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Super typhoon shifts course to Okinawa

By DAVID ALLEN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 19, 2004

KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Super Typhoon Dianmu adjusted its course Thursday and was making a beeline for Okinawa, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Dianmu, which means “Mother of Lightning” in Chinese, was 736 miles south-southeast of Okinawa on Thursday night and churning north at about 10.5 mph. Winds at the storm’s center were sustained at 160 mph, with gusts whipping up to 195 mph.

“It is forecast to be about 65 miles to the east of Kadena Air Base by noon Sunday,” said Staff Sgt. Damion Madison at the 18th Weather Flight. “At that time, we expect winds over the island to be about 50 knots [57.5 mph], with gusts peaking at about at 80 knots [92 mph].

“We should start feeling moderate winds from the storm Saturday morning.”

The 18th Weather Flight declared Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3 at 10 p.m. Thursday. The island’s military bases were expected to go into TCCOR 2 by 10 p.m. Friday, with TCCOR 1 declared by 10 a.m. Saturday.

When TCCOR 1 is announced, destructive winds of 57 mph or greater are expected within 12 hours and all outside activities on the bases are to be discontinued, with only mission-essential personnel allowed outside. All scheduled events for the weekend, including Camp Kinser’s annual Kinserfest, have already been canceled.

The Weather Flight estimated that typhoon-force winds [57 mph or greater] would start at 10 p.m. Saturday and continue to whip Okinawa until 9 p.m. Sunday.

Dianmu was expected to weaken as it approached Okinawa. By Sunday afternoon, it’s forecast to be downgraded to a mere typhoon packing sustained winds of about 97 mph at its center.

At 3 p.m. Monday, the storm’s eye should be passing over Kyushu, some 77 miles southeast of Sasebo, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.


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