Typhoon 16W (Bolaven), # 13; Okinawa remains in TCCOR 1
Published: August 25, 2012
6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, Korea time:
Even though it’s a good two days away, no time like now to start getting ready for Typhoon Bolaven, which may be the worst to hit the peninsula in quite awhile.
Korea’s west coast shouldn’t get pulverized, but it will experience some severe effects from the storm as it roars away from Okinawa and into the Yellow Sea (or West Sea) Monday into Tuesday.
Expect southerly winds and gusts exceeding 58 mph and a goodly 6 to 12 inches of rain (on top of all that Korea’s already had, *ugh!*) beginning Monday evening lasting through Tuesday. Bolaven is forecast to skirt 47 miles west of Kunsan Air Base at 11 a.m. Tuesday, 43 miles west of Inchon at 4 p.m. and 63 miles west of Osan Air Base at 3 p.m. and Yongsan Garrison at 5 p.m.
Though it won’t be as rough for Korea as it will be for Okinawa, keep in mind, Korea isn’t built for typhoons the way Okinawa is. Some tips to keep you safe during the storm:
-- Don’t listen to rumors. The famous last words, “Well, I heard …” can be as devastating as the storm itself. Pay attention to command channels. Follow your command’s official Web page or Facebook or Twitter page. Those are run by official command channels and publish the most accurate information.
-- Prepare, prepare, prepare and prepare in no particular order. Clean up around house and home. Tie down or store loose objects inside, including things as heavy as the outdoor grill and butane gas can. Head to the commissary to stock up on water, non-perishable foods, including vittles for your furry friends, and yes, diapers and towelettes for the little ones. Fill up the cars’ gasoline tanks and stop at the ATM and pick up enough won and dollars for three days; power can go out and stay off for days at a time following one of these things. If your windows have storm covers, use them.
-- If in the unlikely event TCCOR 1-E is declared for one or more bases along the coast, STAY INDOORS. No need to take chances. Anything from a bicycle to a trash can lid can become a dangerous projectile in winds like those. Even after TCCOR 1-R is issued, that doesn’t mean it’s safe to go outside; winds between 40 and 56 mph are still occurring and assessment teams are out in force looking for flooding, damage, downed power lines and tree limbs.
Back down south, Bolaven has picked up forward speed and is charging toward a closest-point-of-approach of around 28 miles north of Kadena Air Base at 6 p.m. Sunday; Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects Bolaven to strengthen into a super typhoon by that time, packing 150-mph winds and 184-mph gusts at its center.
TCCOR 1 was just issued at 5 p.m.; expect upgrade to 1-C (caution) around mid-evening and 1-E (emergency) early Sunday morning.
According to Kadena's 18th Wing Weather Flight, Okinawa "has not yet met the criteria" for upgrade to TCCOR 1-C. Sustained winds still around 25 mph and gusts up to 40. Still about 15-mph sustained below the Mendoza line.
Here’s the latest forecast wind timeline from Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight:
-- Sustained 35-mph winds or greater, 7 p.m. Saturday.
-- Sustained 40-mph winds or greater, 9 p.m. Saturday.
-- Sustained 58-mph winds or greater, 5 a.m. Sunday.
-- Maximum 150-mph sustained winds and 184-mph gusts, 6 p.m. Sunday.
-- Winds diminishing below 58 mph, 5 a.m. Monday.
-- Winds diminishing below 40 mph, 10 a.m. Monday.
-- Winds diminishing below 35 mph, 1 p.m. Monday.