Typhoon 17W (Sanba), # 21: Okinawa, Sasebo, Korea at the ready
Published: September 15, 2012
1:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, Japan time: Latest forecast wind timeliine from Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing Weather Flight. Expect upgrade to Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-E around 2 a.m. or thereabouts, depending on wind speeds. Closest point of approach 14 miles east at 6 a.m.
-- Sustained 35-mph winds or greater, occurring now.
-- Sustained 40-mph winds or greater, occuring now.
-- Sustained 58-mph winds or greater, occuring now.
-- Maximum 127-mph sustained winds, 155-mph gusts, 4 a.m. Sunday.
-- Winds receding below 58 mph, 11 a.m. Sunday.
-- Winds receding below 40 mph, 2 p.m. Sunday.
-- Winds receding below 35 mph, 6 p.m. Sunday.
12:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, Japan/Korea time: It’s happening, folks. OK, doubters and naysayers on Okinawa, it’s probably not going to be as bad as Bart was 13 years ago. Touche. Typhoon Sanba will still pack Category 3-equivalent winds of 127 mph and gusts up to 155 as it crosses Okinawa later this morning. The island remained in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-C early Sunday; expect an upgrade around 2 a.m. or thereabouts.
The eye is about 35 miles across and the storm is moving at about 14 mph. So parts of Okinawa might experience an unwarranted calm just before dawn. I say again: Avoid the temptation to go outside. You never know when the winds will kick back up again.
Expect most services, including the Green Line, to be closed until TCCOR Storm Watch is issued.
Sasebo Naval Base in southwestern Japan entered TCCOR 2 late Saturday, and may or may not enter TCCOR 1 Sunday; depends on how close it comes. Right now, Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasts call for Sanba to roll 106 miles west of Sasebo around 4 a.m. Monday. Base forecasts call for 60-mph south-southwesterly gusts and showers as it roars by. Base shuttles will shut down if TCCOR 1 is issued.
Korea can also expect an upgrade from TCCOR 3 as Sanba beats an arc path toward the peninsula’s south coast, splitting the difference between Pusan and Mokpo as it crashes ashore around 9 a.m. Monday. Pusan, Chinhae Naval Base and Area IV installations around Daegu should feel a good bit of Sanba’s wrath; it will still be a Category 1-equivalent storm when it makes landfall, 81-mph sustained winds and 98-mph gusts.