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UPDATE: Tropical cyclone formation alert canceled

2 p.m. Friday, May 27, Hong Kong time: Joint Typhoon Warning Center downgraded the area of convection south of Hong Kong to medium, canceled the tropical cyclone formation alert and says the disturbance should plow into land late Friday and die out. Guess we'll have to wait for the first numbered tropical cyclone of the season.

2:45 p.m. Thursday, May 26, Hong Kong time: Joint Typhoon Warning Center has issued a tropical cyclone formation alert on a disturbance about 325 miles south of Hong Kong. It could become the first numbered system in the 2016 northwest Pacific tropical cyclone season, which has been relatively quiet until now.

JTWC and the Pacific Tropical Cyclone Centre project Disturbance 90W heading north, with squalls and showers forecast for Hong Kong and Macau over the next couple of days. PST will keep a sharp lookout.

Tropical cyclone season upon us once more

4 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, Japan time: In just a few days, June 1, we can expect the commanding officer of Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing to issue seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4 for all U.S. installations on Okinawa.

That signals the start of the six-month northwest Pacific tropical cyclone season, the time when tropical depressions, tropical storms, typhoons and super typhoons are most likely to occur in this part of the world.

TCCOR 4 typically means that 58-mph winds are possible within 72 hours. For folks in the tropics, it quite literally means they're in an area when tropical cyclones can spawn quickly, sometimes with no or very little warning.

Such occurred in mid-September 2003 when what became Typhoon Choi-Wan spawned quite literally right over Okinawa, and U.S. bases went from TCCOR 4 straight to TCCOR 1. Caused quite the sudden run on the commissaries, exchanges and shoppettes.

U.S. bases in Japan's main islands and Korea for the most part remain in TCCOR All Clear until conditions warrant upgraded TCCORs. Guam, along the 13th parallel, remains in TCCOR 4 year-round.

Pacific Storm Tracker will keep a strident, vigilant watch on the northwest Pacific region, as it does in all areas of the world's largest ocean throughout the year. It's about alerting the masses and keeping them safe.

Nothing that says one should not begin preparations for the worst as early as possible. Give the links in the menu on the right side of this page a good read. Know and understand what the TCCORs mean, and the steps one should take to prepare for an eventual typhoon.

Get your safe on!

Tropical Cyclone 20P, # 1

7:05 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, Samoa time: A tropical cyclone has formed north of Fiji, and according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center's forecast track will head just west of Samoa sometime over the weekend.

JTWC projects 20P to track 66 miles west-southwest of Pago Pago at about 2 a.m. Sunday Samoa time, packing sustained 58-mph winds and 75-mph gusts at center. Storm Tracker will keep an eye on it.

Tropical Cyclone 06P (Ula), # 1 FINAL

10:25 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, American Samoa time: Ula has been upgraded to a tropical cyclone by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center and could lash American Samoa with heavy rain and winds between 30 and 40 mph with 55-mph gusts, according to Samoa News online.

JTWC reported Ula was forecast to pass 135 miles southeast of Pago Pago Thursday afternoon, but the more fierce winds and rainbands are on storm’s back side.

Tropical Depression 09C, # 2 FINAL

09C forecast to cross date line by New Year, head in general direction of Micronesian islands.<br>NOAA.gov
09C forecast to cross date line by New Year, head in general direction of Micronesian islands.

2 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 2, Guam time: Final warning has been issued on short-lived Tropical Depression 09C by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. The last tropical cyclone of the northern Pacific season simply failed to develop or gather any sort of steam; it even failed to cross the International Date Line as earlier forecast. PST will keep an eye out for redevelopment.


4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, Guam time: The tropical disturbance southeast of Majuro is now subject of a tropical cyclone warning. Tropical Depression 09C is headed northwest, is forecast by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center to cross the International Date Line by New Year and head in the general direction of Majuro and Kwajalein southeast of Guam. PST has an eye on it and will see where it heads from there.


Tropical Depression 28W (Melor), #13 FINAL

Noon Thursday, Dec. 17, Philippines time: Melor has been downgraded to a tropical depression by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. It’s picking up forward speed as it heads southwest toward what JTWC projects will be its ultimate demise in the next day or so. All Public Storm Warning Signals have been canceled.

7:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, Philippines time: Tropical Storm Melor has begun slowly curving southwest and is forecast to continue diminishing as it heads away from Metro Manila and the Central Philippines. At 2 a.m., Melor was 121 miles west-southwest of Manila, headed southwest at 4 mph and still carrying sustained 46-mph winds and 58-mph gusts. Joint Typhoon Warning Center calls for Melor to dissipate by Friday morning, maybe sooner.

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

3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29, Japan time: At midnight Monday, U.S. bases on Okinawa enter Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness All Clear, signaling the end of the 2015 northwest Pacific typhoon season. The season typically runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, as it does in the north Atlantic.

The declaration of TCCOR All Clear is made by the commanding officer of Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing; he speaks in one voice for all bases on Okinawa regarding tropical cyclones. Seasonal TCCOR 4 resumes at 1 minute past midnight on June 1.

Typhoon 27W (In-fa), #16 FINAL

In-fa continues to intensify as it has begun curving northwest, and as the Joint Typhoon Warning Center reports that model guidance is in better agreement on a track that takes In-fa just south of Guam as the weekend begins.<br>NOAA.gov photo
In-fa continues to intensify as it has begun curving northwest, and as the Joint Typhoon Warning Center reports that model guidance is in better agreement on a track that takes In-fa just south of Guam as the weekend begins.

4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, Guam time: Typhoon In-fa is moving west away from the main Marianas islands, Guam has resumed seasonal Condition of Readiness 4, but high surf and strong winds remain in the area. High-surf and small-craft advisories remain in effect. Unless something major changes, this is PST's last update on In-fa.

7:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, Guam time: Typhoon In-fa is making its closest point of approach to Guam, passing some 170 miles south-southwest of the island, keeping much of its fury well out of harm’s way. The island should experience 40-mph gusts plus showers, some heavy at times, as In-fa passes.

Shelters remain open at five school locations. Guam International Airport remains open with no flights canceled at the moment. Guam remains in Condition of Readiness 2; unless something changes, seasonal COR 4 will likely resume later Saturday.

Typhoon 25W (Champi), # 8

Typhoon Champi<br>NOAA
Typhoon Champi

8:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 19, Japan time: Champi has been downgraded after a brief life as a super typhoon, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Champi remains far from any significant land mass, 555 miles north-northwest of Guam and packing sustained 145-mph winds as it crawls north-northeast at 3 mph, according to the National Weather Service on Guam. Typhoon-force winds extend 40 miles from center and tropical storm-force winds 185 miles.


1 a.m. Monday, Oct. 19, Guam time: Champi has been upgraded to super-typhoon status by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, but is still far from any significant land masses and looks to stay that way.

Tropical Storm 24W (Koppu), #19

Typhoon Koppu is seen just east of Luzon island in the Philippines in this NOAA satellite image taken Saturday morning, Oct. 17, 2015, Philippines time.<br>NOAA.gov
Typhoon Koppu is seen just east of Luzon island in the Philippines in this NOAA satellite image taken Saturday morning, Oct. 17, 2015, Philippines time.

7 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, Philippines time: Koppu continues to fall apart; it could become a tropical depression by this afternoon and dissipate altogether in the next day or so. Winds have diminished to 40-mph sustained and 52-mph gusts at center. Public Storm Warning Signal 1 remains in effect for northern Luzon and the groups of islands to the north. Unless it regenerates, which is unlikely, this will be PST’s last post regarding Koppu.



Midnight Tuesday, Oct. 20, Japan time: Koppu continues to linger just north of Luzon, still a fairly strong tropical storm, packing sustained 52-mph winds and 63-mph gusts at center, but is rapidly deteriorating and could die out well before reaching Okinawa’s vicinity, perhaps sooner, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

 
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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.