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.

Super Typhoon 09W (Rammasun), # 8

5 p.m. Friday, July 18, China time: Though no U.S. assets are in harm’s way, Rammasun is quite the significant storm – the second super typhoon of the northwest Pacific’s tropical cyclone season.

Rammasun last week brought 40-mph gusts to Guam as it hustled west past the northern Marianas, and as it moved west-northwest, it intensified, and finally became a Category 5-equivalent super typhoon as it crashed ashore late Friday afternoon between Hainan Island and China’s southeast coast.

Along with it came 155-mph sustained winds and 190-mph gusts, just shy of the intensity with which Super Typhoon Haiyan packed as it leveled villages in the central Philippines last November. Haiyan was the strongest storm ever recorded. Prayers to the many on Haiyan and in southeast China.

9 a.m. Saturday, July 12, Guam time: Tropical storm warning for Guam and Rota and tropical storm watch for Tinian and Saipan have been canceled in the wake of 09W weakening into a tropical depression, according to a statement released by the National Weather Service on Guam. Damaging winds are no longer expected to occur in the Marianas Islands. Once it goes through and heads west toward the Philippines, intensification is due to resume, but for now, Guam and its relatives appear to be out of danger. Unless something drastic changes, PST signs off for now.

Typhoon Bart remembered

A handful of times in the past few days, PST has invoked the name of Typhoon Bart, the last truly big super typhoon to do extensive damage to Okinawa. Typhoon Neoguri is on target to become the next Bart, posing a significant threat as possibly the most powerful tropical cyclone to hit the island since Bart in September 1999.

Bart was the only super typhoon of the 1999 northwest Pacific tropical cyclone season. It caused $5 billion in damage all told, $5 million alone to Kadena Air Base on Okinawa.

Typhoon 08W (Neoguri), # 38 FINAL

Typhoon Neoguri on July 8, 2014.

6 a.m. Thursday, July 10, Japan time: Neoguri has been downgraded to a tropical storm, and already, Sasebo Naval Base has issued Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-R (recovery). Fleet Activities Sasebo commanding officer Capt. Chip Rock, on CFAS' Facebook page, says he intends to open the base for normal business as soon as possible.

Increased vertical wind shear, interaction with land and cooler sea-surface temperatures are not doing Neoguri any favors. It will continue east near Sasebo, then quickly pass Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and U.S. bases in the Kanto Plain but as little more than a cold-core low, bringing showers and high winds to each as it goes by. Barring any drastic changes, PST will sign off for now.

Two trouble spots near Palau, Guam

4:45 p.m. Guam time, Wednesday, July 2:Storm Tracker is keeping an eyeball on two tropical disturbances, one near Palau, the other southeast of Guam. Too early to say definitively what one or the other or both might do. However, special weather statement issued by the National Weather Service on Guam at mid-day Wednesday said the disturbance some 400 miles southeast of Guam is expected to head northwest between Guam and Yap in the coming days. Heavy showers and isolated thunderstorms forecast for Guam over the next few days, with improving conditions expected by Sunday or Monday. Flooding possible in low-lying areas. PST will keep an eye on things.



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.