Tropical Storm 12W (Haikui), # 10A: Why did it stay so long?
Published: August 5, 2012
I’m sure by now hundreds are scratching their heads going, “How can Kadena go from Storm Watch to TCCOR 1-C?”
Tropical Storm Haikui is a prime example of how seasonal cyclones can be tricky buggers.
Longtimers might recall 11 years ago how Typhoon Nari coincided with 9/11 and kept visiting and revisiting the island, back and forth, for days on end.
Those newer to the island might remember last August, when Typhoon Muifa appeared to be exiting Okinawa with Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-R (recovery) imminent … then, the back side of the storm erupted fat and monstrous and dumped 40 inches of rain in a 24-hour period and caused widespread power outages (my home included).
Haikui sort of borrowed a page from Muifa, only you could call this one Muifa Lite. Here’s what happened:
-- Instead of continuing to barrel at NASCAR Sprint Cup speed toward China, Haikui stalled just north of Okinawa, then hooked a bit to the southwest.
-- That left the island exposed longer to the strongest, nastiest portion of Haikui – its southeast quadrant, ripe and loaded with major wind gusts and scores of heavy rain squalls.
And that’s exactly what pounded Okinawa for hours on end late Sunday and early Monday, 46-mph sustained winds and 75-mph gusts, which ultimately forced Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing commander Brig. Gen. Matt H. Molloy’s hand. From Storm Watch to TCCOR-1C, restriction to quarters, PX and commissaries closed and duty day put on hold.
So, you see, that’s exactly why TCCOR Storm Watch was included in the U.S. Forces Japan instruction – the great “just-in-case.”