Typhoon 07W (Dolphin), # 17 FINAL

Typhoon Dolphin is seen near Guam in this RGB satellite image taken Friday, May 15, 2015.

Noon Saturday, May 16, Guam time: With the possible exception of Iwo Jima, Typhoon Dolphin should not be bothering any major land masses as it curves north and east over the next several days. GovGuam declared Condition of Readiness 4 at 9 a.m. and recovery efforts continue on the island. All watches and warnings have been canceled for the Marianas. Unless something changes drastically, Storm Tracker now takes leave of Dolphin.


Tropical Storm 06W (Noul), # 27

Typhoon Noul appears in this false-color satellite image taken May 11, 2015.

1:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 12, Japan time: Noul has been downgraded to a tropical storm, is rapidly picking up forward speed and should be in and out of the Kanto area rather quickly on Wednesday. It’s forecast to make landfall over the southern Kansai area around mid-afternoon Tuesday, then blast through the central Kanto area about midnight Tuesday as a cold-core low. Still pretty windy and rainy, 58-mph sustained winds and 75-mph gusts, but not nearly what we’d feared earlier.


Tropical Depressions 04W, 05W (Maysak, Haishen), # 11 FINAL

Typhoon Mayask trajectory.

3 p.m. Monday, April 6, Philippines time: Maysak diminished as it crossed north-central Luzon island on Easter Sunday and is now dying out over the South China Sea, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center posted early this morning in its final bulletin on Maysak. Hundreds of miles east-southeast, Haishen remains on a quasi-stationary trajectory and is forecast to creep northwest. But it’s in an area of high vertical wind shear, which tropical weather systems of any sort do not like, and is also forecast to dissipate well before reaching land. Unless there’s a drastic change to either system, PST takes leave of them.



5 p.m. Sunday, April 5, Philippines time: It’s a rainy, blustery Easter Sunday in north-central Luzon as Tropical Storm Maysak makes its way across the Philippines’ northernmost island, losing strength every step of the way, maintaining 40-mph sustained winds and 52-mph gusts as it makes its way northwest at 11 mph. Maysak is forecast to exit Luzon sometime early Sunday evening. All Public Storm Warning Signals have been canceled, according to the Philippines’ weather authority PAGASA Web site.

Tropical Storm 03W (Bavi), # 16

Tropical Storm Bavi is seen approaching Guam in this NOAA satellite image taken March 13, 2015.


1:30 a.m. Monday, March 16, Guam time: The Ides of March have passed, and so, too, has Tropical Storm Bavi passed through the Marianas Islands. Wind and rain should continue through Monday morning and the islands remain in Condition of Readiness 1, but expect a reversion to seasonal COR 4 sometime early Monday as Bavi moves out of the area west toward the Philippines. PST will keep watch and see if Bavi has any effect on the Philippines. Hope everybody remains safe on Guam. Public works crews are scrambling to get water and power restored to any and all areas affected by Bavi. PST isn’t done with Bavi yet.


6:30 p.m. Sunday, March 15, Guam time: Bavi appears to have settled into a straight westward path on a beeline directly for the island of Rota; the Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s latest forecast has Bavi barreling straight over Rota about 8 p.m., packing sustained 58-mph winds and 75-mph gusts, somewhat below typhoon strength but a powerful punch nonetheless.

That puts Bavi about 35 miles north of Andersen Air Force Base and 52 miles north of Guam’s capital Hagatna around 9 p.m. Guam’s National Weather Service reported at 5 p.m. that tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 200 miles northwest through northeast of the center and just 40 miles southwest to southeast. Which could mean Guam may be spared the worst of Bavi’s wrath.

Guam, Rota, Tinian and Saipan all remain in Condition of Readiness 1 and a tropical storm warning remains in effect for all locales.

Guam’s Joint Information Center reports that three storm shelters opened at 2 p.m.: Machananao, Astumbo and Maria Ulloa Elementary Schools, with the Emergency Operations Center on standby should more shelters need to be opened.

Stay tuned to local radio stations, Guam’s Homeland Security and National Weather Service Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. 

Tropical Depression 01W (Mekkhala), # 13 Final

Mekkhala was upgraded to typhoon status Saturday morning, Jan. 17, 2015, and is forecast to strike the central Philippines.

10:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18, Philippines time: Mekkhala has been downgraded to a tropical depression, has already moved past forecast closest point of approach to Manila and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s latest forecast track takes it over central Luzon where it should presumably die out in the next day or so. JTWC projects Mekkhala to pass 105 miles northeast of Subic Bay Free Port at about 2 a.m. Monday and 68 miles north-northeast of Clark Free Economic Zone two hours later, packing sustained 29-mph winds and 40-mph gusts. Public Storm Warning Signal 2 remains in effect for locations in or near the storm’s projected path.


Tropical Storm 23W (Jangmi), # 5 FINAL: Exiting the Philippines

6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 30, Philippines time:Philippines’ weather authority PAGASA has issued Public Storm Warning Signal 2 for the Cuyo and Palawan islands, in addition to Visayas, as Tropical Storm Jangmi continues its journey, now on a southwesterly course away from the country’s main islands. Winds between 40 and 60 mph and heavy to intense rain expected in those areas. PAGASA alerts those in low-lying and mountainous areas to flash flooding and landslides.

Jangmi is next forecast to brush past Puerto Princesa on Palawan Island about 10 miles to its southwest. Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasts Jangmi to peak at 58-mph sustained winds and 75-mph gusts early Thursday afternoon, along a course that could take it over northwestern Malaysia near the southern Thailand border early Sunday afternoon.

Unless there’s a drastic change in the forecast, PST will take leave of Jangmi.

2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 30, Philippines time: The Philippines’ weather authority PAGASA has lifted Public Storm Warning Signal 2 for northern Luzon and southern Mindanao islands. But it remains in effect in the Visayas, where winds between 40 and 60 mph and heavy to intense rain are anticipated in the next 24 hours as Tropical Storm Jangmi continues moving west toward the South China Sea.

Tropical Depression 23W, # 1: New system develops near Philippines

2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 28, Philippines time: Weather continues to play Grinch to the Philippines around the holiday period, as a new tropical cyclone, the 23rd numbered storm of the northwest Pacific season, spawned overnight Saturday.

It’s heading toward the northeast tip of the country’s southernmost Mindanao island, with landfall expected early Monday morning, packing sustained 40-mph winds and 52-mph gusts at its center.

Tropical Storm 22W (Hagupit), # 14: Hagupit exits Philippines

Super Typhoon Hagupit, seen near the Philippines in this false-color NOAA satellite image from Dec. 5, 2014, was forecast to pass near the former Clark Air Base and former Subic Bay Naval Station.

11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, Philippines time: Tropical Storm Hagupit has begun tracking southwest away from the west coast of the Philippines into the South China Sea. Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s latest forecast shows Hagupit packing 46-mph sustained winds and 58-mph gusts at its center, and it has passed closest point of approach to Metro Manila, Clark Free Economic Zone and Subic Bay Free Port.

At least 27 people were killed during Hagupit, 21 on eastern Samar Island alone, Philippine government and Red Cross officials told CNN and Reuters. Some 1,000 homes were destroyed, more than 1 million were evacuated from their homes, the storm downed trees and caused flooding in low-lying areas.

Okinawa reverts to TCCOR All Clear at midnight Nov. 30

Midnight Sunday, Nov. 30, Japan time: At midnight Sunday, U.S. bases on Okinawa entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness All Clear. That signals the end of the six-month window, June 1-Nov. 30, in which tropical cyclones are most likely to occur in the vicinity of Okinawa and other U.S. bases in the northwest Pacific. When northerly winds bring colder temperatures from up north and when sea-surface temperatures become too cool to support the development and sustainment of tropical cyclones.

That doesn’t signal the end of the season in parts further south of Okinawa. At this writing, a tropical disturbance is lurking about 295 miles southeast of Chu’uk in the Micronesian islands and is headed generally west-northwest. It’s one reason why Guam and other islands near what’s called the Intertropical Convergence Zone near the Equator remain in seasonal TCCOR 4 year-round. In fact, most of the more dangerous typhoons to hit Guam have occurred outside of that June 1-Nov. 30 timeframe: Typhoons Paka (December 1997), Pongsona (December 2002) and Pamela (May 1976), among others.

Even outside the June 1-Nov. 30 timeframe, PST will continue to watch for severe weather of all types.

Extratropical Storm 20W (Nuri), # 3: Alaska in for pounding

12:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 7, Alaska time: The northernmost state in the country could end up with its own version of Superstorm Sandy come the weekend.

The remnants of former Super Typhoon Nuri, now an extratropical cold-core low, is rapidly moving northeast through the Aleutian islands toward the Bering Sea, still packing sustained 50-mph winds and 70-mph gusts, according to several meteorological agency Web sites.

AccuWeather.com reports that Alaska could see hurricane-force winds, 45-foot seas and a storm surge for western Alaska, similar to what hit and devastated parts of Long Island when Sandy crashed ashore in October 2012. The National Weather Service is warning of gusts between 80 and 100 mph in the westernmost Aleutians late Friday into Saturday and peak waves along the west coast of Alaska could be well higher than 45 feet, The Washington Post reported.

Nuri could become the most powerful storm to impact the Bering Sea in terms of central air pressure, AccuWeather.com reported. The current record is 925 millibars from a storm that moved over the Bering Sea in October 1977. The lowest air pressure from any extratropical northern storm on record is 913 millibars, set in 1993 in the North Sea east of Scotland.


2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 3, Japan time: Nuri is still not forecast to threaten Okinawa, or any land mass, for that matter; Joint Typhoon Warning Center takes Nuri’s forecast track well east of Okinawa and south of the Kanto Plain through this week.

But if it reaches peak intensity as forecast by the JTWC, Nuri, already a super typhoon, could become the strongest storm ever recorded – even stronger than Haiyan which devastated the central Philippines last November.

JTWC projects Nuri to peak Monday evening at 196-mph sustained winds and 236-mph gusts, equivalent to a super-strong Category 5 hurricane. Though projections keep Nuri well away from land, PST has a sharp eye on it.



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.