Typhoon 11W (Nangka), # 7

5:45 p.m. Tuesday, July 7, Japan time: Little change except in forecast intensity. Joint Typhoon Warning Center now projects Nangka to peak at 155-mph sustained winds and 190-mph gusts at mid-afternoon Wednesday and remain a super typhoon – the fourth so far this season – for about two days as it approaches Iwo Jima.

Nangka is still forecast to make a northerly turn around mid-afternoon Saturday, on a course that would appear to take it straight at or just east of the island. A typhoon watch remains in effect for Agrihan, Pagan and Alamagan in the northern Marianas islands.

1 p.m. Tuesday, July 7, Japan time: While Chan-hom apparently might not become the fourth super typhoon of the season, Typhoon Nangka just might, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s latest update.

Some 700 miles east of Guam as of noon Japan time, Nangka is headed west-northwest at 13 mph. A typhoon watch is in effect for three sparsely populated Northern Marianas islands, Agrihan, Pagan and Alamagan.

As Nangka moves west-northwest, it’s forecast to peak at 150-mph sustained winds and 184-mph gusts at mid-morning Thursday Japan time and maintain that intensity for at least a day. That would make the fourth Category 5-equivalent super typhoon of what’s already been a busy season.

By the weekend, Nangka is forecast to turn north, on an apparent course to pass just east of Iwo Jima sometime Monday. Too early to say how close, or whether Nangka will continue north toward the Kanto Plain or turn northeast and remain over open water.

10 a.m. Tuesday, July 7, Japan time: Typhoon Nangka is intensifying and its Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track shows it curving toward Iwo Jima by week’s end. Nangka should reach peak intensity of 132-mph sustained winds and 161-mph gusts by mid-morning Thursday, but should start weakening as it curves north toward the end of the week. JTWC projects Nangka to be 153 miles south-southeast of Iwo Jima at about 3 a.m. Sunday, but long-range uncertainty remains among the forecast models.

5:30 p.m. Monday, July 6, Japan time: Nangka has intensified into a Category 1-equivalent typhoon as it makes its way west-northwest, north of the Micronesian island chain. At 3 p.m. Monday, Nangka was packing sustained 81-mph winds and 98-mph gusts. It should continue intensifying as it moves northwest.

Joint Typhoon Warning Center projects Nangka to come within 207 miles south of Iwo Jima at mid-afternoon Saturday, packing sustained 138-mph winds and 167-mph gusts at its center.

Much too soon to say at this point whether Iwo, Japan’s main islands or Okinawa might feel Nangka’s effects. The Marianas should be safely out of the way; closest point of approach to Andersen Air Force Base on Guam should be 330 miles northeast at about 9 a.m. Wednesday.

8 p.m. Sunday, July 5, Guam time: PST hasn’t forgotten about Tropical Storm Nangka; it’s more than just a few days away from any significant land masses.

Right now. Nangka is traveling due west, exiting the Marshall Islands and entering Micronesia, about 115 miles east of Enewetak Atoll as of 3 p.m.

It’s packing sustained 58-mph winds and 75-mph gusts, and is forecast to arc west northwest, coming within 238 miles south-southeast of Iwo Jima at about 3 p.m. Friday, Japan time, packing 120-mph sustained winds and 150-mph gusts at its center.

Too soon to say whether it will threaten Japan, Okinawa or other land masses; it’s simply too far east and Nangka is just two days old. Much could change in the coming days.

1 p.m. Saturday, July 4, Guam time: Though still in its infancy, Nangka wasted little time intensifying into a tropical storm, and has begun a steady march west-northwest through the Marshall Islands toward Micronesia, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s latest forecast track. For the moment, the Marianas Islands appear safe; Nangka is projected to pass 265 miles northeast of Saipan, at which point it’s forecast to be packing 104-mph sustained winds and 127-mph gusts at its center as it moves in the general direction of Iwo Jima. PST will keep an eye on this.

1:15 a.m. Saturday, July 4, Guam time: Tropical Depression 11W didn’t take very long to take shape. It’s tracking west-northwest at 6 mph about 275 east of Kwajalein atoll. Unlike the other two active tropical cyclones, this one doesn’t appear at the moment to be a threat to any major land masses. 11W is forecast to intensify into a Category 1-equivalent typhoon sometime Tuesday evening and head in the general direction of Iwo Jima. If it does become a named storm, it will be called Nangka, Malaysian for jackfruit.

4 p.m. Friday, July 3, Guam time: Yet another tropical cyclone formation alert has been issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, this time on a disturbance in the Marshall Islands, the same area where current Tropical Storm Chan-hom developed earlier this week. PST will keep an eye on this one as well as the other two.

Tropical Storm 10W (Linfa), # 14: Hong Kong next?

Philippines satellite image

5 p.m. Tuesday, July 7, Hong Kong time: Well, apparently PST isn’t quite done with Linfa just yet; Hong Kong may be next on its itinerary.

After ravaging northern Luzon over the weekend, Linfa is re-intensifying into a strong tropical storm, forecast to peak at 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts at mid-afternoon Wednesday, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Linfa is then projected to make a sharp left turn and pass as close as 42 miles north of Hong Kong at about midnight Thursday. It could still be packing 46-mph sustained winds and 58-mph gusts at its center as it roars past.

10:30 p.m. Monday, July 6, Taiwan time: Linfa continues to deteriorate as it presses north as a mild tropical storm. It’s forecast by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center to perhaps miss Taiwan altogether and curve toward China as a tropical depression; however, telemetry is suggesting that the lower-level circulation center is unraveling and Linfa could die out earlier than forecast. Unless major changes occur, PST takes leave of Linfa.

3:30 p.m. Monday, July 6, Philippines time: Tropical Storm Linfa continues moving slowly north, back over water in the South China Sea. Areas of northern Luzon are still being affected by high winds and heavy rain along the west coast.

Typhoon 09W (Chan-hom), # 28: Latest forecast wind timeline

Typhoon Chan-hom is seen in this false-color NOAA satellite image taken late July 6, 2015.

8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 7, Japan time: Here’s the latest forecast wind timeline for Okinawa and Typhoon Chan-hom, courtesy of Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight:

-- Onset of 40-mph sustained winds, midnight Thursday.

-- Maximum sustained 40-mph winds, 58-mph gusts for Okinawa, 2 a.m. Friday (40-mph sustained, 52-mph gusts for Kadena).

-- Winds diminishing below 40-mph sustained, 7 a.m. Friday.

Sea condition East-West Caution is in effect for the moment.

Only 1 to 2 inches of rain are expected at Kadena, so not forecasted to be the big rain event that the island needs, with reservoir levels below 60 percent.


Okinawa enters seasonal TCCOR 4

4 p.m. Monday, June 1, Japan time:U.S. bases on Okinawa were placed in season Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4 as of 12:01 a.m. today, and will remain in TCCOR 4 as a matter of routine through Nov. 30.

That’s mainly due to the island’s location, very close to the Northwest Pacific Basin, which contains some of the warmest ocean content in the world and where tropical cyclones can sometimes form with very little advance warning.

At this writing, no tropical disturbances are at work in the northwest Pacific. But there’s no time like now to check your closet to see if you have the goods needed to ride out tropical cyclones. Enough non-perishable food and bottled water to last three days. Food for your furry friends. Diapers for the young’uns. A portable radio, flashlight and batteries.

When a storm does form up and head this way, most important to not pay attention to the rumor mill, but listen to official channels such as AFN, your base commanders’ access channels and Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. PST, of course, will do its best to keep the populace informed as well.

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.



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.