Typhoon 17W (Sanba), # 10
Published: September 13, 2012
10:15 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, Japan time: Oooh, baby, this storm is becoming a whopper, to borrow a 1930s expression. Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasts call for Sanba to become a super typhoon early Friday, and expects it to top out at 161-mph sustained winds and 196-mph gusts later in the day.
Sanba’s winds should then recede some as it approaches Okinawa. It’s forecast to roar 53 miles southwest of the island at 10 a.m. Sunday, still packing Category 4-equivalent 138-mph sustained winds and 167-mph gusts at its center.
The good news, if there is any such thing, is the storm has tracked slightly west than earlier forecast. The bad news, Okinawa should still get pounded by Sanba’s more vicious east quadrants, loaded, fat and monstrous with the storm’s worst fury.
Okinawa remained in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4 Thursday evening. Expect that to change to TCCOR 3 sometime early Friday morning at which point destructive winds of 58 mph or greater would be possible within 48 hours.
Latest forecast wind timeline from Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight:
-- Sustained 35-mph winds or greater, 6 p.m. Saturday.
-- Sustained 40-mph winds or greater, 8 p.m. Saturday.
-- Sustained 58-mph winds or greater, 2 a.m. Sunday.
-- Maximum sustained 127-mph winds and 144-mph gusts, 10 a.m. Sunday.
-- Winds diminishing below 58 mph, 7 p.m. Sunday.
-- Winds diminishing below 40 mph, 9 p.m. Sunday.
-- Winds diminishing below 35 mph, 11 p.m. Sunday.
JTWC also projects warm sea surface temperatures to keep Sanba nourished and furious enough to still be packing Category 2-equivalent winds even as it crosses the 30th parallel northbound for Korea.
It’s forecast to make landfall just east of Mokpo on Korea’s southwest coast sometime early Monday evening, packing sustained 104-mph winds and 132-mph gusts. JTWC’s forecast track takes Sanba 65 miles northwest of Chinhae Naval Base at 3 a.m. Tuesday,59 miles east of Kunsan Air Base at 5 a.m., 60 miles east of Camp Humphreys and Osan Air Base around 9 a.m. and 69 miles east of Yongsan Garrison and Camp Red Cloud around noon, then exit into the Sea of Japan (or East Sea) at 3 p.m. Tuesday.
If it retains its power the way JTWC forecasts, Sanba could be far worse than the last two storms that were shells of their former selves when they reached the Korean peninsula.
As in any case, stay tuned to your commanders’ access channels, Eagle FM in Korea and Wave 89.1 on Okinawa, your command’s Facebook and Twitter pages as well as keeping it here with PST.