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Tropical Storm 12W (Ampil), # 22 FINAL: Okinawa enters TCCOR 4

By DAVE ORNAUER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 17, 2018

5:30 p.m. Saturday, July 21, Japan time: U.S. bases on Okinawa have resumed seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4 as of 5 p.m. local time.

Tropical Storm Ampil is accelerating away from Okinawa, but not before leaving a trail of canceled flights and the island's strongest gust at Naha International Airport.

At 3 p.m., Ampil was 150 miles northwest of Kadena Air Base, scooting northwest at 24 mph, holding steady at 52-mph sustained winds and 63-mph gusts. Ampil is forecast to make landfall over China, just south of Shanghai, at mid-afternoon Sunday.

There have been no immediate reports of damage, injuries or deaths on island. The most pronounced effect has been on inter-island transportation.

A total of 106 flights, 14 on Friday and 92 on Saturday, serving Naha International Airport were canceled, affecting nearly 15,000 passengers, according to the Okinawa Times. Also, 112 inter-island ferries were canceled.

Top winds were felt at Naha IAP, 34 mph sustained and 44-mph gusts around mid-afternoon Saturday. Only about a half-inch of rain fell at Kadena Air Base, according to Kadena's 18th Wing Weather Flight.

This should be PST's final report on Ampil.


8 a.m. Saturday, July 21, Japan time: U.S. bases on Okinawa have entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch, according to Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing Weather Flight.

Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are no longer forecast. However, high winds may still occur due to Tropical Storm Ampil's close proximity. High winds may include gusts exceeding 58 mph and/or sustained winds meeting TCCOR 1-Caution criteria.

Here is the latest wind-forecast timeline from the weather flight:

-- Onset of 40-mph sustained winds: 8 a.m. Saturday.
-- Onset of 58-mph sustained winds: Not forecast.
-- Peak 40-mph sustained winds, 52-mph gusts for Kadena, and 46-mph sustained winds and 58-mph gusts southwest of there: 10 a.m. Saturday.
-- Winds subsiding below 40-mph sustained: 6 p.m. Saturday.

Thus, we're not out of the woods yet. The back side wind bands have yet to pass Okinawa and could still make for a gusty, showery Saturday mid-day and afternoon. There is a difference between Storm Watch and All Clear. Remain vigiliant. And keep your safe on.


6 a.m. Saturday, July 21, Japan time: Tropical Storm Ampil's forecast track has shifted a tad north-northwest, but it's still on course to bisect Okinawa at mid-morning Saturday, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

And just because Okinawa only got maximum 26-mph sustained winds and 37-mph gusts as of 5 a.m., doesn't mean the worst is over. There are plenty of squalls and heavy winds in Ampil's backside bands; just a question of when they get here.

At 3 a.m., Ampil was 120 miles southeast of Kadena Air Base, trudging north-northwest at 14 mph, packing 52-mph sustained winds and 63-mph gusts.

If it continues on its present course, Ampil is forecast to rumble 11 miles northeast of Kadena Air Base, packing 58-mph sustained winds and 69-mph gusts at center.

Updated wind-forecast timeline will be posted as soon as it's available.


1 a.m. Saturday, July 21, Japan time: Here is the updated wind-forecast timeline for U.S. bases on Okinawa for Tropical Storm Ampil, provided by Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing Weather Flight:

-- Onset of 40-mph sustained winds: 3 a.m. Saturday.
-- Onset of 58-mph sustained winds: 5 a.m. Saturday.
-- Peak 58-mph sustained winds, 69-mph gusts for Kadena, 63-mph sustained winds, 81-mph gusts southwest of there: 10 a.m. Saturday.
-- Winds diminishing below 58-mph sustained: 1 p.m. Saturday.
-- Winds diminishing below 40-mph sustained: Midnight Saturday.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1. A reminder: Sustained 40-mph winds meet the criteria for upgrade to TCCOR 1-C; 58-mph sustained winds, TCCOR 1-E.


Midnight Friday, July 20, Japan time: Tropical Storm Ampil has picked up forward speed and continues moving northwest on a collision course with Okinawa at mid-morning Saturday, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

At 9 p.m., Ampil was 220 miles southeast of Kadena Air Base, moving northwest at 12 mph, packing 52-mph sustained winds and 63-mph gusts.

If it continues on its present course, Ampil is forecast to pass 12 miles southwest of Kadena at 10 a.m. Saturday, packing 58-mph sustained winds and 75-mph gusts at storm's center.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1. An updated wind-forecast timeline will be posted as soon as it is available.


7 p.m. Friday, July 20, Japan time: And with Tropical Storm Ampil's slowdown in forward speed comes a delay in forecast destructive 58-mph winds for Okinawa.

Here's the latest wind-forecast timeline for U.S. bases on Okinawa, provided by Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing Weather Flight:

-- Onset of 40-mph sustained winds: Midnight Friday.
-- Onset of 58-mph sustained winds: 5 a.m. Saturday.
-- Peak 58-mph sustained winds, 69-mph gusts for Kadena, 63-mph sustained winds, 81-mph gusts southwest of there: 10 a.m. Saturday.
-- Winds diminishing below 58-mph sustained: 1 p.m. Saturday.
-- Winds diminishing below 40-mph sustained: Midnight Saturday.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1. A reminder: Sustained 40-mph winds meet the criteria for upgraded to TCCOR 1-C; 58-mph sustained, TCCOR 1-E.


6 p.m. Friday, July 20, Japan time: Looks like Tropical Storm Ampil's approach to Okinawa might be delayed a bit.

The latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track shows Ampil's forward speed has slowed to 6 mph, about half as fast as earlier Friday morning.

That is projected to delay Ampil's closest point of approach by a couple of hours, 10 a.m. Saturday, 27 miles southwest, instead of 8 a.m. as previously reported.

Latest wind-forecast timeline as soon as it's available.


3 p.m. Friday, July 20, Japan time: U.S. bases on Okinawa have entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are anticipated within 12 hours.


7 a.m. Friday, July 20, Japan time: U.S. bases on Okinawa entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 2 at 4 a.m. Friday. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are anticipated within 24 hours.

And here's the latest wind-forecast timeline from Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing Weather Flight. If Tropical Storm Ampil continues moving as forecast, it's due to pass 9 miles southwest of Kadena at 8 a.m. Saturday, packing 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts:

-- Onset of 40-mph sustained winds: 7 p.m. Friday.
-- Onset of 58-mph sustained winds: 3 a.m. Saturday.
-- Peak 58-mph sustained winds and 69-mph gusts at Kadena, 63-mphy sustained winds and 81-mph gusts southwest of there: 8 a.m. Saturday.
-- Winds diminishing below 58-mph sustained: 11 a.m. Saturday.
-- Winds diminishing below 40-mph sustained: 7 p.m. Saturday.

A reminder: 40-mph sustained winds meet the criteria for upgrade to TCCOR 1-C; 58-mph sustained winds, TCCOR 1-E.

Model guidance and the GFS and CMC ensembles pretty much agree now on a path directly over Okinawa.

The good news, if there is such a thing, is winds should remain limited to tropical storm-strength; it doesn't appear as if Ampil will become a typhoon, at least not yet.

Ampil is forecast to peak at 69-mph sustained winds and 86-mph gusts once past Okinawa, then dminish gradually as it reaches the China coast just south of Shanghai early Sunday morning.




1:15 a.m. Friday, July 20, Japan time: Here's the latest wind-forecast timeline for U.S. bases on Okinawa for Tropical Storm Ampil, from Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing Weather Flight:

-- Onset of 40-mph sustained winds: 7 p.m. Friday.
-- Onset of 58-mph sustained winds: 4 a.m. Saturday.
-- Peak 58-mph sustained winds, 69-mph gusts: 8 a.m. Saturday.
-- Winds diminishing below 58-mph sustained: 3 p.m. Saturday.
-- Winds diminishing below 40-mph sustained: 9 p.m. Saturday.

U.S. bases remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3. With destructive winds forecast for 4 a.m. Saturday, expect an upgrade to TCCOR 2 at 4 a.m. Friday. A reminder: 40-mph sustained winds meet the criteria for upgrade to TCCOR 1-C; 58-mph sustained winds, TCCOR 1-E.


Midnight Thursday, July 19, Japan time: Looks more and more like Okinawa is going to take a direct or near-direct hit from Tropical Storm Ampil, according to the latest from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

If Ampil remains on its current course, it's forecast to pass 16 miles southwest of Kadena Air Base, or just north of Naha, the prefectural capital, at 8 a.m. Saturday, packing -- and peaking at -- 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts at center.

As Ampil gets older and starts consolidating, model guidance is more and more agreeing on passage directly over Okinawa, along with the GFS and CMC ensembles. Far less of a spread than there was initially.

Time to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Latest forecast wind timeline coming as soon as it's available.

 

6:40 p.m. Thursday, July 19, Japan time: Here is the latest Tropical Storm Ampil wind-forecast timeline for U.S. bases on Okinawa, provided by Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing Weather Flight:

-- Onset of 40-mph sustained winds: 9 p.m. Friday.
-- Onset of 58-mph sustained winds: 4 a.m. Saturday.
-- Peak 58-mph sustained winds, 69-mph gusts: 9 a.m. Saturday.
-- Winds diminishing below 58-mph sustained: 3 p.m. Saturday.
-- Winds diminishing below 40-mph sustained: 9 p.m. Saturday.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3; expect that to be upgraded early Friday morning. A reminder, sustained 40-mph winds meet the criteria for upgrade to TCCOR 1-C; sustained 58-mph winds, TCCOR 1-E.


6:15 p.m. Thursday, July 19, Japan time: The good news: Tropical Storm Ampil's 50-knot (58-mph) wind band appears to be shrinking some as the storm continues arcing toward Okinawa. The bad news: Ampil's forecast track continues taking it closer to Okinawa, perhaps in line for a direct hit come Saturday.

If Ampil continues moving as forecast, it's now due to pass 37 miles southwest of Kadena Air Base at 9 a.m. Saturday, packing 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts, just below its forecast peak of 69 and 86, now projected to occur after Ampil has passed the island.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3. Expect that to be upgraded to TCCOR 2 late Thursday or early Friday morning.

Model guidance continues to tighten, with the GFS and CMC ensembles each depicting a track right over Okinawa or close to it. An updated wind-forecast timeline will be posted just as soon as it's available.


12:30 p.m. Thursday, July 19, Japan time: Here's the latest wind-forecast timeline for Tropical Storm Ampil for U.S. bases on Okinawa, from Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing Weather Flight:

-- Onset of 40-mph sustained winds: 9 p.m. Friday.
-- Onset of 58-mph sustained winds: 3 a.m. Saturday.
-- Peak 58-mph sustained winds, 69-mph gusts: Noon Saturday.
-- Winds diminishing below 58-mph sustained: 3 p.m. Saturday.
-- Winds diminishing below 40-mph sustained: 9 p.m. Saturday.

U.S. bases remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3. A reminder, sustained 40-mph winds or greater meet the criteria for upgrade to TCCOR 1-C; 58-mph or greater, TCCOR 1-E.


Noon Thursday, July 19, Japan time: It gets worse.

The latest from Joint Typhoon Warning Center shows Tropical Storm Ampil tracking closest to Okinawa at mid-day Saturday at the peak of its power.

JTWC projects Ampil to rumble 57 miles southwest of Kadena Air Base at high noon Saturday, packing -- and peaking at -- 69-mph sustained winds and 86-mph gusts at center, with Okinawa well inside Ampil's forecast 50-knot (58-mph) wind band.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3; expect an upgrade to that early Friday morning.

The only silver lining, if there is such a thing regarding tropical cyclones, is there remains a 132-mile spread among model solutions. Ampil could track farther southwest of Okinawa; it could track closer. Much depends on how quickly or slowly Ampil turns northwest in the coming hours.

Model guidance agrees in general on a northwest turn; the question being how sharply. The GFS ensemble has tightened considerably, indicating a track directly over Okinawa, with a bit of a solutions spread, while the CMC ensemble still suggests a track southwest of the island.

Latest wind-forecast timeline coming when available.


7:30 a.m. Thursday, July 19, Japan time: Here is the initial wind-forecast timeline for Tropical Storm 12W (Ampil) for U.S. bases on Okinawa, as provided by Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing Weather Flight:

-- Onset of 40-mph sustained winds: Midnight Friday.
-- Onset of 58-mph sustained winds: 3 a.m. Saturday.
-- Peak 58-mph sustained winds, 69-mph gusts: 2 p.m. Saturday.
-- Winds diminishing below 58-mph sustained: 5 p.m. Saturday.
-- Winds dminiishing below 40-mph sustained: 6 p.m. Saturday.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3. A reminder: Sustained 40-mph winds or greater meet the criteria for upgrade to TCCOR 1-C; 58-mph or greater, TCCOR 1-E.


6 a.m. Thursday, July 19, Japan time: U.S. bases on Okinawa have entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are possible within 48 hours. Time to start preparing. Get your safe on!


6 a.m. Thursday, July 19, Japan time: Depending on which group of models you gaze at, Tropical Storm Ampil will either make a direct or near-direct hit on Okinawa or pass just southwest of the island.

Either way, expect a gusty, rainy Saturday -- yep, another weekend, another typhoon -- as Ampil makes its way into the Okinawa neighborhood, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

U.S. bases on Okinawa are in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3; expect that to be upgraded early Friday morning.

At 3 a.m., Ampil was 480 miles south-southeast of Kadena Air Base, rumbling east-northeast at 8 mph, holding steady at 40-mph sustained winds and 52-mph gusts.

If Ampil keeps moving as forecast, it's due to 61 miles southwest of Kadena at high noon Saturday, packing 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts at center.

The long-range weather forecast, according to Kadena's 18th Wing Weather Flight, calls for rain, showers and isolated thunderstorms throughout the weekend.

Winds should pick up Friday afternoon and evening, 35-mph sustained winds and 40-mph sustained winds, increasing to 58-mph sustained and 69-mph gusts Saturday morning, diminishing to 40-mph sustained and 48-mph gusts Saturday afternoon and evening.

Model guidance still remains somewhat divided. No question, however, Okinawa remains the target-du-weekend. The GFS ensemble continues to favor a track right over Okinawa, while the CMC ensemble depicts a track just southwest of the island.


12:15 a.m. Thursday, July 19, Japan time: Closer, ever closer, Tropical Storm Ampil's forecast track keeps edging toward Okinawa, meaning a blustery, rainy Saturday may be in the works along with a possible brief lockdown.

Ampil was upgraded to a tropical storm Wednesday evening by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. It was 493 miles south of Kadena Air Base, headed east at 10 mph and had intensified to 40-mph sustained winds and 52-mph gusts.

If Ampil keeps moving as forecast, it is due to arc east, north, then northwest and pass 62 miles southwest of Kadena at 2 p.m. Saturday, packing 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts, with Kadena well within Ampil's forecast 50-knot (58-mph) wind band.

That's considered destructive winds, meeting the criteria for the highest-level tropical cyclone condition of readiness.

For now, U.S. bases remain in seasonal TCCOR 4. Assuming Ampil keeps moving as forecast, expect that to be upgraded to TCCOR 3 sometime later Thursday morning.

Windfinder.com projects Kadena and Torii Station to get peak 38-mph sustained winds and 49-mph gusts Saturday morning and again overnight Saturday.

But there still remains a wide spread among model solutions, so this could easily change. It's still early in Ampil's young life.


6:15 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, Japan time: Will it come closer to Okinawa? Or won't it?

That's the question surrounding Tropical Depression 12W as it nears the end of its first day as a tropical cyclone.

The latest from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center shows 12W has made a sharp right turn, and is forecast to arc east, then north, then northwest and a bit closer to Okinawa than PST previously reported.

At 3 p.m., 12W was 505 miles south of Kadena Air Base and headed east-northeast at 5 mph and had intensified slightly, to 35-mph sustained winds and 46-mph gusts at center.

If 12W continues moving as forecast, it's due to pass 102 miles southwest of Kadena at 11 a.m. Saturday, packing 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts.

But that's at storm center. Still, the latest JTWC projection shows Kadena just inside 12W's forecast 50-knot wind band. So, destructive winds might be possible come mid-day Saturday.

Still, it's a wait-and-see game.

The long-range forecast, provided by Kadena's 18th Wing Weather Flight, shows winds picking up Friday morning, 18-mph sustained winds and 29-mph gusts, increasing to 29 and 40 Friday evening, peaking at 35-mph sustained and 46-mph gusts Saturday morning and diminishing from there.

Windfinder.com
shows a slight bump in winds at mid-day Saturday, but nothing destructive. That might change, though. It's weather. Nothing's absolutely definite about it.

Model guidance
shows a track just northeast of Okinawa, over Amami Island some 200 miles northeast.

The GFS ensemble depicts a track directly over Okinawa, while the CMC ensemble depicts a track just southwest of the island, each with variations.

It's early in the life of a new storm. There remains a vast spread among model solutions, JTWC reports. Best to hope for the best, but be prepared in case of the worst. Get your safe on!


12:15 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, Japan time: The news gets a bit better for Okinawa regarding Tropical Depression 12W: The latest from Joint Typhoon Warning Center takes 12W further southwest of Kadena Air Base than originally forecast.

At 9 a.m., 12W was 544 miles south-southwest of Kadena, heading almost due west at 12 mph, holding steady at 29-mph sustained winds and 40-mph gusts.

If it continues moving as forecast, 12W is now due to pass 146 miles southwest of Kadena at 2 p.m. Saturday, packing 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts.

But that's at storm's center. Current forecasts call for winds at Kadena and Torii Station to peak at 41-mph sustained and 52-mph gusts at various times over the weekend.

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


6 a.m. Wednesday, July 18, Japan time: A new tropical depression spawned overnight Tuesday south of Okinawa, and its initial forecast track indicates a wet, windy weekend for the island, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

At 3 a.m., 12W was 513 miles south of Kadena Air Base, crawling west at 6 mph with 29-mph sustained winds and 40-mph gusts.

If 12W remains on its current track — and that's a huge "if," given initial model guidance -- it's forecast to pass 92 miles southwest of Kadena at 2 p.m. Saturday, packing 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts at center, with Kadena sitting right at the edge of 12W's forecast 50-knot wind band.

U.S. bases remain in seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4; that could change sometime Thursday morning, if 12W continues moving as forecast.

And the only thing certain about that is ... uncertainty.

Model guidance agrees on movement in Okinawa's general direction. But the GFS ensemble and the CMC ensemble are all over the place.

There's a spread of about 500 miles stretching from Yonaguni, Japan's most southwest island, to Tanegajima, just south of Kyushu, Japan's most southwestern main island.

With Okinawa smack in the middle.

Windfinder.com does indicate a slight bump in wind speeds come the weekend. That could also change, depending on 12W's forecast track and wind speed.

It's a wait-and-see game at the moment.


10:15 p.m. Tuesday, July 17, Japan time: The disturbance labeled 94W Invest is now the subject of a tropical cyclone formation alert issued at 7 p.m. by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Initial forecast models indicate a track toward the general direction of Okinawa; the question being, exactly where it will go.

94W was 483 miles south of Kadena Air Base when the TCFA was issued, with winds between 18 and 23 mph, moving generally north, but in a zig-zag pattern.

Model guidance indicates a path toward Miyako and Ishigaki islands southwest of Okinawa. The GFS model ensemble shows a track closer to Okinawa, while the CMC ensemble remains confused, at best.

Windfinder.com indicates winds picking up Friday evening, increasing throughout Saturday, peaking at 38-mph sustained and 51-mph gusts overnight Saturday into Sunday.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4. Much more should be known in the next day or so. Any upgraded TCCOR might happen as early as Thursday, but it’s way too early to tell.
 

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