest, 340 miles west-southwest of Kadena at 5 a.m. Thursday, then continue within 50 miles of Taipei at 4 p.m. Thursday. JTWC forecasts Saola to top out at 120-mph sustained winds with 150-mph gusts Wednesday afternoon.
2:45 p.m. Monday, July 30, Japan time: Not by much, but Tropical Storms Saola’s and Damrey’s forecast tracks have each edging just a tad closer to Okinawa later this week. Which, of course, means a revision in forecast winds for the island starting as early as Monday evening.
Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight extended forecast calls for gusts picking up to 28 mph Monday evening along with isolated showers. Expect 20-mph winds and 35-mph gusts along with rainshowers Tuesday, increasing to 40-mph gusts with isolated thunderstorms Wednesday.
Winds and gusts should peak Thursday, 25-mph winds and 45-mph gusts in the morning, gusts increasing to 52 mph in the evening, decreasing to 45 mph Friday morning and 40 mph Friday evening. Clouds and rain forecast all day both days.
At 3 p.m. Monday, Saola was about 500 miles southwest of Kadena, rumbling north-northwest at 8 mph. Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasts Saola to strengthen into a Category 1-equivalent typhoon Tuesday morning, and it should top off at 115-mph winds and 145-mph gusts Thursday morning. The latest track has it barreling 77 miles north-northeast of Taipei at 9 a.m. Thursday and making landfall about 150 miles south of Shanghai around 9 a.m. Friday, though that could change. Closest point of approach to Okinawa is 314 miles west-southwest at 1 a.m. Thursday.
Damrey was 1,095 miles almost due east of Kadena at 3 p.m. Monday, edging west-southwest at 5 mph. As far north as it is and with a rather unfavorable environment for development, too far north, strong vertical wind shear, JTWC forecasts Damrey to develop only into a severe tropical storm, topping out at 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts at mid-morning Wednesday. It should pick up rapid forward speed and knife between Kadena (301 miles north at midnight Wednesday) and Sasebo Naval Base (167 miles south at 1 a.m. Thursday) before slamming ashore just north of Shanghai overnight Thursday.