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Tropical Storm 09W (Francisco), # 23 FINAL

JOINT TYPHOON WARNING CENTER

By DAVE ORNAUER | Stars and Stripes | Published: August 1, 2019

5:40 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7, Korea time: Tropical Storm Francisco continues moving away from Korea's southeast coast 117 miles north of Pusan at 3 a.m. moving north at 14 mph, and is set to head out to the Sea of Japan, then make a wide curve northeast toward Hokkaido by early Friday.

Weather for most of the peninsula calls for continued rain up until mid-morning as Francisco gets set to exit land, followed by partly cloudy skies and diminishing winds, perhaps a late afternoon thundershower. Barring movement toward any U.S. bases in Japan, this is the final report on Francisco.


11:40 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, Korea time: The time for closest point of approach by Tropical Storm Francisco to Fleet Activities Chinhae and Pusan has come and gone.

It was forecast to pass 46 miles east of U.S. Army Garrison Daegu at 11 p.m., still packing 52-mph sustained winds and 63-mph gusts, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Francisco made landfall near Pusan at 8 p.m. and is currently skirting the east coast of Korea, 38 miles north of Pusan. There's a better than good chance the  Wake Up, Shake Up program on AFN Daegu radio could feature a lot of the former but little of the latter; by then, Francisco hopefully should be out of the area.

Most of the heavy stuff associated with Francisco is in the eastern quadrants of the storm; U.S. bases on the west coast of Korea are a good 125 miles away from Francisco and the western quadrants are fairly silent.

Once Francisco passes and you venture out to begin your Wednesday, take special care to veer around fallen tree branches, watch out for fallen power lines and avoid heavy concentrations of water in low-lying areas. Get your safe on. It's almost all over.


5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, Japan time: Tropical Storm Francisco dashed through Kyushu rather quickly and is now over the Tsushima Strait headed for Korea's southeast coast to make for a gusty, rainy evening in Chinhae, Pusan and Daegu, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

At 3 p.m., Francisco was 54 miles southeast of Pusan, headed northwest rather rapidly, at 21 mph, still packing 58-mph sustained winds and 75-mph gusts.  Fleet Activities Sasebo remains all clear, while Fleet Activities Chinhae remains in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readness 1.

Francisco is forecast to maintain that intensity as it reaches Korea, passing 17 miles east of Pusan, 42 miles east of Chinhae and 25 miles east of U.S. Army Garrison Daegu between 6 and 11 p.m., then rapidly curve northeast back over water into the Sea of Japan as dawn breaks Wednesday.

All things considered, it wasn't that bad at Sasebo. Strongest wind gust was 37.4 knots, or 43 mph, at 8:53 a.m., and 0.6 inches of rain were recorded through 5 p.m. Tuesday, according to the base's official weather page.

As for Chinhae, they're expecting winds between 40 and 75 mph sustained with gusts up to 86 mph and 7 to 9 inches of rain starting at 5 p.m., according to CFAC's official Facebook page.

Base services are curtailed, though the Turtle Cove remains open for all meals. Most non-essential personnel were released from duty at noon, and CFAC is looking at a 10 a.m. Wednesday report time for non-essential personnel. More to come.


2:45 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, Japan time: Fleet Activities Sasebo directed Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness All Clear at 2:45 p.m. local, as Tropical Storm Francisco moved through rather quickly and is now on its way to Korea.


11:50 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, Japan/Korea time: Both Naval Base Chinhae and Sasebo Naval Base flipped the page over to Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1, Chinhae at 9:30 a.m. and Sasebo at 6:15 a.m. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are anticipated within 12 hours.

Though it's gonna be a wild day and evening for both bases, they actually might catch a bit of a break.

For one, Francisco did not have a lengthy life as a typhoon; it's been downgraded to a tropical storm by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

For another, Francisco's new forecast track bumped to the right a tad and it's now due to pass a bit further east of both bases than previously reported.

That said, brace yourselves, campers. Gonna be a nasty Tuesday and early Wednesday.

At 9 a.m., Francisco was 70 miles east of Sasebo, headed northwest at 18 mph and had slightly weakened to 69-mph sustained winds and 86-mph gusts, just below Category 1-equivalent strength.

Francisco is now forecast to pass 58 miles northeast of Sasebo at high noon, then push out over the Tsushima Strait passing 39 miles east of Chinhae at 10 p.m. and 21 miles east of U.S. Army Garrison Daegu three hours after. And still carrying quite a wallop, 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts as it burrows inland.

Again, don't take any chances. Stay indoors, and if you're an emergency-essential type and must journey from place to place, take care of high wind gusts and avoid low-lying areas where flooding might be. You only get one chance. Get your safe on!


5:50 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, Japan/Korea time: Wow. Francisco really intensified overnight as it made its way toward Kyushu's east coast. Joint Typhoon Warning Center upgraded Francisco to a Category 1-equivalent typhoon overnight Monday.

It made landfall around 5 a.m. near Saito, just north of Miyazaki, on the east coast of Kyushu and is making its way across the rugged, mountainous island with Sasebo Naval Base in its sights and Pusan and Naval Base Chinhae on its radar next.

At 3 a.m., Francisco was 160 miles southeast of Sasebo, moving west-northwest at 13 mph, packing 86-mph sustained winds and 104-mph gusts at center.

Fleet Activities Sasebo said on its Facebook page it will direct Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1 at 6 a.m. Pretty much every service on base is secured until TCCOR All Clear is directed, according to CFAS' official Facebook page.

If it stays on its present heading, Francisco is forecast to weaken slightly as it crosses Kyushu, passing 31 miles northeast of Sasebo at about 2 p.m. with 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts forecast as it passes.

Note that if 40-mph sustained winds occur, that meets the criteria for upgrade to TCCOR 1-C (caution), and if 58-mph sustained winds occur, that meets the criteria for TCCOR 1-E (emergency). At that point, all outdoor activity is prohibited and all personnel must stay indoors until the All Clear is directed.

Once clear of Sasebo, Francisco is due to push out over the Tsushima Strait and head for an almost direct hit on Pusan, forecast for 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Francisco is then forecast to pass 23 miles east of Chinhae an hour later and 13 miles east of U.S. Army Garrison Daegu at 3 a.m. Wednesday, still packing a nasty punch, 58-mph sustained winds and 75-mph gusts as it moves inland.

Bottom line: When the heavy stuff sets in, don't take chances. Because you only get one chance.


11:40 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5, Japan/Korea time: Francisco has intensified and is just below Category 1-equivalent typhoon strength as it continues moving toward forecast landfall over eastern Kyushu early Tuesday morning, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. It could be a typhoon when it comes ashore.

At 9 p.m., Tropical Storm Francisco was 233 miles east-southeast of Sasebo Naval Base and headed west at 17 mph, packing 69-mph sustained winds and 86-mph gusts.

Fleet Activities Sasebo and Fleet Activities Chinhae each remain Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 2; expect those to be upgraded, Sasebo by 6 a.m. and Chinhae a few hours later.

If Francisco continues on its present heading, it's forecast to come ashore just north of Miyazaki on Kyushu's east coast by about 3 a.m. Tuesday. It's due to diminish slightly as it passes 142 miles southwest of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni at 8 a.m. Tuesday and 15 miles northeast of Sasebo at noon, packing 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts.

From there, Francisco heads into the Tsushima Strait and toward secondary landfall at 9 p.m. Tuesday, passing 8 miles west of Chinhae two hours later and 20 miles west of U.S. Army Garrison Daegu at 3 a.m. Wednesday. It'll still be packing 58-mph sustained winds and 69-mph gusts as it roars ashore.


6:15 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5, Japan time: Fleet Activities Chinhae in southeastern Korea directed Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 2 at 1:45 p.m. Monday in advance of Tropical Storm Francisco. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are anticipated within 24 hours. Expect upgrade to TCCOR 1 sometime Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, Fleet Activities Sasebo in southwestern Japan remains in TCCOR 2 but expects to set TCCOR 1 at about 6 a.m. Tuesday, with Francisco forecast to pass at mid-day.

At 3 p.m., Francisco was 330 miles east-southeast of Sasebo, churning west-northwest at 16 mph and holding steady at 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts.

Francisco is forecast to maintain that intensity as it plows ashore near Nobeoka in eastern Kyushu at about 4 a.m. Tuesday. Closest point of approach to Sasebo is forecast to be 26 miles northeast at noon, then Francisco is due to push out to sea over the Tsushima Strait.

Base access is limited to emergency-essential personnel and virtually every base service will be secured until TCCOR All Clear is issued, according to CFAS' official Facebook page.

Up next is a near-direct hit on Chinhae. CFAC's official Facebook page stated Francisco is due to pass 10 miles east of Chinhae at 10 p.m. Tuesday with winds forecast to be between 58 and 69 mph and 2 to 4 inches of rain.

U.S. Army Garrison Daegu's Facebook page said winds should be between 40 and 46 mph with 1 to 2 inches of rain elsewhere.

In all areas affected by Francisco, avoid vehicle traffic when possible. Watch for high winds and flooding. Avoid areas affected by heavy rain. Remove patio furniture and tie down or bring inside bicycles, outdoor play items -- especially trampolines -- and barbeques. Be prepared for possible power outages. And follow directions as posted by local command Facebook pages and TV access channels.


3:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5, Japan time: A couple of local Sasebo updates from Fleet Activities Sasebo and DODEA official Facebook pages:

-- Blue bus, home-to-work shuttles, on-base shuttles and specific transportation itineraries are canceled for Tuesday. Residents and visitors should be aware that all regular transportation services may be impacted or cancelled depending on tropical cyclone conditions.

-- Sasebo complex schools closed at 2 p.m. in advance of Tropical Storm Francisco. Operations will resume when weather permits and per Fleet Activities Sasebo guidance. If operations resume Tuesday, the offices will open at 8 a.m.


12:20 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5, Japan/Korea time: Fleet Activities Sasebo directed Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 2 at 8 a.m. for Sasebo Naval Base and its properties in advance of Tropical Storm Francisco. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are anticipated within 24 hours. Fleet Activities Chinhae, meanwhile, remains in TCCOR 4.

At 9 a.m., Francisco was 424 miles east-southeast of Sasebo, trucking west-northwest at 20 mph and had reached peak forecast intensity, 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts.

Should Francisco remain on its current heading, it's forecast to pass 129 miles southwest of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni at 7 a.m. Tuesday; no TCCOR has been set there at this point.

Francisco is due next to make landfall south of Nobeoka in eastern Kyushu early Tuesday morning, then pass 22 miles northeast of Sasebo at 11 a.m. Tuesday, still packing 58-mph sustained winds and 75-mph gusts at center, before pushing back out over water into the Tsushima Strait.

Korea is next. Secondary landfall is forecast for 9 p.m. Tuesday, with Francisco passing 13 miles west of Chinhae an hour later, then about 30 miles west of U.S. Army Garrison Daegu at 2 a.m. Wednesday before curving northeast and back over water into the Sea of Japan.


5:45 a.m. Monday, Aug. 5, Japan/Korea time: Fleet Activities Sasebo and Fleet Activities Chinhae continue to brace for a possible Tuesday visit from Tropical Storm Francisco. Its latest forecast track continues to spare Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni of its full fury.

At 3 a.m., Francisco was 541 miles east-southeast of Sasebo, moving quickly west-northwest at 18 mph and had intensified to 58-mph sustained winds and 75-mph gusts.

It's forecast to peak at 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts in the coming hours. Sasebo remains in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3 and Chinhae in TCCOR 4.

There's a good chance Sasebo could be upgraded to TCCOR 2 shortly, as Francisco is forecast to pass 15 miles northeast of Sasebo at noon Tuesday, still packing 58-mph sustained winds and 75-mph gusts. Weather aware and be prepared.

Once past Sasebo, Francisco is due to head back over water, in the Tsushima Strait, making secondary landfall in a near-direct hit on Chinhae, at around 10 p.m. Tuesday, then 20 miles west of U.S. Army Garrison Daegu at 2 a.m. Wednesday, still packing 46-mph sustained winds and 58-mph gusts. Expect upgrade to TCCOR 3 in those areas as Francisco approaches.

Francisco is then forecast to make a sharp curve northeast and push back over water again, in the Sea of Japan at mid-afternoon Wednesday.


11:45 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, Japan/Korea time: The news gets a bit better for Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, as Tropical Storm Francisco's latest forecast track takes it a bit further south than previously forecast. Fleet Activities Sasebo, Pusan and U.S. Army Garrison Daegu remain in Francisco's crosshairs, however.

At 9 p.m., Francisco was 652 miles east-southeast of Sasebo, moving west-northwest at 22 mph and holding steady at 52-mph sustained winds and 63-mph gusts. Sasebo remains in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3, meaning destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are possible within 48 hours. Expect a possible upgrade to TCCOR 2 Monday morning.

If Francisco stays on its present course, it's due pass 140 miles southwest of Iwakuni at 8 a.m. Tuesday, after making landfall between Miyazaki and Nobeoka on Kyushu's east coast early Tuesday morning.

Francisco is next forecast to pass 17 miles northeast of Sasebo at 11 a.m. Tuesday at peak forecast intensity, 58-mph sustained winds and 75-mph gusts.

From there, Francisco is forecast to head across the Tsushima Strait and threat between Pusan and Naval Base Chinhae at 6 p.m. Tuesday, pass 12 miles west of Daegu five hours later, then hook right into the Sea of Japan at mid-afternoon Wednesday.


5:45 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, Japan time: The news gets slightly better for Sasebo Naval Base, but a bit worse for Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and Pusan on South Korea's southeast coast as the forecast track for Tropical Storm Francisco shifts slightly north.

At 3 p.m., Francisco was 692 miles east-southeast of MCAS Iwakuni and still moving rapidly, west-northwest at 18 mph and finally intensified some, to 52-mph sustained winds and 63-mph gusts.

If Francisco remains on its present heading, it's forecast to pass 100 miles southwest of Iwakuni at 8 a.m. Tuesday, after it's made landfall over eastern Kyushu and reached peak forecast intensity, 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts at center.

No Tropical Cyclone Conditions of Readiness have been set at Iwakuni as of yet; that could change at any time. Sasebo, meanwhile, remains in TCCOR 3, meaning destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are possible within 48 hours.

Francisco is now forecast to edge 57 northeast of Sasebo at high noon Tuesday, still packing 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts and gradually diminishing as it pushes north and east.

That's a bit better news for Sasebo since it's shielded some by hills and mountains to the north. Still, Sasebo is not out of the woods by any stretch; Francisco could intensify more and pass closer to the base. Could.

Once past Sasebo, Francisco is due to push back over water, in the Tsushima Strait, between Kyushu and southeastern Korea. It's forecast to make direct or near-direct hits on Pusan and U.S. Army Garrison Daegu between 9 p.m. Tuesday and 2 a.m. Wednesday, still packing 58-mph sustained winds and 69-mph gusts.

U.S. bases on Korea's west coast should be out of harm's way. But that could change also, depending on Francisco's track in the later term.

Francisco is then due to exit the Korean peninsula over Kangnung and back over water into the Sea of Japan.


Noon Sunday, Aug. 4, Japan/Korea time: Fleet Activities Sasebo has directed Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3 in advance of Tropical Storm Francisco. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are possible within 48 hours.

Other than that, there's little change to the weather picture for southwest Japan and U.S. bases in Korea.

At 11:30 a.m., Francisco was 881 miles east-southeast of Sasebo and 1,113 miles east-southeast of Kunsan Air Base in South Korea, moving west-northwest at 17 mph and continues holding steady at 46-mph sustained winds and 58-mph gusts.

Francisco is forecast to pass 127 miles west-southwest of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni at 8 a.m. Tuesday and 28 miles northeast of Sasebo four hours later, packing maximum forecast 58-mph sustained winds and 75-mph gusts at center.

From there, Francisco is forecast to move into the Jeju Strait, curve northeast and make direct or near-direct hits on Naval Base Chinhae and U.S. Army Garrison Daegu between 11 p.m. Tuesday and 4 a.m. Wednesday, still packing 46-mph sustained winds and 58-mph gusts. Then it's back out to open water over the Sea of Japan.


6 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, Japan/Korea time: There's a chance  that U.S. bases on the west coast of Korea might be spared Tropical Storm Francisco's full fury; the latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track takes Francisco further east, with Sasebo Naval Base and now Daegu in the crosshairs.

At 5:30 a.m., Tropical Storm Francisco was 972 miles east-southeast of Sasebo and 1,221 miles east-southeast of Kunsan Air Base in South Korea, headed west-northwest at 18 mph and holding steady at 46-mph sustained winds and 58-mph gusts, as it's had for more than a day now.

The scenarios for Sasebo and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni remain pretty much the same as previously forecast. Sasebo remains in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4; that could change sometime Sunday morning. No accelerated TCCORs for Iwakuni at this point.

JTWC projects Francisco to pass 153 miles southwest of Iwakuni at 6 a.m. Tuesday, reaching peak intensity at 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts as it makes landfall near Miyazaki, in southeastern Kyushu, at the same time.

Francisco is forecast to make a near-direct hit on Sasebo at 11 a.m. Tuesday, remaining a significant tropical storm as it roars through.

The script changes some after that where U.S. bases in Korea are concerned.

JTWC now projects Francisco to bend northeast a bit sooner than previously forecast, making secondary landfall just west of Masan on Korea's south coast early Wednesday morning, still a significant tropical storm, 52-mph sustained winds and 63-mph gusts as it rams ashore.

It's then forecast to curve sharply northeast, making a near-direct hit on Daegu at 7 a.m. Wednesday -- and pass much further east of the bases on the west coast, 102 miles southeast of Kunsan and 108 miles southeast of Osan Air Base between 4 and 11 a.m. Wednesday.

After that, Francisco is forecast to push back out over open water into the Sea of Japan. Model track guidance remains split, as do the GFS and CMC model ensembles. Stay tuned.


Midnight Saturday, Aug. 3, Japan/Korea time: Sasebo Naval Base and Osan Air Base remain prime targets for Tropical Storm Francisco. The question is, just how strong will it remain when it reaches those locales.

A day ago, the peak forecast winds were 98-mph sustained and 121-mph gusts. Joint Typhoon Warning Center's latest forecast track now shows Francisco peaking at 58-mph sustained winds and 75-mph gusts at mid-morning Monday.

That's the good news. The bad news is, Francisco is forecast to maintain that intensity as it crosses Kyushu in southwestern Japan and makes secondary landfall over Korea's south coast late Tuesday evening.

At 11:30 p.m., Francisco was 1,074 miles east-southeast of Sasebo and 1,311 miles east-southeast of Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, still moving northwest at a fairly good clip, 17 mph, and holding steady at 46-mph sustained winds and 58-mph gusts.

The news is also better for Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni; Francisco is forecast to pass 164 miles southwest at 6 p.m. Monday, some 55 miles further south than previously forecast. No Tropical Cyclone Conditions of Readiness have been issued for MCAS Iwakuni.

Sasebo remains in TCCOR 4, meaning destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are possible within 72 hours. Expect an upgrade to TCCOR 3 by morning; Francisco is due to pass 16 miles southwest of Sasebo at 11 p.m. Monday.

Once past Sasebo, Francisco is forecast to move back over water, into the Jeju Strait, and make secondary landfall late Tuesday evening.

Francisco is forecast to pass 41 miles northeast of Kunsan at 10 a.m. Wednesday, then make direct or near-direct hits on virtually every U.S. base on Korea's west coast between 5 p.m. and midnight Wednesday, still packing 52-mph sustained winds and 63-mph gusts as it moves north. Could be an interesting middle of the week.


6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, Japan/Korea time: Perhaps Francisco might not reach typhoon-intensity after all, if the latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track holds. Sasebo Naval Base in western Japan remains in the crosshairs, along now with Osan Air Base and Camp Humphreys in South Korea.

At 5:30 p.m., Francisco was 1,406 miles southeast of Kunsan Air Base and 1,174 miles east-southeast of Sasebo and still moving quickly, northwest at 19 mph and holding steady at 46-mph sustained winds and 58-mph gusts.

Fleet Activities Sasebo remains in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4, meaning destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are possible within 72 hours.

That could be upgraded sometime Sunday morning, Francisco is forecast to pass 36 miles northeast of Sasebo at 11 a.m. Tuesday at forecast peak intensity of 69-mph sustained winds and 86-mph gusts.

That's well below what had been forecast a day ago. Just below typhoon-intensity, but still a very strong tropical storm and one to not take lightly.

Francisco is due to pass 108 miles southwest of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni at 5 a.m. Tuesday; no upgraded TCCORs have been directed there yet, but that could change at any time.

Once done with Sasebo, Francisco is due to cross the Jeju Strait, make landfall sometime Tuesday evening just west of Masan on the south coast of Korea.

It should maintain significant tropical-storm strength, 58-mph sustained winds and 75-mph gusts, as it roars over Korea's mountainous terrain, passing 46 miles northeast of Kunsan, 12 miles east of Osan and 11 miles east of Camp Humphreys between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Francisco is then forecast to curve northeast toward the intersection of 38th and Parallel, then put back out to sea early Thursday in the Sea of Japan before dissipating.

There continues to be quite a bit of disparity among model track guidance, GFS and CMC ensembles; the one common denominator is, Francisco is due to track northwest, then curve northeast at some point. The question being, when.


3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, Japan/Korea time: One nice thing about a tropical cyclone when it moves rapidly in one direction or another: It can never stay in one locale long enough to sop up all that heat and humidity in the warmer portions of the northwest Pacific Ocean.

That's the case with Tropical Storm Francisco. It's held steady at 46-mph sustained winds and 58-mph gusts for almost the last day. And it doesn't look as though it will strengthen much past 75-mph sustained winds and 92-mph gusts at mid-morning Monday, and weakening from there.

That said, Francisco is still forecast to be quite the significant tropical storm when it makes landfall just south of Nobeoka, on Kyushu's east coast, early Tuesday morning, passing just northeast of Sasebo Naval Base and heading pretty much toward Osan Air Base and Camp Humphreys in South Korea.

At 2:30 p.m., Francisco was 1,305 miles east of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, and 1,289 miles east-southeast of Sasebo and getting a move on, northwest at 20 mph.

Fleet Activities Sasebo remains in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4. Expect an upgrade to that about mid-morning Sunday, since Francisco is forecast to pass 18 miles northeast of Sasebo at 9 a.m. Tuesday, still packing 69-mph sustained winds and 86-mph gusts at center.

The forecast track keeps edging closer, ever closer, to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, 127 miles southwest at 4 a.m. Tuesday. No upgraded TCCOR there yet, but that could change at any time.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain pretty much out of harm's way and remain in seasonal TCCOR 4. A closest point of approach to Kadena no longer appears on the JTWC chart.

Once Francisco passes Sasebo, it's forecast to churn through the Jeju Strait and make secondary landfall west of Masan along South Korea's south coast sometime Tuesday evening.

JTWC projects Francisco to pass 31 miles west of Naval Base Chinhae, 47 miles northeast of Kunsan Air Base on Korea's west coast, then 8 miles east of Humphreys and 7 miles east of Osan between 8 p.m. Tuesday and noon Wednesday. It should still be a significant tropical storm, 58-mph sustained winds and 74-mph gusts.

There remains some disparity among model track guidance and the GFS and CMC ensembles. But all agree on a northwest track toward Korea and southwestern Japan, followed by a northeast curve.

And by the way, Happy 75th Anniversary of the founding of Pacific Air Forces!


6:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, Japan/Korea time: Sasebo Naval Base in southwestern Japan and Kunsan Air Base in southwestern Korea could get direct or near-direct hits from Tropical Storm Francisco, if the latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track holds.

At 5:30 a.m., Francisco was 1,425 miles east of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, and 1431 miles east-southeast of Sasebo and on the move, northwest at 16 mph and was holding steady at 46-mph sustained winds and 58-mph gusts.

Fleet Activities Sasebo remains in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4, meaning destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are possible within 72 hours. That could be upgraded sometime Saturday morning, as Francisco is forecast to make landfall over eastern Kyushu early Tuesday morning.

U.S. bases on Okinawa continue to remain out of harm's way for now, and remain in seasonal TCCOR 4. The extended forecast for Kadena calls for partly-cloudy skies but blustery conditions by mid-week, northeasterly winds up to 27 mph with 38-mph gusts.

If Francisco keeps on its present course, it's due pass 138 miles southwest of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni at 6 a.m. Tuesday, peaking at 92-mph sustained winds and 115-mph gusts at 3 a.m. Tuesday, as it makes landfall between Miyazaki and Nobeoka along Kyushu's east coast.

Francisco is forecast to pass 7 miles northeast of Sasebo at 11 a.m. Tuesday, still as a powerful Category 1-equivalent storm, then push back out to sea in the Jeju Strait, holding on to typhoon status as it crashes ashore along Korea's south coast.

Francisco is next due to make a direct pass over Kunsan at 8 a.m. Wednesday, still packing 75-mph sustained winds and 92-mph gusts at center. A tough mid-week morning for Wolf Pack Country, it would appear. Keep an eye open for any TCCOR changes in the next day or so.

Francisco should weaken slightly, but remain a strong tropical storm as it skirts Korea's west coast, passing about 30 miles west of Osan Air Base and Camp Humphreys and 22 miles west of Yongsan Garrison between 7 and 10 p.m. Wednesday.

There does remain something of a spread among model track guidance, GFS and CMC ensembles. That said, this is no joke of a storm, campers. The time to start preparing is now for folks at Sasebo and southwestern Korea.


Midnight Friday, Aug. 2, Japan/Korea time: Looks like Sasebo Naval Base remains on Tropical Storm Francisco's forecast itinerary, with Kunsan Air Base possibly being added to the list of spots Francisco may visit, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

At 11:30 p.m., Francisco was 1,553 miles east of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, and 1,527 miles east-southeast of Sasebo, moving northwest at 12 mph and had strengthened slightly, to 46-mph sustained winds and 58-mph gusts.

The Philippines and U.S. bases on Okinawa currently remain out of harm's way. Okinawa remains in seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4, as it does from June 1 to November 30 each year. Fleet Activities Sasebo has also directed TCCOR 4, according ot the base's official Facebook page.

If Francisco continues on its current course, it's forecast to peak at 98-mph sustained winds and 121-mph gusts at mid-evening Monday. It's due to pass 174 miles south-southwest of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni at 2 p.m. Tuesday and 418 miles northeast of Kadena at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Landfall over Miyazaki in southeastern Kyushu is forecast for around mid-morning Tuesday. It's due to weaken slightly, to 81-mph sustained winds and 98-mph gusts as it passes 31 miles southwest of Sasebo forecast at about 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Next, Francisco is due to head back over water in the Jeju Strait toward the southwest corner of the Korean Peninsula, and remain a significant tropical storm, 58-mph sustained winds and 74-mph gusts as it makes secondary landfall.

JTWC projects Francisco to pass 22 miles southwest of Kwangju Air Base at mid-afternoon Wednesday and 48 miles southwest of Kunsan in the early evening.

Model track guidance and the GFS and CMC forecast ensembles are coming into slightly better agreement. For certain, they all depict Francisco continuing to track northwest.


6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, Japan/Korea time: Not only might Sasebo Naval Base get sideswiped by Tropical Storm Francisco, even the southwestern edges of the Korean peninsula could get a visit by the middle of next week, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

At 3 p.m., Francisco was 1,562 miles east of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, and 1,600 miles east-southeast of Sasebo, headed northwest at 14 mph and was holding steady at 40-mph sustained winds and 52-mph gusts.

Tropical storm-force winds extend 135 miles northeast of center and 125 miles southeast, according to the National Weather Service on Guam.

For the moment, the Philippines and U.S. bases on Okinawa are out of the line of fire in terms of a wind event; Francisco's outer edges could bring plenty of rainfall to both areas.

It's southwestern Japan that could face some serious winds, along with Jeollanam Province of southwestern Korea in the coming days. JTWC projects Francisco to peak at 98-mph sustained winds and 121-mph gusts at mid-afternoon Monday -- Category 2-equivalent intensity.

If Francisco remains on its current track, it's forecast to keep heading northwest, passing 170 miles southwest of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni at 8 p.m. Tuesday and 420 miles northeast of Kadena at 4 p.m. Tuesday at forecast peak intensity.

Francisco is then forecast to diminish slightly, to 81-mph sustained winds and 98-mph gusts as it roars ashore over Miyazaki, in southeastern Kyushu, at mid-afternoon Tuesday, crossing Kyushu and passing 24 miles southwest of Sasebo.

Francisco is forecast to remain a significant tropical storm as it exits Kyushu, passing through the Tsushima and Cheju Straits and making forecast secondary landfall at mid-afternoon Wednesday over Sunchon on the southwestern coast, still packing 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts as it slams ashore.

But that's a few days away, campers. JTWC reports a spread of about 520 miles in model solutions. Model track guidance shows a spread between Okinawa and just east of Iwakuni.

The GFS ensemble continues to split the difference between Sasebo and Iwakuni and a track over central Korea. The CMC ensemble favors a track just south of the JTWC track. Stay tuned, folks.


Noon Friday, Aug. 2, Japan time: Say hello to Tropical Storm Francisco. It wasted little time getting an upgrade, and continues to track toward a possible rendezvous with Kyushu early next week, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

At 9 a.m., Francisco was 1,638 miles east of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, moving northwest at 10 mph and had strengthened to 40-mph sustained winds and 52-mph gusts, with more intensification forecast.

For now, the Philippines and U.S. bases on Okinawa remain out of harm's way, but Kyushu is definitely in the crosshairs for a wet, gusty beginning to next week.

If Francisco continues on its present heading, it's forecast to keep tracking northwest, peaking at 98-mph sustained winds and 121-mph gusts as it passes 177 miles south-southwest of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni at 9 p.m. Tuesday and 411 miles northeast of Kadena at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

From there, Francisco is due to keep tracking in the general direction of Miyazaki, on Kyushu's southeast coast, with landfall possible Tuesday evening and passing 28 miles northeast of Sasebo Naval Base overnight Wednesday at forecast peak intensity.

Too early to say what Francisco might do from there, though the JTWC forecast track suggests possible secondary landfall over the southern coast of Korea.

And model track guidance suggests passage closer to Iwakuni, the GFS ensemble depicts a similar track and the CMC ensemble continues to favor a track closer to Okinawa. JTWC's forecast track appears to split the difference. Stay tuned.


6 a.m. Friday, Aug. 2, Japan time: Looks as if Sasebo Naval Base may be in the crosshairs, according to the initial forecast track for Tropical Depression 09W from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. For the moment, the Philippines and U.S. bases on Okinawa appear to be out of harm's way.

At 3 a.m., as-yet-unnamed 09W was 1,682 miles east of Kadena Air Base and 576 miles east-northeast of Saipan, crawling northwest at 4 mph with 29-mph sustained winds and 40-mph gusts.

For now, 09W is due to peak at Category 1-equivalent intensity, 81-mph sustained winds and 98-mph gusts, at 3 a.m. Tuesday, just before it's due to hit Kyushu, in southwestern Japan.

If 09W continues on its present course, it's forecast to pass 421 miles north-northeast of Kadena at 6 p.m. Tuesday. JTWC projects 09W to keep moving northwest in the general direction of Kyushu, passing 168 miles southwest of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni late Tuesday and 28 miles northeast of Sasebo early Wednesday morning.

But there's quite a spread among model track guidance and the GFS and CMC forecast ensembles. GFS depicts a track toward Kyushu followed by a sharp turn northeast, skimming the north shore of Japan's main island of Honshu. CMC favors a track northeast of Okinawa and China's east coast. Stay tuned. This could get interesting.

If 09W becomes a named storm, it would be called Francisco (second column, 13 down), a Chamorro man's name.


11:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, Japan time: A tropical cyclone formation alert has been issued on a disturbance labeled 93W Invest, which at 10:30 p.m. was 691 miles northeast of Guam and headed northwest in the general direction of southwestern Japan.

Model track guidance and the GFS and CMC forecast ensembles are in general agreement on a northwest track; just a question of which portions of Japan might be affected most. Fleet Activities Sasebo and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and U.S. bases on Okinawa should pay particular attention to this one. More to come.

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