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Typhoon season is coming; planning, preparation keys to survival

Typhoons are wet, windy and wild. They can uproot trees and power lines, cut off electricity and water. They can turn overturn cars, tear sections of roof off buildings. They can turn the most innocuous of objects -- a plastic pail, a garbage-can lid, a bicycle -- into dangerous flying projectiles.

These tropical cyclones are no joke.

Tropical Storm 03W (Faxai), #5

9:30 p.m. Monday, March 3, Guam time: In about three hours, Tropical Storm Faxai will pass some 310 miles east of Andersen Air Force Base. Guam should get some strong winds and rain squalls, very typical of what the island sees year-round, but according to a local advisory, tropical storm-force winds extend only about 70 miles outward from Faxai's center. Faxai should continue north briefly before curving northeast away from the Northern Marianas. Unless something drastic happens or changes, PST out.

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Tropical Storm 03W (Faxai), #4

Tropical Cyclone formation alert near Guam

5 a.m. Thursday, Guam time: Not expecting anything close to the devastation that Typhoon Pongsona wrought 12 years ago, but Guam can expect high winds between 30 and 35 mph sustained and 46-mph gusts along with rain and thundershowers over the weekend as a new tropical cyclone begins developing some 432 miles southeast of Guam. PST will keep an eye on it.

Tokyo-Kanto snowstorm updates

Updated at 9:45 a.m. Saturday.

Things are still pretty much shut down, especially at Yokota, which got a good 2 feet of snow in some places. Atsugi remains shut down. Yokosuka is working hard to reopen. Here’s the latest via base official Facebook pages:

Atsugi, as of 7 a.m.: Facilities on base remain closed as noted in last nights post. Shuttle services remain shut down. East Gate remains closed. Roadways and sidewalks are blocked with snow and ice. Driving is not recommend due to snow and ice hazards.
*** Please stay off the roads and sidewalks to allow public works access to work and clear areas as soon as possible. ***

Yokosuka: The wrestling team is in Yokota and will be picked up by bus at 11 a.m. Sunday for the trip back to Yokosuka.

Students at the drama festival in Iwakuni will be picked up bus at 7:45 a.m. Sunday for the trip back to Yokosuka.

Boys varsity basketball has a trip to Okinawa and are scheduled to depart Yokosuka by bus at 5 a.m. Sunday. No decision has been made on making the trip or not.

Girls varsity basketball have a scheduled bus trip to Atsugi on Sunday and will depart for their trip as weather permits. Games have not been cancelled up to this point.

Off-base updates as of 8 a.m.:

ELECTRICITY - No report of blackout in the area of Yokosuka/Negishi/Ikego area as of 7:50 a.m.
(Source: TEPCO website http://teideninfo.tepco.co.jp/flash/index-j.html)

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION - as of 8 a.m.
Keikyu Line (Main Line): Services restored at around 7:15 a.m. but running with delays.
JR Yokosuka Line: Services restored at 7:18 a.m. with delays.
JR Keihin Tohoku/Negishi Line: Running on delayed schedule.
Yokohama City Subway Blue and Green: Running on delayed schedule.
PUBLIC ROADS as of 8 a.m.
Honcho-Yamanaka toll road closed.
Zuyo Shindo closed.
Shuto Expressway B line closed.
Shuto Expressway K1, K2, K3 and K5 open.
Daisan Keihin closed.
Yokohama Shindo closed.

NEX and Commissary working hard to open before noon. Autoport open. Narita buses to be determined. Yokota bus canceled. Base shuttle will run counterclockwise. Base taxis shut down. Public works is working to restore heat in affected buildings and towers. Ikego back gate, Negishi Gate 1 and Yokosuka Vandergrift closed.

Yokota: All services shut down except for Kanto Lodge and Samurai Café.
Keikyu Line (Zushi Line that makes stop at Jinmuji Station): Services restored at around 0715. Currently running on delayed services.
JR Yokosuka Line: Services restored at around 0718. Currently running on delayed services.
JR Keihin-Tohoku/Negishi Line: Currently running on delayed services.
Yokohama City Subway (Blue & Green): Currently running on delayed services.

PUBLIC ROADS: as of 0800 (Source: http://www.jartic.or.jp/)
Honcho-Yamanaka Road (access road to Yoko-Yoko): Closed Yokohama Yokosuka
Road: Closed Zu-yo Shindo Road (access road to Yoko-Yoko from Hayama and
Zushi area): Closed
Shuto Expressway(B): Closed
Shuto Expressway(K1, K2, K3, K5): Open
Dai-San Keihin Road: Closed
Yokohama Shindo Road: Closedd services.
Keikyu Line (Zushi Line that makes stop at Jinmuji Station): Services restored at around 0715. Currently running on delayed services.
JR Yokosuka Line: Services restored at around 0718. Currently running on delayed services.
JR Keihin-Tohoku/Negishi Line: Currently running on delayed services.
Yokohama City Subway (Blue & Green): Currently running on delayed services.

PUBLIC ROADS: as of 0800 (Source: http://www.jartic.or.jp/)
Honcho-Yamanaka Road (access road to Yoko-Yoko): Closed Yokohama Yokosuka
Road: Closed Zu-yo Shindo Road (access road to Yoko-Yoko from Hayama and
Zushi area): Closed
Shuto Expressway(B): Closed
Shuto Expressway(K1, K2, K3, K5): Open
Dai-San Keihin Road: Closed
Yokohama Shindo Road: Closed

NEX and Commissary working hard to open before noon. Autoport open. Narita buses to be determined. Yokota bus canceled. Base shuttle will run counterclockwise. Base taxis shut down. Public works is working to restore heat in affected buildings and towers. Ikego back gate, Negishi Gate 1 and Yokosuka Vandergrift closed.

Yokota: All services shut down except for Kanto Lodge and Samurai Café.

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Tokyo snowstorm weather update

Additional info from Yokota Air Base, Japan's Facebook page:

Team Yokota,
Due to expected inclement weather, the commander of the 374th Airlift Wing has authorized minimum manning for Friday. Only mission-essential personnel are to report to work.
Administrative leave is authorized for civilians.
All Yokota schools and child development centers will be closed.
Force support facilities also will be closed, including the fitness center and enlisted and officers' clubs.
The commissary and BX will be closed.
Base residents should stay off the roads Friday to allow civil engineering crews to perform snow clearing and removal.
Stay tuned to Yokota's Facebook page, the Commander's Access Channel, and American Forces Network's Eagle 810 AM radio for the latest closure information and weather conditions.

New snowstorm puts Tokyo area in crosshairs

Here we go again. Another round of snow is forecast for Friday and Saturday for the Tokyo-Kanto Plain area, forcing DODDS Japan schools to close and base officials to shut down some services.

According to the DODEA Japan District’s Facebook page and Navy official e-mails from Yokosuka:

-- Snow with up to 4 inches of accumulation at Yokosuka Naval Base and up to 6 at Yokohama/Zushi and gale-force winds are in the cards for Fleet Activities Yokosuka and its various satellites. Schools are closed for students, but staff and faculty must report for duty.

-- Same for the Camp Zama/Naval Air Facility Atsugi community. Arnn and Lanham Elementary, Zama Middle and Zama High Schools are all closed for students, but staff and faculty must report. Bases are operating on a normal schedule at this time.

-- Not so for Yokota Air Base, where base command has declared Friday a mission-essential only day. Most base services will be shut down. All schools will be closed, but the Far East High School Wrestling Tournament is still a go; that directly from DODDS Japan district transportation officials.

Whatever falls from the sky, it will likely freeze at nighttime. Accumulation could be more, could be less. Don’t take chances. If you don’t need to go outside, if you don’t need to drive, don’t. Be safe.

School closures, delays in Japan on Monday

 7:45 p.m. Japan time: According to Facebook pages:

Yokota

Medical appointments will be rescheduled. The Urgent Care Clinic will remain open.

The commissary will be open from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. The BX will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Main Shoppette will be open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and the East and West Shoppettes will be open from noon until 9 p.m.

Most FSS facilities will be closed. Please call ahead for any specific hours of operation.

The gym, finance and accounting and the Kanto Lodge will remain open.

Schools and child development centers will be closed.

The post office will be closed.

Weighted Airman Promotions tests will be rescheduled.

Atsugi

Operations resumed as normal at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Yokosuka

Other than a two-hour delay of school openings, all base services will open as scheduled on Monday.

Severe weather alert issued for parts of Japan

A severe weather advisory will be in effect Saturday from 3 a.m. to 9 p.m. in parts of Japan, Navy officials said, forcing Naval Air Facility Atsugi to close Saturday, with only mission-essential personnel required to report to duty, according a message placed on Atsugi’s official Facebook page Friday.

Up to 6 inches of snow is expected at Atsugi, while at Yokosuka Naval Base and its satellite facilities, up to 2 inches of snow is forecast along with sustained 35- to 40-mph winds and 58-mph gusts, according to an e-mail sent from Yokosuka’s emergency command account.

Among the events impacted: The Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools wrestling finals, set for Saturday, will now be held Monday at St. Mary’s International School.

No word was available on preparations being made at Yokota or Zama.

Japanese media reported Friday evening that the Tokyo area is expecting its worst snowstorm in two decades on Saturday.

U.S. bases on Okinawa to revert to TCCOR All-Clear

7:15 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, Japan time:In about five hours, the commander of Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing should be setting Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness All-Clear for U.S. bases on Okinawa. Nov. 30 signals the end of the northwest Pacific’s tropical cyclone season, which this year has seen 31 numbered storms, three above average for a typical season.

Of those 31, 13 became at least Category 1-equivalent typhoons and five strengthened into super typhoons. Those were Utor in August, Usagi in September, Francisco and Lekima in October and, earlier this month, Haiyan, which became the most powerful tropical cyclone ever recorded, affecting more than 13 million people in the Philippines, according to the U.N.

Typhoon 31W (Haiyan) updates

9:15 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, Vietnam time: Latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center track forecasts Haiyan to miss Da Nang and Hue to the east in the Gulf of Tonkin and head toward Hanoi, where it will still be a fairly significant tropical storm. Severe tropical-storm strength winds should remain off the coast as Haiyan rumbles past Hue and Da Nang 70 miles east at around 1 p.m. Sunday.

 
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About the Author


Dave Ornauer has been with Stars and Stripes since March 5, 1981. One of his first assignments as a beat reporter in the old Japan News Bureau was “typhoon chaser,” a task which he resumed virtually full time since 2004, the year after his job, as a sports writer-photographer, moved to Okinawa and Ornauer with it.

As a typhoon reporter, Ornauer pores over Web sites managed by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center as well as U.S. government, military and local weather outlets for timely, topical information. Pacific Storm Tracker is designed to take the technical lingo published on those sites and simplify it for the average Stripes reader.