Tropical Storm 16W (Fung-wong), #7

Fung-wong is seen in this false-color NOAA satellite image taken Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014.

11:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, Japan time: More of the same. Another Joint Typhoon Warning Center update, another forecast track further west than previous.  Latest track now takes Fung-wong further inland over China, following a dalliance with Taiwan over the next couple of days. Closest point of approach is now 450 miles north of Okinawa at 9 p.m. Wednesday, provided it heads in that direction. Some dynamic models forecast a curve northeast after it plows over China; other models take it further inland. PST still keeping an eye on it.

7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, Japan time: With every passing Joint Typhoon Warning Center update, Fung-wong continues showing it might end up being more fizzle than sizzle as a tropical cyclone, at least where Okinawa is concerned.

Fung-wong is now forecast to track nearly 400 miles west of Okinawa at about noon Monday as a mild tropical storm. Precipitation projection has been reduced to 2 to 4 inches, with the strongest winds forecast to be 29-mph sustained with 40-mph gusts at around 9 a.m. Monday.

There’s still some serious disparity among the dynamic computer forecast models over where Fung-wong might ultimately end up. All agree with a turn north away from the Philippines, moving and weakening as it passes over the rugged Taiwan terrain.

But that’s where the models diverge. Some have Fung-wong tracking northwest into China, others briefly engaging China before turning northeast. Peak winds are now forecast to be 58-mph sustained and 74-mph gusts at its center late Saturday into Sunday. PST has its eye on it.

Tropical Depression 15W, # 1

11:15 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, Philippines time: A new tropical depression spawned overnight Wednesday south of Guam and is headed rather rapidly toward the Philippines’ northernmost Luzon island, with landfall forecast for 8 a.m. Monday, packing 115-mph sustained winds and 144-mph gusts. 15W is forecast to track 167 miles north of the former Clark Air Base and 204 miles north of the old Subic Bay Naval Station between 4 and 6 p.m. Monday. 15W should be well out of Okinawa’s way, but these things have ways of changing. PST will keep an eyeball on it.

Tropical Depression 13W, # 1

1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 7, Japan time: Been awhile since PST’s last visit. A new tropical cyclone, the 13th numbered storm of the northwest Pacific’s season, spawned overnight Sunday and is forecast to steer northeast and stay well off the coasts of Kyushu and Honshu. Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast calls for 13W to pass 210 miles southeast of Yokosuka Naval Base around 2 a.m. Tuesday, then swirl away from the Kanto Plain by mid-week. PST will keep an eye on this.

Tropical Depression 09E (Iselle), # 7; Hurricane 10E (Julio), # 7

Hurricanes Iselle and Julio, right, are seen approaching Hawaii in this GOES West satellite image taken Aug. 7, 2014.

5:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, Hawaii time: Julio remains a significant Category 1 hurricane, but the forecast models persist in moving Julio further north of the Hawaiian island chain with every passing update. Julio is now forecast to pass 260 miles north-northeast of Camp H.M. Smith on Oahu at 2 a.m. Monday. Models still project the northwest and northeast quadrants as the more dangerous, most likely leaving the Hawaiian island chain out of harm's way for the most part. It's not over yet. PST will keep an eye on things, in case of a sudden change.

12:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, Hawaii time: Iselle was downgraded to a tropical depression, and in very short order went from powerful threat to 35-mph sustained winds and 46-mph gusts, a good distance south of Oahu and Kauai; neither locale nor the bases on them have closest point of approaches assigned them by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. A flash flood watch remains in effect for all Hawaiian islands except Kauai, where a flash flood warning remains in effect. Unless Iselle regenerates – as did Typhoon Genevieve before her – PST will take leave of Iselle.

To paraphrase a line from a Paul Simon song, “See you, me and Julio north of Hawaii.” Julio remains a fairly strong Category 1 hurricane but is forecast to gradually diminish and its latest forecast track takes Julio even further north of Hawaii. Julio should pass some 200 miles north-northeast of Camp Smith, the closest any base will be to Julio, at 5 a.m. Monday. JTWC also projects the northwest and northeast quadrants to be Julio’s strongest. PST will keep an eye out in case of a sudden change.

Super Typhoon 07E (Genevieve), # 5; Hurricane 09E (Iselle), # 5; Hurricane 10E (Julio), # 5

From left to right, hurricanes Genevieve, Iselle and Julio are seen in the central Pacific, near Hawaii, in this GOES West satellite image taken Aug. 7, 2014.

1 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, Wake time: One can bet the Wake island group is counting its blessings over the forecast track for Genevieve, which no sooner than crossing the International Dateline morphed into the Pacific's fourth super typhoon of the season. Ioke did the same in 2006, just before it leveled the atoll in early September.

Genevieve, however, is forecast to track well away from Wake, splitting the difference between the three-island group and Midway to the east hundreds of miles apart, cutting a zig-zag, right-to-left path as it gradually diminishes by the middle of next week. All this after Genevieve had been given up for dead a week ago, the Joint Typhoon Warning issuing what was initially called its final warning on her last Thursday.

Meanwhile, further east, Iselle could become the first hurricane to strike the Hawaiian Islands in 22 years. JTWC's latest update projects Iselle to roar over the Big Island, 8 miles south of Hilo, at about 9 p.m. Thursday as a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, packing sustained 81-mph winds and 98-mph gusts. The forecast track then takes Iselle south of the main island of Oahu as a significant tropical storm.

On Iselle's heels, Hurricane Julio appears to be tracking further and further north of Hawaii with every passing update. Closest to Julio is expected to be Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay, 166 miles northeast at about 9 p.m. Sunday.

Though Genevieve and its western Pacific counterpart Halong, which also had a brief life as a super typhoon, have been around for 10-plus days, that's far from the longest duration of a Pacific tropical cyclone in recorded history. That honor belongs to John, which survived for a month in the summer of 1994 and had 120 warnings issued on it by three U.S. weather agencies. John threatened no land masses.

8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6, Hawaii time: The Central Pacific Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane warning for Hawaii County and tropical storm warnings for all other islands in the Hawaii chain because of approaching Hurricane Iselle. The center also reports that Genevieve has crossed the International Dateline and is now Typhoon Genevieve.

Tropical Depression 12W (Nakri), # 5 FINAL

11:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3, Korea time: Little change to forecast regarding Nakri, still projected to move ashore near Osan Air Base as a tropical depression, 35-mph sustained winds and 46-mph gusts as it makes landfall, then deteriorate as it interacts with the rough Korean terrain, exiting back over the Sea of Japan (East Sea) and dissipating. Unless we see a drastic change, PST takes leave of this storm.

 5:45 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3, Korea time: Nakri has been downgraded to a tropical depression and is approaching landfall over South Korea’s west coast, forecast to pass over Camp Humphreys and Osan Air Base around 11 a.m. Monday, packing sustained 35-mph winds and 46-mph gusts at its center.

Tropical Storm 11W (Halong), # 47 FINAL

10 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 10, Japan time: Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch has been issued for Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center has issued its final warning on Tropical Storm Halong. Evacuation orders for the Iwakuni area off base have been lifted as of 6 p.m. Unless something changes, PST checks out on Halong.

11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, Japan time: Halong has been downgraded to a tropical storm, is still projected to pass 75 miles south-southeast of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni at 3 a.m. Sunday. MCAS Iwakuni's Facebook page advises folks there to expect 29-mph sustained winds, 40-mph gusts and isolated gusts up to 46 mph. MCAS Iwakuni remains in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3.

Tropical Storm 11W (Halong), # 14: Guam resumes COR 4

Tropical Storm Halong is seen July 29, 2014, in a false-color satellite image.

8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, Guam time: National Weather Service has issued seasonal Condition of Readiness 4 for Guam.

7:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, Guam time: The typhoon watch for the island of Rota and the tropical storm watch for Guam have each been canceled by the National Weather Service, with Tropical Storm Halong moving west-northwest away from the Marianas.

Typhoon 10W (Matmo), # 6 FINAL

Tropical Storm 10W.

11:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 22, China time:Typhoon Matmo has continued tracking steadily northwest over the past couple of days, and model guidance agrees it should track over central Taiwan overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, making landfall 76 miles south of Taipei around 7 a.m. Wednesday. Matmo is next forecast to continue across the Formosa Strait and make secondary landfall over southeastern China around 6 p.m. Wednesday. Earlier forecasts had Matmo emerging back over water, the Yellow Sea (or West Sea) as a tropical depression; current forecast track has Matmo now dissipating northwest of Shanghai. If it remains on its forecast track, Matmo should pass no closer than 450 miles southwest of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, at 9 p.m. Tuesday. Assuming no drastic changes, PST lets this one go for now.

6:15 p.m. Sunday, July 20, Japan time: Not much variation to Typhoon Matmo’s forecast track. Latest from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center places the track 385 miles west of Okinawa about 5 a.m. Wednesday, at bit earlier than previously forecast and still well out of reach of the island (for now).

Long-range forecast from Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight calls for clouds and anywhere from 20- to 40-percent chance of showers and isolated thunderstorms starting Tuesday and lasting into Thursday, with east and southeasterly winds between 19 and 22 mph. This could lighten or worsen depending on Matmo’s future movements.

At 6 p.m., Matmo was 560 miles east of Manila and 886 miles south of Kadena, moving north-northwest at just over 10 mph, packing 75-mph sustained winds and 92-mph gusts at its center.

If Matmo remains on its current forecast track, it’s expected to peak at 121-mph sustained winds and 150-mph gusts, Category 3-equivalent winds, as it rolls 16 miles south of Taipei at 11 p.m. China time Wednesday. Matmo is then forecast to cross the Formosa Strait and crash ashore some 400 miles south of Shanghai about 3 p.m. Thursday.



Stay safe and informed


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.