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Tropical Storm 12W (Lionrock), #45 FINAL: Misawa in TCCOR 1-R

Lionrock arcing toward landfall near Sendai; Misawa remains in TCCOR 2.<br>NOAA.gov
Lionrock arcing toward landfall near Sendai; Misawa remains in TCCOR 2.

Midnight Tuesday, Aug. 30, Japan time: Misawa Air Base has entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-R (recovery) according to the Misawa Weather Flight official Facebook page. Destructive winds have subsided and Lionrock has rapidly weakened and moved toward the Sea of Japan.

Lionrock is forecast by Joint Typhoon Warning Center to rapidly traverse the Sea of Japan and die out over Manchuria in eastern China. Lionrock became the first cyclone to retain tropical properties since records began being kept to make landfall over Japan’s Tohoku region, striking Iwate Prefecture at 5:50 p.m.

A most unique track Lionrock took in its nearly two weeks of existence after it formed just west of Wake Island and threatened – but didn’t touch – any major landmass until its 13th day. Unless it regenerates – highly unlikely – PST now takes leave of Lionrock.

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8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30, Japan time: Misawa Air Base is in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-E (emergency). Winds are exceeding 58 mph sustained and gusting up to 70 mph, according to Misawa Weather Flight’s official Facebook page. All outdoor activity is prohibited. The damaging winds are forecast to continue through 11 p.m.

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6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30, Japan time: Tropical Storm Lionrock’s journey is just about done, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s latest forecast track. But there’s still the matter of it passing Misawa Air Base, some 123 miles southwest Tuesday evening, but close enough that the base still could take a pounding.

At 3 p.m., Lionrock was 189 miles south of Misawa, moving north-northwest at 20 mph. If it remains on its current course, Lionrock could still rake the air base with peak forecast gusts of 69 mph until about 11 p.m.

Misawa remains in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1 and should stay that way until early Wednesday morning. All U.S. bases in the Tokyo-Kanto Plain area reverted to TCCOR All Clear Tuesday afternoon.

What’s left of Lionrock, in its 13th day of existence, should pass through northeastern Honshu, make its way back over the Sea of Japan as a weak tropical storm, then die out in Manchuria Wednesday afternoon.

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3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30, Japan time: Yokota Air Base has issued Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness All Clear.

Misawa Air Base remains in TCCOR 1, while Fleet Activities Yokosuka and Naval Air Facility Atsugi remain in TCCOR Storm Watch.


12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30, Japan time: Lionrock has been downgraded to a tropical storm by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. But it’s still a vicious beast, forecast to curve toward landfall this evening over northeastern Honshu and pound Misawa Air Base with heavy rain and high winds.

At 9 a.m., Lionrock was 316 miles south-southeast of Misawa Air Base, tracking almost due north at 19 mph, but forecast to keep turning northwest. If it remains on its present course, Lionrock should pass 94 miles southwest of Misawa at 8 p.m. Tuesday, still packing 63-mph winds and 81-mph gusts at center.

Misawa remains in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1. Weather officials forecast damaging winds of 58 mph or greater between 5 and 11 p.m. Tuesday plus plenty of wet stuff. Duty day ends at 1 p.m., youth programs shut down at 2 p.m. and Wednesday’s duty and school day begins late, at 9 a.m., according to Misawa’s official Facebook page.

Yokosuka Naval Base remains in TCCOR Storm Watch. Rain should taper off by this evening, with winds gradually diminishing into Wednesday.


11:20 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30, Japan time: Misawa Air Base has escalated to TCCOR 1, as destructive winds from 58 miles per hour or greater expected between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. Tuesday.

According to Misawa's official Facebook page, base workers will be released at 1 p.m. on Tuesday. Youth programs on the base will also shutter at 2 p.m.

On Wednesday, Misawa base employees and schools will have a late start at 9 a.m.


7 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30, Japan time: Lionrock is barely hanging on to Category 1-equivalent typhoon status as it continues its arc toward forecast landfall near Sendai early Tuesday evening, bringing a forecast of heavy rain and high winds to Misawa Air Base and the Tokyo-Kanto Plain area.

 

At 3 a.m., Lionrock was about 440 miles south-southeast of Misawa, moving north at 18 mph, packing 75-mph sustained winds and 92-mph gusts at center. If it remains on its current course, expect Lionrock to pass some 175 miles northeast of Yokosuka at 9 a.m. and 116 miles southwest of Misawa Air Base at around 8 p.m.

Yokosuka remains in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch, while Misawa remains in TCCOR 2.

Forecast:

  • Yokosuka can expect peak winds of 40 to 46 mph with gusts up to 58 mph and between 4 to 6 inches of rain through 5 p.m.
  • Misawa faces 29-mph sustained winds and 40-mph gusts Tuesday morning, increasing to 46-mph sustained and 69-mph gusts in the evening and 40-mph sustained and 58-mph gusts Wednesday morning, rapidly diminishing by afternoon.

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10 p.m. Monday, Aug. 29, Japan time: Misawa Air Base has set Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 2, according to Misawa Weather Flight’s official Facebook page. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are anticipated within 24 hours.

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9 p.m. Monday, Aug. 29, Japan time: Fleet Activities Yokosuka and its satellite properties have entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch. But that doesn’t mean CFAY and neighborhood are out of the woods yet.

A high-wind warning is in effect for Yokosuka and vicinity through 6 p.m. Tuesday, CFAY stated on its official Facebook page. Gale-force winds are forecast for midnight Monday and noon Tuesday, 35- to 40-mph sustained winds and 52-mph gusts, peaking at 40- to 46-mph sustained and 58-mph gusts. CFAY officials predict 4 to 6 inches of rain for Yokosuka by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Misawa Air Base remains in TCCOR 3. The base can expect easterly winds of 46 mph with 69-mph gusts and at least 2 inches of rain, according to Misawa Weather Flight’s official Facebook page.

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7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 29, Japan time: Lionrock has begun weakening and is now a Category 2-equivalent typhoon, packing 98-mph sustained winds. It has begun making the curve toward northeast Honshu, Japan’s main island, and remains on course to just miss Misawa Air Base to the southwest as a tropical storm, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

At 3 p.m., Lionrock was 323 miles southeast of Yokosuka Naval Base, heading northeast at 13 mph but appearing to begin its projected curve northwest. If it remains on its present course, Lionrock should track 194 miles northeast of Yokosuka at 11 a.m. Tuesday, then continue into Honshu, passing 78 miles southwest of Misawa 11 hours later.

Misawa remains in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3. Fleet Activities Yokosuka and its satellite properties also remain in TCCOR 3, just in case Lionrock makes a sharper curve toward the Kanto Plain. Other U.S. bases in the Kanto Plain remain in TCCOR Storm Watch.

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Noon Monday, Aug. 29, Japan time: Typhoon geeks all over the region have their eyes on history. If Lionrock strikes Japan’s Tohoku (northeast) region as a Category 1-equivalent typhoon, that would be an historic first. Has not happened since they began keeping such records. This, on top of Hokkaido getting smacked by three tropical cyclones in the same season for the first time since in 65 years.

Lionrock continues motoring at a relative fast clip, 353 miles south-southeast of Yokosuka Naval Base at 9 a.m. Monday, heading northeast at 18 mph. Model guidance is coming into tighter agreement on a path taking it more toward Misawa Air Base and away from the Tokyo area.

The question remains, whether Lionrock will retain its typhoon intensity as it slams ashore, about 6 p.m. Tuesday. Joint Typhoon Warning Center projects Lionrock to be packing 69-mph sustained winds and 86-mph gusts at center as it makes landfall, but it could remain a Category 1-equivalent typhoon.

Misawa remains in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3; expect that to upgrade to TCCOR 2 in the coming hours. U.S. bases in the Kanto Plain remain in TCCOR Storm Watch.

If Lionrock remains on its current course, it should pass 74 miles southwest of Misawa at about midnight Tuesday, remaining a significant tropical storm as it roars past. Lionrock is expected to retain its tropical storm-strength windspeeds as it makes landfall over southeastern Siberia and into Manchuria.

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10:45 a.m. Monday, Aug. 29, Japan time: Naval Air Facility Atsugi and Yokota Air Base have been downgraded to Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch.

Misawa Air Base is in TCCOR 3 with destructive winds of 58 mph or greater possible within 48 hours.


6:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 29, Japan time: As DODEA-Japan students head back to school today, many eyes in northeast Japan rest on a possible hit by Typhoon Lionrock on Tuesday.

At 3 a.m., Lionrock was 409 miles south of Tokyo, chugging northeast at 19 mph, still a Category 3-equivalent typhoon packing 127-mph sustained winds and 155-mph gusts at center.

Model guidance is reaching consensus on a path taking Lionrock over Sendai, between Tokyo and Misawa Air Base, early evening Tuesday. It’s forecast to remain a significant Category 1-equivalent typhoon, packing 81-mph sustained winds and 98-mph gusts as it rams ashore.

If it remains on its current course, Lionrock is due to pass 185 miles northeast of Yokosuka Naval Base at 9 a.m. Tuesday and 86 miles southwest of Misawa Air Base at 11 p.m.

Yokosuka remains in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3, while other U.S. bases in the Kanto Plain remain TCCOR 3.


6:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28, Japan time: Fleet Activities Yokosuka and its satellite stations have entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are possible within 48 hours.


6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28, Japan time: Typhoon Lionrock has taken a giant leap forward, moving northeast at 21 mph, nearly twice as fast as it was in the previous update. It remains a Category 3-equivalent typhoon, 132-mph sustained winds and 161-mph gusts at center.

If it stays on its current course, Lionrock remains due to ram the northeast coast of Japan’s main island of Honshu, but three hours earlier than at last report, and still as a Category 1-equivalent typhoon, packing an estimated 81-mph sustained winds and 98-mph gusts as it comes ashore.

Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s closest points of approach for Lionrock are 10 a.m. Tuesday for Yokosuka Naval Base and 92 miles southwest of Misawa Air Base at 4 a.m. Wednesday. U.S. bases in the Kanto Plain remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4.

Model guidance remains spread, ranging from a direct hit on Tokyo to a path over southwestern Hokkaido. Lionrock is due to curve left toward Japan and make secondary landfall over southeastern Russia; it's just a question of the left-curve’s timing.


2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28, Japan time: Yokota has entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are possible within 72 hours. Yokosuka Naval Base and its satellite properties and Naval Air Facility Atsugi remain in TCCOR 4.

Typhoon Lionrock continues its northeast journey at 12 mph. Model guidance remains spread. If Lionrock remains on its current track, it’s forecast to come ashore just above Sendai in northeastern Honshu early Tuesday evening.

Closest point of approach to Yokosuka is 171 miles northeast at 1 p.m. Tuesday and 82 miles southwest of Misawa Air Base 18 hours later. Joint Typhoon Warning Center projects Yokosuka to be outside of Lionrock’s 40-mph wind bands, and Misawa just inside them. PST remains watchful.


8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 28, Japan time: While Typhoon Lionrock’s current track takes it east of Tokyo, there’s every chance it could remain rather strong as it curves toward the northeast Japan coastline and heads in Misawa Air Base’s general direction, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

 

At 3 a.m., Lionrock was 350 miles west-northwest of Iwo Jima, heading northeast at 12 mph, still a Category 3-equivalent storm, packing sustained 121-mph winds and 150-mph gusts at center. JTWC projects Lionrock to continue northeast for another couple of days.

That’s where the models start getting iffy. There appear to be two scenarios now, one taking Lionrock into central Honshu, the other much further northeast; there’s even one outlier that suggests Lionrock might just keep chugging east and skip Japan altogether.

Thus, after 10 days of vast uncertainty, a zig-zag walk east of Okinawa, what remains is … still more uncertainty.

If Lionrock remains on its current track, it’s forecast to make landfall at 3 a.m. Wednesday, just east of Morioka, still as a Category 1-equivalent typhoon, packing sustained 75-mph winds and 92-mph gusts as it roars ashore.

JTWC projects Lionrock to pass 54 miles southwest of Misawa at 4 p.m. Wednesday, hit the water again over the Sea of Japan, then make secondary landfall over southeastern Siberia.

TCCORs remain the same, Yokosuka in TCCOR 4, the rest of the Kanto Plain in TCCOR 5. No designation for Misawa yet.


6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, Japan time: The news gets better for the Tokyo-Kanto Plain area, even as Typhoon Lionrock increases in intensity.

At 3 p.m., Lionrock was 850 miles southwest of Yokosuka Naval Base, tracking east-northeast at 9 mph and has strengthened to 132-mph sustained winds and 161-mph gusts at center. Far enough away from Okinawa that it’s still not a major issue; U.S. bases there remain in seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4.

And the latest forecast track from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center takes Lionrock even further northeast of Tokyo – if it remains on its current course, Lionrock should rumble about 235 miles northeast of Yokosuka at 8 a.m. Wednesday. Still packing a significant wallop, 81-mph sustained winds and 98-mph gusts. But that’s at storm’s center, well out over water.

Which for the moment should be a relief for Kanto Plain bases, which took a serious pounding during Mindulle last Monday. Fleet Activities Yokosuka and satellite bases remain in TCCOR 4, while the rest of the Kanto Plain is in TCCOR 5.

Misawa Air Base … that could be another issue, depending on how much intensity Lionrock keeps. At the moment, JTWC projects Lionrock to pass 78 miles southwest at 9 a.m. Thursday, still holding onto 46-mph sustained winds and 58-mph gusts.
 


Noon Saturday, Aug. 27, Japan time: Fleet Activities Yokosuka and its satellite properties have entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are possible now within 72 hours.

The question remains: Will Lionrock affect the Kanto Plain? Or will it wreak its havoc elsewhere?

The latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track indicates Lionrock might hit further up the northeast coast of Japan’s main island of Honshu than previously projected … closer to Misawa Air Base, and still as a rather significant tropical storm.

Lionrock is now forecast to bypass the Tokyo area, about 260 miles east of Yokosuka at 2 p.m. Wednesday, no longer a typhoon but still packing 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts. The Tokyo area might see some northerly winds and quite a bit of rain, but quite possibly not like it saw on Monday with Mindulle.

As it ventures close to Misawa – 104 miles south at 9 a.m. Thursday, according to the latest forecast – it could still be packing 46-mph sustained winds and 58-mph gusts.

Models remain in some disagreement, though the majority of possible tracks have shifted in the same direction as JTWC’s forecast track. Middle to northeastern Honshu sometime Wednesday. Stay tuned. PST is on top of it.


7 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, Japan time: As Typhoon Lionrock completes the ninth day of its roundabout existence, time for U.S. bases in the Kanto Plain to prepare for another go-round of heavy rain and high wind, much like Monday’s blustery visit by Tropical Storm Mindulle.

U.S. facilities in the Tokyo-Kanto Plain area remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 5. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are possible within 96 hours. Expect that to be upgraded sometime Saturday morning.

Lionrock’s forecast track has changed some from PST’s previous update:

If it remains on its current path, Lionrock is projected to split the difference between the Kanto Plain and Misawa Air Base, knifing 130 miles northeast of Yokosuka Naval Base at 2 p.m. Tuesday and 145 miles southwest of Misawa nine hours later.

Lionrock could remain a Category 1-equivalent typhoon, if not a severe tropical storm, as it roars ashore. Either way, expect gusty weather Tuesday into Wednesday with plenty of wet stuff. Again. Just after all that bad weather last Monday.

Model guidance remains spread. Some solutions range from a direct hit on Tokyo to southwest Hokkaido island; a couple even show a straight run northeast missing land altogether. PST remains watchful.


8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, Japan time: A visit to the Tokyo-Kanto Plain area from Typhoon Lionrock remains in the cards, provided it stays on its current Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track.

But forecast models remain all over the lot, regarding the timing of Lionrock’s forecast curve toward Japan’s main island of Honshu – that’s pretty much agreed on by the models – and how intense it will be once it reaches land.

The spread among model guidance still ranges from just west of Tokyo to as far north as Hokkaido.

If Lionrock stays on its current course, it is forecast to plow ashore over the Chiba peninsula east of Tokyo at about 6 p.m. Tuesday, barely maintaining Category 1-equivalent typhoon strength, 75-mph sustained winds and 92-mph gusts. Closest point of approach to Yokosuka Naval Base remains at about 50 miles east about an hour before landfall.

U.S. bases in the Kanto Plain have been placed into Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 5. Damaging winds of 58 mph or greater are possible within 96 hours. That could change as early as Saturday morning; please keep tuned to CFAY’s Facebook, AFN Eagle 810-AM radio and Yokosuka’s commander’s access channel for the latest as well as this blog.


12:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, Japan time: A high degree of uncertainty remains, but chances continue to improve that the Tokyo area could experience the same type of drenching and gusting that came with Mindulle last Monday.

Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s latest forecast track on Lionrock shows possible landfall 40 miles northeast of Yokosuka at noon or 1 p.m. Tuesday as a Category 1-equivalent typhoon, packing 86-mph sustained winds and 104-mph gusts as it comes ashore over the northeast part of the Chiba peninsula.

But there remains a vast spread among model guidance. Some models show landfall as far west as Hamamatsu or Shizuoka in central Honshu, others over the Tokyo area, others northeast of Tokyo and a couple as far east as Hakodate in Japan’s northernmost Hokkaido island.


8 a.m. Friday, Aug. 26, Japan time: For the second time in less than two weeks, the Tokyo area could be affected by a tropical cyclone. But questions remain as to the actual track Typhoon Lionrock will take.

The latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track takes Lionrock 52 miles northeast of Yokosuka Naval Base at mid-day Tuesday, perhaps remaining at least a Category 1-equivalent typhoon as it barrels ashore.

But there remains a vast spread among dynamic model guidance as to precisely where it makes landfall. Some models call for direct impact on the Tokyo-Kanto Plain area, which took quite a bit of rain and wind last Monday from Mindulle, which some media outlets called the first typhoon to hit Tokyo since 2000.

Other models suggest a hit further up the east coast of Japan’s main island of Honshu. Or perhaps Hokkaido might take another pounding; that island has already seen three tropical cyclones this season, the most since 1951.

Who knows?

Okinawa remains out of harm’s way. For the moment, Lionrock remains a good 285 miles southeast of Kadena Air Base, as a Category 3-equivalent typhoon, packing sustained 121-mph winds and 150-mph gusts at storm’s center. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in seasonal TCCOR 4.


5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, Japan time: Whoo, man, Typhoon Lionrock is strengthening. Still not expected to directly affect Okinawa, but the gusts they’re feeling on the island are from the outer bands of a storm forecast to increase to just-below super-typhoon strength – 138-mph sustained winds and 167-mph gusts at midafternoon Thursday, just before it curves northeast and hurtles away from the island.

If it remains on its current track, Lionrock should diminish slightly as it rolls north of the 30th parallel over the weekend. A vast spread remains among dynamic model guidance regarding possible landfall over Japan, spreading as far west as Nagoya and as far east as the Kuril Islands. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4.

 


12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, Japan time: Not much change to Lionrock, save for it making a quick loop from southwest to northeast away from Okinawa, then intensifying a tad more than earlier forecast as it steams headlong toward possible landfall over Japan’s main island of Honshu.

At 9 a.m., Lionrock was 315 miles east-southeast of Kadena Air Base, moving southwest at 9 mph. Closest point of approach to Kadena is about 290 miles southeast at 6 a.m. Friday, before it curls back northeast.

Model guidance remains quite scattered, with some depicting landfall near Nagoya, others near Tokyo and still more over Hokkaido. Still taking a wait-and-see approach.

7 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, Japan time: It’s getting somewhat clearer that a date with Okinawa probably isn’t in the cards for Lionrock, which strengthened into a typhoon overnight east of Kadena Air Base. And model guidance now depicts a landing somewhere among Japan’s main islands.

 

The question is, where in Japan? The most recent models show some projected tracks as far west as Osaka, some over Nagoya, some over Tokyo (which just got battered by wind and rain from Tropical Storm Mindulle), some as far north as Hokkaido, which made history earlier this week by being hit by its third tropical storm, most in one season since 1951.

If it remains on its current Joint Typhoon Warning Center track, Lionrock is forecast to wheel around from southwest to northeast as the weekend approaches, then start boogying northeast as next week begins.

Closest point of approach to Kadena is now 267 miles east at 2 p.m. Friday, with projected peak winds of 92-mph sustained and 115-mph gusts. It should maintain that intensity as it moves northeast out of the Ryukyu area, toward a destination that remains anybody’s guess at the moment.


8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, Japan time: Models are starting to agree that Tropical Storm Lionrock might turn east and head away from Okinawa after the weekend. The questions being, how soon will it turn, how close will it get to Okinawa and how much effect it may have on the island.

If Lionrock remains on its current Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track, it should get no closer than 283 miles east of Kadena Air Base at 2 p.m. Friday, peaking at 86-mph sustained winds and 104-mph gusts about an hour later, then hook northeast and start moving quickly away from Okinawa. Models do differ on the timing of the turn and forward track speed, but agree that it will head away.


2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, Japan time: Not much change to Lionrick, other than the tropical storm is forecast by Joint Typhoon Warning Center to intensify more than previously projected, to 86-mph sustained winds and 104-mph gusts at mid-morning Saturday.

Lionrock remains on course to curve northeast away from Okinawa, with closest point of approach – for now – 270 miles east of Kadena Air Base at 10 p.m. Friday. But model guidance remains as scattered as coffee beans over a vast portion of the western Pacific.

U.S. bases on island remain in seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4.


6:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, Japan time: Little change regarding Tropical Storm Lionrock, which continues to make a great circle some 430 miles east-northeast of Okinawa. Lionrock remains forecast by Joint Typhoon Warning Center to peak at 75-mph sustained winds and 92-mph gusts as it curves north, 276 miles east of Kadena Air Base at 2 p.m. Saturday. And who knows where Lionrock might head after that? JTWC reports that model guidance remains in “sharp disagreement.”


6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22, Japan time: Talk about literally going around in circles, or unable to make up its mind which way it wants to go.

The latest forecast track from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center depicts Tropical Storm Lionrock making yet another turn, this time northeast, then making a tight clockwise circle, still well away from Okinawa, kind of a tropical cyclone version of Ring Around the Rosey.

After it appeared in the last day or so that Lionrock was clearly headed toward Okinawa, model guidance has once again spread all over the lot.

But if Lionrock remains on its current track, it should be headed northeast, about 290 miles northeast of Kadena Air Base at midafternoon Friday, having intensified into a Category 1-equivalent typhoon, packing 75-mph sustained winds and 92-mph gusts.

The questions once more are, where will Lionrock go after that? How strong will it be? And how long will this keep up?


 Noon Monday, Aug. 22, Japan time:Tropical Storm Lionrock has come to a virtual standstill some 300 miles east-northeast of Okinawa, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Almost as if it’s scratching its head, making up its mind which way to go. But a southwest track should resume in a day or so, and Lionrock’s latest forecast track takes it south of Okinawa early Saturday morning.

If it remains on its current track, Lionrock should become a Category 1-equivalent typhoon late Friday. JTWC projects Lionrock to pass 78 miles south of Kadena Air Base at 4 a.m. Saturday, packing sustained 75-mph winds and 92-mph gusts at storm’s center. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4 for the moment.

6 a.m. Monday, Aug. 22, Japan time: Looks like the coming weekend may be wet and windy for Okinawa as Tropical Storm Lionrock appears to be on its way, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4 for the moment.

The latest forecast track shows Lionrock taking a sharp turn southeast, a path which should last a day or so. But JTWC then projects a turn back southwest, with Lionrock approaching the island, 69 miles east-southeast of Kadena Air Base by 3 a.m. Saturday as a Category 1-equivalent typhoon, 75-mph sustained winds and 86-mph gusts at center.

Long-range weather forecast from Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight shows winds starting to pick up Tuesday. Clouds fill the skies by Wednesday, 30-percent chance of showers throughout the week, with winds on Friday from the north at 25 mph with gusts between 34 and 40 mph. Expect that to pick up by Saturday as Lionrock gets closer.


6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21, Japan time: Okinawa might finally start feeling some effects from Tropical Storm Lionrock sometime mid-afternoon Friday, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Model guidance remains varied, but wherever it might venture in the longer term, a visit to Okinawa is looking more and more likely.

JTWC reports that Lionrock could be as close as 98 miles northeast of Kadena Air Base at 3 p.m. Friday, with Lionrock just a shade below typhoon strength, packing 69-mph sustained winds and 86-mph gusts, but at storm’s center.

And that’s still five days out. Lionrock’s track could change. It could come closer to Okinawa. It could turn southeast before it reaches the island. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4.



12:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21, Japan time: Not much change. Tropical Storm Lionrock appears as if might begin affecting Okinawa by Friday; Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s latest forecast track shows Lionrock edging to within 185 miles east-northeast of Kadena Air Base at 9 a.m. Friday, packing 58-mph sustained winds and 75-mph gusts, but that’s at storm’s center.

No definite solutions yet; model guidance varies. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4. Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight’s Shogunweather.com forecasts wind gusts starting to pick up Tuesday, between 23 and 31 mph through Thursday, with cloudy skies and between 30- and 40-percent chance of showers.
 


7:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 21, Japan time: Tropical Storm Lionrock’s forecast peak intensity has been scaled back markedly by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, and the timing of Lionrock’s possible visit to Okinawa – if it does at all – has been delayed once more, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

JTWC’s latest update projects Lionrock remaining some 270 miles east-northeast of Kadena Air Base at 3 a.m. Friday, packing 52-mph sustained winds and 63-mph gusts at storm’s center. Model guidance remains varied, with some showing possible movement south and east away from Okinawa, others hitting the island and then moving south and east, still others going straight west.


1 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 21, Japan time: Will Lionrock visit Okinawa? Will it not? With every passing Joint Typhoon Warning Center update, the possibility keeps getting delayed, if not postponed altogether.

Tropical Storm Lionrock continues to boogie southwest, but at a slower pace than before, 10 mph. JTWC projects Lionrock to kind of stop in its tracks something Sunday evening, then angle south and do a slow crawl for a couple of days, gradually intensifying along the way.

If it remains on its current JTWC track, Lionrock would still be just over 300 miles east-northeast of Kadena Air Base, packing sustained 63-mph winds and 81-mph gusts, but at storm’s center. Model guidance remains diverse; some models forecast a straight run at Okinawa, others beyond toward Taiwan, still others curving southeast away from the island.


6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, Japan time: One minor change: Tropical Storm Lionrock's possible visit to Okinawa might be delayed a tad more than previously reported. Joint Typhoon Warning Center's latest forecast track takes Lionrock within 216 miles east-northeast of Kadena Air Base at 3 p.m. Thursday. Model guidance remains quite scattered. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4. Winds gusting up to 56 mph were reported earlier Saturday at Hachijojima Airport.


12:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, Japan time: Consensus is that Tropical Storm Lionrock will likely make its way toward Okinawa. What happens after that ... who knows?

Model guidance remains all over the lot. Some models show Lionrock heading south after reaching Okinawa. Others depict possible southeast to east movement.

What's certain is the forecast may turn sour early next week and stay that way for a few days, according to Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing Weather Flight's shogunweather.com. Turning cloudy Monday, staying that way at least until Wednesday, 20- to 40-percent chance of showers and winds gusting as high at 57 mph Tuesday morning, perhaps beyond.

Joint Typhoon Warning Center's latest forecast track shows Lionrock approaching within 185 miles east-northeast of Kadena, and peaking at 69-mph sustained winds and 86-mph gusts, at mid-morning Thursday. That's where the question marks begin. PST has an eyeball on things.


6:45 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, Japan time: A visit to Okinawa by Tropical Storm Lionrock appears more and more likely, model guidance suggests. But that could be delayed as Lionrock’s forecast track has slowed some, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center reports.

At 3 a.m., Lionrock was about 200 miles due south of Tokyo, just south of Hachijojima, heading west-southwest at 14 mph. If it remains on its current path, Lionrock should intensify to 69-mph sustained winds and 86-mph gusts, but still be about 250 miles east-northeast of Kadena Air Base early Thursday morning. Most models show a track either over or just north of Okinawa entering next weekend.


Midnight Friday, Aug. 19, Japan time: At last, Tropical Storm 12W has a name, Lionrock, the name of peak overlooking Hong Kong. Lionrock has begun curving southwest, away from the Kanto Plain, and while the latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track depicts Lionrock as slowing, it remains on course that puts it in Okinawa’s direction.

At 9 p.m., Lionrock was about 200 miles south-southeast of Yokosuka Naval Base, tracking west-southwest at 15 mph. JTWC projects Lionrock’s track to slow over the weekend, taking its own sweet time as it makes its way toward Okinawa, coming within 265 miles east-northeast of Kadena Air Base by 9 p.m. Wednesday. At that point, it’s forecast to be packing 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts.

Model guidance continues to vary; some models show Lionrock making a straight run through Okinawa; others project it to curve back southeast, almost as if to reload for another run at northern latitudes. PST will remain watchful.


6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, Japan time: Forecast models remain decidedly undecided, but a goodly portion of them depict Tropical Storm 12W as headed in Okinawa's general direction by the middle of next week, according to those models and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center's latest track.

At 3 p.m., 12W was 229 miles southeast of Yokosuka Naval Base -- hence, the sub-par weather in the Tokyo area -- and headed west at 21 mph, packing 46-mph sustained winds and 58-mph gusts at center.

If it remains on its current forecast track -- and given the model disparity, who knows if that will be the case? -- 12W should begin curving southwest and come within 215 miles northeast of Kadena Air Base at mid-afternoon Wednesday, packing 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts at center.

Officials at Kadena's 18th Wing Weather Flight indicated they would monitor developments over the weekend -- as will PST -- and determine by Monday what might happen in the way of accelerated Tropical Cyclone Conditions of Readiness. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in seasonal TCCOR 4 at the moment.


12:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, Japan time: To paraphrase a Grateful Dead song: What a strange storm this is. Or to paraphrase an Alan Parsons Project song: Where do we go from here?

Tropical Storm 12W, which is not yet named, is taking a very strange path, the likes of which PST has rarely seen. Model guidance remains varied, all over the block.

One thing is sort of certain: 12W is projected to head east of Okinawa by the middle of next week ... but in a southerly direction, when most tropical cyclones tend to head north, west, east ... so where will it go after it visits Okinawa's neighborhood?

At 9 a.m. Friday, 12W was 344 miles southeast of Yokosuka Naval Base, carrying sustained 40-mph winds and 52-mph gusts, headed in a west-northwest direction.

Joint Typhoon Warning Center next projects 12W to begin heading southwest, eventually passing 167 miles east of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, packing 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts, but that's at center. And models can't seem to agree where it goes after that.

Strange, to say the least. PST is maintaining watch.


8 a.m. Friday, Aug. 19, Japan time: Closer, ever closer, might Tropical Storm 12W come to Okinawa by the middle of next week should the Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s latest forecast track hold.

It’s still four or five days away,  model guidance remains all over the place, much could change in the hours and days of the run-up. And weather factors may prevent 12W from intensifying into a typhoon at all, JTWC reports.

If 12W remains on its current forecast track, it could creep within 145 miles northeast of Kadena Air Base early Wednesday morning. Local forecasts call for a 30-percent chance of showers through Thursday. PST will keep monitoring.


11:45 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, Japan time: Still way too early to say definitively, but there’s every chance that new Tropical Storm 12W might head in Okinawa’s general direction early next week, possibly as a Category 1-equivalent Typhoon.

Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s third warning projects 12W to maintain a zig-zag walk west, and could come within 314 miles northeast of Okinawa by mid-evening Tuesday, packing sustained 75-mph winds and 92-mph gusts at center.

That said, it’s early-early-early yet. Dynamic model guidance remains far apart, and the conditions aren’t exactly ripe for intensification into something monstrous (yet). Give 12W some time, and we’ll see what we’ll see. PST has an eye on things.


12:20 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, Japan time: Boy, has traffic picked up along Typhoon Alley!

No fewer than THREE tropical cyclones have formed in the past few hours, the most recent one Tropical Storm 12W.  Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s initial warning shows it making a zig-zag walk west in the general direction of Kyushu and Okinawa in southwestern Japan.

Where it definitively might go? Very, very hard to say at this point.

JTWC projects 12W to peak at 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts as it heads west, just below typhoon strength.

Model guidance is all over the lot, some depicting a straight-run west, others toward Kyushu and Sasebo Naval Base, still more in Okinawa’s direction. Much depends on the arc that Tropical Depression 10W might take.

Bottom line: At this point, the only thing definite is, nothing is definite. PST will keep a sharp lookout.

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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.