Typhoon 16W (Bolaven), # 16
Published: August 26, 2012
8:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, Japan time: Satellite imagery shows Typhoon Bolaven starting to cross the north part of the island over Nago, Okinawa's second-largest city on its northwest coast.
Camp Schwab and Okuma Recreation Center are in the crosshairs and should experience heavy winds on the front and back side of the eye, which should hang over both places for about an hour. Incredibly, Camp Hansen, just to the southwest of each locale, is reporting winds of about 50 mph.
Knock on wood, the U.S. bases further south could get a huge break, assuming Bolaven's back-side bands are as benign as the ones in front. That said, we are FAR from out of the woods. Hang tight and be safe!
It might seem relatively calm out there, but current winds at Kadena Air Base are 35 mph with gusts up to 55 mph. Maximum winds were 46-mph sustained and 69-mph gusts earlier. And the worst, indeed, is yet to come.
Typhoon Bolaven’s eye is almost on top of us, though the worst of the storm appears to be headed over the north part of Okinawa. Still, this is no time to relax. Damaging Category 3-equivalent winds are still in the cards for the island, this evening until early tomorrow morning.
Here’s the latest forecast wind timeline from Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight:
-- Sustained 40-mph winds and greater, now.
-- Sustained 58-mph winds or greater, 9 p.m. Sunday.
-- Maximum 132-mph winds and 161-mph gusts, 9 p.m. Sunday.
-- Winds diminishing below 58-mph, 4 a.m. Monday.
-- Winds diminishing below 40-mph, 11 a.m. Monday.
-- Winds diminishing below 35 mph, 3 p.m. Monday.
Don’t be fooled by the relative calm some areas are feeling. This is still a very dangerous storm. Down south where the majority of U.S. bases are, might get lucky, but up north, at least, it’s going to be a battle.
Sasebo Naval Base in southwestern Japan should feel some outer effects from Bolaven. Tuesday’s forecast calls for peak winds Monday morning into Tuesday morning, east-southeast shifting southeast at 20- to 30-mph sustained with 45-mph gusts. Unless Bolaven shifts drastically east, issuing of TCCORs probably isn’t in the cards.
As for Korea, Bolaven will remain a significant Category 2-equivalent typhoon (115-mph sustained, 143-mph gusts) as it thunders into the Yellow Sea, gradually diminishing to Cat 1-equivalent strength (92-mph sustained, 115-mph gusts) as it makes landfall around mid-afternoon Tuesday 71 miles west of Seoul. Bolaven is forecast to rumble 80 miles west of Kunsan Air Base around 10 a.m. and Osan Air Base around 2 p.m. Expect southerly winds gusting to 65 mph with between 7 to 9 inches, officials say.