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Tropical Storm 21W (Chaba), #47 FINAL

Chaba has been downgraded from a Category 5-equivalent super typhoon to Category 4-equivalent status. Still a vicious beast, and still bound for the Tsushima Strait between Japan and Korea's southeast coast, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

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By DAVE ORNAUER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 4, 2016

6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, Japan time: Chaba has been downgraded to a tropical storm by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. U.S. bases in the Kanto Plain remain out of harm's way. Chaba is forecast to pass 58 miles southeast of Misawa Air Base at 5 a.m. Thursday, bringing 35-mph sustained winds and 46-mph gusts and showers Thursday morning, diminishing by afternoon. This is PST's final report on Chaba.


1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, Japan time: Fleet Activities Sasebo at 1:30 p.m. issued the all clear regarding Typhoon Chaba.


Noon Wednesday, Oct. 5, Japan time: Fleet Activities Sasebo has entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-R (recovery). Destructive winds no longer occurring. Repair crews and staff civil are fanning out to assess damage and establish safe zones. Please stay indoors until all clear is annouced by CFAS.


11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, Japan time: Chaba continues hanging onto typhoon status, raking Korea's southeast coast and Japan's southwestern Kyushu island with heavy gusts and sideways rain.

But it continues to deteriorate and is picking up forward speed headlong northeast away from Korea's southeast coast and Kyushu, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

At 9 a.m., Chaba was 115 miles northwest of Sasebo Naval Base, heading northeast at 23 mph, still packing 86-mph sustained winds and 104-mph gusts at center. Closest point of approach to Sasebo 104 miles and to Pusan is 35 miles at about mid-day Wednesday.

Fleet Activities Sasebo remains in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-C (caution) and Area IV in Korea in TCCOR 1.

JTWC reported sustained 52-mph winds and 63-mph gusts in Pusan as Chaba passed.

Chaba remains on track to pass 107 miles north-northwest of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni at about 2 p.m. as a severe tropical storm. MCAS Iwakuni remains in TCCOR Storm Watch.


6:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, Japan time: Chaba’s life as a typhoon is quickly dwindling as it continues pushing northeast into cooler conditions. It continues on course through the Tsushima Strait between Korea’s southeast coast and the northwestern edges of Kyushu, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

If it remains on its current path, Chaba is forecast to split the difference between Sasebo Naval Base and Chinhae Naval Base, passing 76 miles northwest of Sasebo and 72 miles southeast of Chinhae between 8 and 9 a.m. Wednesday, packing 98-mph sustained winds and 121-mph gusts at center.

Fleet Activities Sasebo set Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-Caution, with 40-mph sustained winds occurring on station. Area IV bases in Korea remain in TCCOR 1.

Chaba remains forecast to pass 102 miles north-northwest of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni as a severe tropical storm about mid-day Wednesday. Iwakuni  remains in TCCOR Storm Watch.


10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, Japan time: Prepare for Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-C (caution) and destructive winds to begin at about midnight, according to Fleet Activities Sasebo’s official Facebook page. Area IV in Korea remains in TCCOR 1. Typhoon Chaba continues to bear down on the Tsushima channel between Pusan and Sasebo. Gonna be a gusty, sideways-rainy overnight.


6:08 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, Japan-Korea time: Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1 has been set at 6 p.m. at Sasebo Naval Base, joining U.S. bases in Korea's Area IV across the Tsushima channel.

At 3 p.m., Typhoon Chaba was 235 miles north-northwest of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, and is tracking due north at 18 mph, packing 138-mph sustained winds and 167-mph gusts at center.

If Chaba remains on current course, it's forecast to pass closer to Korea's southeastern edges and a bit further away from Sasebo, but close enough to cause some major discomfort overnight Tuesday into Wednesday.

Chaba is forecast to rumble 113 miles north-northwest of Sasebo at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and still packing a might wallop: 115-mph sustained winds and 144-mph gusts at center as it roars past.

That means worse news for Pusan and Chinhae Naval Base. Chaba is due to pass just 23 miles south of Korea's second-largest city, along its southeast coast, and 36 miles south-southeast of Chinhae Naval Base just to Pusan's west between 11 a.m. and noon Wednesday.

Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni remains in TCCOR Storm Watch and is a bit further south of Chaba's forecast track: 121 miles north-northwest of Iwakuni about three hours after passing Pusan, and still packing 92-mph sustained winds and 115-mph gusts at center. Still pretty nasty.


1:45 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, Korea time: U.S. bases in Daegu Area IV have been placed in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1.

Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are anticipated within 12 hours.

Winds up to 46 mph sustained with 69-mph gusts are forecast for between midnight Tuesday and 3 p.m. Wednesday. Between 3 and 6 inches of rain also possible between 9 p.m. Tuesday and 3 p.m. Wednesday.


11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, Japan-Korea time: Chaba has been downgraded from a Category 5-equivalent super typhoon to Category 4-equivalent status. Still a vicious beast, and still bound for the Tsushima Strait between Japan and Korea's southeast coast, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

At 9 a.m., Chaba was 415 miles south-southwest of Sasebo Naval Base, chugging north at 13 mph, still packing 144-mph sustained winds and 173-mph gusts at center.

As Chaba moves north, it's forecast to start diminishing as it approaches the Tsushima channel, down to Category 2-equivalent status.

Chaba is forecast by JTWC to split the difference between Kyushu and the southeastern edges of Korea.

If it remains on its forecast track, Chaba is due to pass 76 miles north-northwest of Sasebo Naval Base and 74 miles south-southeast of Chinhae Naval Base between 9 and 10 a.m. Wednesday. It'll be packing 98-mph sustained winds and 121-mph gusts at center.

Fleet Activities Sasebo and Korea's Area IV remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 2. Area IV can expect 46-mph sustained winds and 69-mph gusts with 3 to 5 inches of rain, according to U.S. Army Garrison Daegu's official Facebook page.

Chaba's pace should then pick up rapidly, passing 90 miles north-northwest of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, barely hanging on to typhoon status at that point. MCAS Iwakuni remains in TCCOR Storm Watch.


10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, Korea time: U.S. bases in Korea's Area IV, the Daegu-Pusan corridor, have been placed in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 2. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are anticipated within 24 hours. Between 3 to 5 inches of rain forecast for eastern Korea.


9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, Japan time: U.S. bases on Okinawa have reverted to seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4.


6 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, Japan time: U.S. bases on Okinawa have entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-R (recovery). Destrucive winds of 58 mph or greater are no longer occurring.

That doesn't mean it's safe to leave the house and resume life as normal. Now it's time for staff civil, survey teams and repair crews to begin fanning out to assess damage.

Though the winds weren't as bad as predicted, there still could be quite a bit of damage out there: Downed power lines, tree limbs, flooding, unstable structures; all this and more could be the result of Super Typhoon Chaba as it gave Okinawa a glancing blow last night.

And there's no set period when TCCOR 1-R begins and ends. No fixed time. It depends on how much damage there is and how much time it will take to clear it.

So, stay indoors. Wait for the 18th Wing command to issue the all-clear/resume seasonal TCCOR 4.

DODEA-Okinawa schools will remain closed on Tuesday and all after-school activity has been canceled as well. School will resume normal schedule on Wednesday, according to DODEA-Pacific officials.

Peak winds on Okinawa were 44-mph sustained and 75-mph gusts at midnight. Some 4,000 homes across the prefecture lost power and more than 300 flights serving Naha International Airport were canceled.


5:40 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, Korea time: Korea is by no means immune to Super Typhoon Chaba's ferocity. U.S. Army Garrison Daegu/Area IV has set Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 2.

TCCOR 2 by definition means: Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are anticipated withn 24 hours.

Southeastern coastal areas of Korea are closest to the line of fire. Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast calls for Chaba to pass 51 miles south-southeast of Pusan and 68 miles south-southeast of Chinhae Naval Base between 8 and 9 a.m. Wednesday.

USAG Daegu's official Facebook page states that winds exceeding 58 mph are anticipated in Area IV between midnight Tuesday and 3 p.m. Wednesday, peaking at 46-mph sustained and 69-mph gusts. Between 3 to 5 inches of rain are forecast for eastern Korea.


5 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, Japan time: Fleet Activities Sasebo and its properties are in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 2. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater anticipated within 24 hours.

If Super Typhoon Chaba remains on its current path, it's forecast to pass 81 miles northwest of Sasebo at 7 a.m. Wednesday, still packing a pretty good punch, 104-mph sustained winds and 127-mph gusts at center.

Also, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni is in TCCOR Storm Watch. Chaba is forecast to pass 92 miles north-northwest of Iwakuni at 1 p.m. Wednesday, remaining a Category 1-equivalent typhoon, 75-mph sustained winds and 92-mph gusts at center. Iwakuni can expect 56-mph winds and 73-mph gusts by that time.


10:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, Japan time: U.S. bases on Okinawa have been placed in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-E. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are actually occurring. All outdoor activity is prohibited.


7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, Japan time: Talk about a super typhoon oddity. While Chaba has intensified drastically in the past day or so, the peak forecast winds for Okinawa have been dialed down just as dramatically.

Here's the latest wind-forecast timeline from Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing Weather Flight. U.S. bases on island remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-C; expect upgraded to 1-E within a couple of hours.

-- 40-mph sustained winds or greater: Occurring now.
-- 58-mph sustained winds or greater: 9 p.m. Monday.
-- Peak 81-mph sustained winds, 104-mph gusts at center: 9 p.m. Monday.
-- Winds diminishing below 58-mph sustained: 3 a.m. Tuesday.
-- Winds diminishing below 40-mph sustained: 8 a.m. Monday.


5:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, Japan time: Chaba has morphed into the third super typhoon of the northwest Pacific tropical cyclone season, packing 201-mph wind gusts at its center as it tracks just west of Okinawa, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

At 3 p.m., Chaba was 115 miles south-southwest of Kadena Air Base, traveling north-northwest at 14 mph, packing 167-mph sustained winds and 201-mph gusts at center -- a Category 5-equivalent typhoon. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-C.

And it's not done intensifying, JTWC stated in its latest dispatch. It's forecast to peak at 173-mph sustained winds and 207-mph gusts over the next several hours.

Chaba joins Nepartak and Meranti as tropical cyclones classified as super typhoons by JTWC.

If Chaba remains on its current course, it's forecast to pass 77 miles west of Kadena Air Base at 9 p.m. Monday. It's a fairly compact storm, with the most fierce winds and gusts confined to between 30 and 35 miles away from center.

Chaba is forecast to remain a significant Category 2-equivalent typhoon as it curves through the Tsushima Strait 75 miles north-northwest of Sasebo Naval Base at 7 a.m. Wednesday, packing sustained 121-mph winds and 150-mph gusts at center. Fleet Activities Sasebo remains in TCCOR 3.

Chaba remains on course to pass 61 miles south-southeast of Pusan and 76 miles southeast of Chinhae Naval Base between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Even as Chaba passes 75 miles north-northeast of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni at 1 p.m. Wednesday, it'll still be a Category 1-equivalent storm, 92-mph sustained winds and 115-mph gusts.


2 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, Japan time: U.S. bases on Okinawa have been placed in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-C (caution). 40-mph winds or greater are actually occurring at a particular base on island.


1:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, Japan time: The latest wind-forecast timeline from Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing Weather Flight shortens up yet again the duration of 58-mph sustained winds, from 12 to nine hours.

But forecast peak winds associated with Typhoon Chaba still remain fierce. Here's the latest. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1:

-- 40-mph sustained winds or greater: 2 p.m. Monday.
-- 58-mph sustained winds or greater: 6 p.m. Monday.
-- Peak 138-mph sustained winds, 167-mph gusts: 10 p.m. Monday.
-- Winds subsiding below 58-mph sustained: 3 a.m. Tuesday.
-- Winds subsiding below 40-mph sustained: 8 a.m. Tuesday.

A reminder: When TCCOR 1-E ends and TCCOR 1-R has been issued, that's not the time to go outdoors. If anything it's more dangerous then, as work crews are out assessing damage, to include downed trees and powerlines and unstable structures. You go out, you'd only be in the way. Stay inside until the all-clear is announced. Get your safe on!


11:15 a.m. Monday, Oct. 3, Japan time: The good news, if there is such a thing: Typhoon Chaba's forecast track keeps edging west, away from Okinawa. And the Kanto Plain may be completely out of harm's way.

The bad news, and there's plenty of it:

Okinawa remains well within harm's way. Chaba is forecast once more to become the third super typhoon of the northwest Pacific season, forecast to peak at 190-mph gusts Monday evening, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Though Chaba is projected to track further north of Sasebo Naval Base than previously forecast, now it appears Korea's southeast coast might feel some of Chaba's fierceness at mid-morning Wednesday.

At 9 a.m., Chaba was 180 miles south of Kadena Air Base, tracking northwest at 15 mph, packing Category 4-equivalent winds, 144-mph sustained and 173-mph gusts at center.

If it remains on its current track, Chaba is forecast to pass 71 miles west of Kadena at 10 p.m. Monday, packing 155-mph sustained winds and 190-mph gusts at center.

Further west of Okinawa, but still a monster.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1.

Sasebo could yet be spared a bum rush by Chaba, forecast to track 64 miles north-northwest of Sasebo at 6 a.m. Wednesday, still packing a good wallop, 75-mph sustained winds and 92-mph gusts at center. Fleet Activities Sasebo remains in TCCOR 3.

But as Chaba tracks through the Tsushima Strait, it could vent some of its rage on Korea's southeast coast. Chaba is forecast to pass 59 miles south of Pusan and 79 miles south-southeast of Chinhae Naval Base between 9 and 11 a.m. Wednesday.

From there, Chaba is forecast to bull through the Sea of Japan near Honshu's northern coast, passing 91 miles north-northwest of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni at 1 p.m. Wednesday as a severe tropical storm.


9:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 3, Japan time: Fleet Activities Sasebo has entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are possible at Sasebo Naval Base and related properties within 48 hours.


8:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 3, Japan time: Only the duration of destructive winds has shortened, according to the latest wind-forecast timeline from Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing Weather Flight.

But peak winds remain the same: 144-mph sustained, 173-mph gusts at 10 p.m. Monday. U.S. bases remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1. Expect an upgrade about mid-day Monday.

-- 40-mph sustained winds or greater: Noon Monday.
-- 58-mph sustained winds or greater: 3 p.m. Monday.
-- Peak 144-mph sustained winds, 173-mph gusts: 10 p.m. Monday.
-- Winds subsiding below 58-mph sustained: 3 a.m. Tuesday.
-- Winds subsiding below 40-mph sustained: 8 a.m. Monday.

Between 5 and 7 inches of rain forecast.


5:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 3, Japan time: Slightly better news for Okinawa and Sasebo Naval Base: Typhoon Chaba's forecast track has edged a bit furtther away from each locale.

At 3 a.m., Chaba was 258 miles south of Kadena Air Base, chugging northwest at 16 mph, still a pretty good clip. It remains a Category 3-equivalent typhoon, 132-mph sustained winds and 161-mph gusts at center.

Joint Typhoon Warning Center's latest forecast track shifts Chaba further west of the island -- 62 miles west at 10 p.m. Monday. It'll still be a vicious beast, a Category 4-equivalent monster, packing 144-mph sustained winds and 173-mph gusts at center.

But ... note the word "center." And those wind values are for over open water. It might, just might, mean slightly less heavy wind for Okinawa. New wind-forecast timeline will be posted here when available from Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing Weather Flight. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1.

Sasebo could catch something of a break, too, should Chaba's forecast track keep edging away. For the moment, Chaba is projected to pass 45 miles northwest of Sasebo, still as a Category 1-equivalent typhoon, 81-mph sustained winds and 98-mph gusts at center. Fleet Activities Sasebo is expected to issue TCCOR Storm Watch at mid-morning Monday.

Chaba is then forecast to skim the north coast of Japan's main island of Honshu, passing 58 miles north-northwest of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni as a severe tropical storm.

Keep your fingers crossed.


5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 3, Japan time: Typhoon Chaba continues heading Okinawa's way, with peak wind forecast adjusted slightly downward, but not much. Monday evening continues to look like a rough one.

Forecast track has been adjusted slightly: 38 miles west of Kadena Air Base at 10 p.m. Monday.

Here's the latest wind-forecast timeline from Kadena's 18th Wing Weather Flight. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1; expect an upgrade to TCCOR 1-C by 10 or 11 a.m. Monday:

-- 40-mph sustained winds or greater: 10 a.m. Monday.
-- 58-mph sustained winds or greater: 2 p.m. Monday.
-- Peak 138-mph sustained winds, 167-mph gusts: 10 p.m. Monday.
-- Winds subsiding below 58-mph sustained: 5 a.m. Tuesday.
-- Winds subsiding below 40-mph sustained: 9 a.m. Tuesday.


8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, Japan time: Here's the latest wind-forecast timeline from Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing Weather Flight. U.S. bases remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1:

-- 40-mph sustained winds or greater: 10 a.m. Monday.
-- 58-mph sustained winds or greater: 2 p.m. Monday.
-- Peak 144-mph sustained winds, 173-mph gusts: 8 p.m. Monday.
-- Winds subsiding below 58-mph sustained: 6 a.m. Tuesday.
-- Winds subsiding below 40-mph sustained: 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Just shy of super-typhoon status, but unquestionably a beast. Stay indoors. You only get one chance. Get your safe on!


7:20 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, Japan time: U.S. bases in Okinawa have entered Tropical Cyclone Condition Readiness 1.

Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are anticipated within 12 hours.


6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, Japan time: Perhaps Chaba might not become a super typhoon after all; latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center update shows intensity peaking at just below that threshold.

But the forecast track has changed some, putting Sasebo Naval Base in the possible crosshairs of a direct or near-direct hit from Chaba, soon after Okinawa takes a projected pounding.

At 3 p.m., Chaba was 427 miles south-southeast of Kadena Air Base, headed northwest at 18 mph, still at a fairly good clip.

But even with Chaba not forecast to reach super-typhoon strength, it will still be a fierce beast.

If Chaba remains on its current path, it should pass 16 miles west of Kadena at midnight Monday, packing 144-mph sustained winds and 173-mph gusts at center.

Chaba is projected to retain that sort of intensity even as it pushes north, then curves northeast with Sasebo in its sights. It's due to pass 14 miles south of Sasebo at 4 a.m. Wednesday, packing 115-mph sustained winds and 144-mph gusts at center.

Chaba is then due to push north, skimming the northern coast of Japan's main island of Honshu, 27 miles north of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni at 11 a.m. Wednesday, still packing 98-mph sustained winds and 121-mph gusts.

The good news for the Kanto Plain: Chaba may pass even further north of the Tokyo area than previously forecast. JTWC projects Chaba to pass 102 miles northwest of Yokota Air Base at 4 a.m. Thursday.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 2. Expect that to be upgraded sometime Sunday evening.

Sasebo will enter TCCOR Storm Watch at 9 a.m. Monday, according to Fleet Activities Sasebo's official Facebook page. No TCCOR change has been directed at Iwakuni yet; keep an eye on MCAS Iwakuni's Facebook page for updates.


2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, Japan time: The latest wind-forecast timeline for Okinawa portends very, very bad things. The fiercest wind gusts the island has seen since Super Typhoon Bart in late September 1999.

Here's the timeline, courtesy of Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing Weather Flight. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 2:

-- 40-mph sustained winds and greater: 11 a.m. Monday.
-- 58-mph sustained winds and greater: 2 p.m. Monday.
-- Maximum 150-mph sustained winds and 184-mph gusts for Kadena: 9 p.m. Monday.
-- Maximum 155-mph sustained winds and 190-mph gusts for southern parts of Okinawa as Chaba comes ashore: 9 p.m. Monday.
-- Winds subsiding below 58-mph sustained: 6 a.m. Tuesday.
-- Winds subsiding below 40-mph sustained: 10 a.m. Tuesday.

For folks new and old to the island: This could also portend a very lengthy TCCOR 1-R (recovery) period, since such winds could cause a great deal of damage.

Two words: STAY INSIDE! Do not venture outdoors just because the TCCOR 1-E emergency has ended. If anything, it may be more dangerous due to downed power lines and unstable structures.

Two more words: BE SAFE.


1:15 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, Japan time: U.S. bases on Okinawa have been placed in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 2. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are anticipated within 24 hours.


Noon Sunday, Oct. 2, Japan time: Whoo-boy. Look at Chaba now. In just six hours, it has intensified rapidly and could become the third super typhoon of the northwest Pacific's tropical cyclone season just as it reaches Okinawa.

At 9 a.m., Chaba was 531 miles south-southeast of Kadena Air Base, churning northwest at 18 mph, packing 121-mph sustained winds and 150-mph gusts at center. That's up from 75 and 92 just six hours earlier.

And the Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast does not look promising. At all. Okinawa hasn't seen the likes of what is currently forecast since Super Typhoon Bart, almost exactly 17 years ago.

If it remains on its current course, Chaba is due to pass 24 miles west of Kadena at the witching hour, midnight Monday -- packing forecast 155-mph sustained winds and 190-mph gusts at center.

And the updated forecast track portends bad news for Sasebo Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in southwestern Japan as well.

JTWC projects Chaba to pass 25 miles southeast of Sasebo at 7 a.m. Wednesday, still packing 98-mph sustained winds and 121-mph gusts at center as it roars by. And just 12 miles north of Iwakuni seven hours later, still as a severe tropical storm.

Slightly better news for the Kanto Plain. Chaba is forecast to track further north of U.S. bases in the Tokyo area, the closest being Yokota Air Base. Chaba is due to pass 64 miles north of Yokota at 3 a.m. Thursday as a middling tropical storm.

While the center "eye" feature might not pass directly over Kadena, the fact that the east quadrants are forecast to do so, is just as bad, if not worse. A typhoon's east quadrants are the worst of the four, pulling vapor, humidity and warm air from the south.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3. That should be upgraded Sunday afternoon.


8 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, Japan time: Okinawa can expect a wild, windy, heavily rainy beginning of the month as Typhoon Chaba makes its way toward the island, intensifying into a Category 3-equivalent storm all the way, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

At 3 a.m., Chaba was 634 miles south-southeast of Kadena Air Base, heading northwest at 14 mph, holding steady at 75-mph sustained winds and 92-mph gusts at center.

Chaba is forecast to peak at 121-mph sustained winds and 150-mph gusts just as it reaches closest point of approach to Kadena, 6 miles east at 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Here is the latest wind-forecast timeline from Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3; that should be upgraded sometime Sunday afternoon:

-- 40-mph sustained winds or greater: 1 p.m. Monday.
-- 58-mph sustained winds or greater: 6 p.m. Monday.
-- Peak 104-mph sustained winds and 144-mph gusts for Kadena: 6 p.m. Monday.
-- Peak 110-mph sustained winds and 150-mph gusts for southern edges of Okinawa: 4 p.m. Monday as it comes ashore.
-- Winds subsiding below 58-mph sustained: 6 a.m. Tuesday.
-- Winds subsiding below 40-mph sustained: 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Between 3 and 5 inches of rain forecast for Okinawa as well.

Chaba should begin losing steam as it rounds the best and begins curving northeast toward Japan’s main islands.

If it remains on present course, Chaba is sue to pass 45 miles south-southeast of Sasebo Naval Base at 9 a.m. Wednesday, remaining a Category 2-equivalent typhoon as it does; 28 miles south-southeast of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni about five hours later as a severe tropical storm.

Chaba should then rapidly head east-northeast toward the Tokyo area, passing 56 miles north-northwest of Yokota Air Base at 3 a.m. Thursday as a middling tropical storm, before heading out over the northwest Pacific.


Midnight Saturday, Oct. 1, Japan time: Whuh-oh ... Chaba has intensified rapidly the last few hours. Joint Typhoon Warning Center has upgraded Chaba to a Category 1-equivalent typhoon.

And if it strengthens as forecast, it could batter Okinawa with Category 3-equivalent winds come late Monday.

At 9 p.m., Chaba was 715 miles south-southeast of Kadena Air Base, heading northwest at 14 mph, now packing 75-mph sustained winds and 92-mph gusts at center, a good 12- to 15-mph increase over six hours.

If Chaba remains on its current path, it's forecast to make a near-direct hit on Kadena, 8 miles east at 11 p.m. Monday, packing 121-mph sustained winds and 150-mph gusts at center. Mean and nasty, right clear through. With 4 to 6 inches of rain forecast, to boot.

And Chaba is forecast to retain typhoon strength and pass ever closer to Sasebo Naval Base, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and perhaps even remain a typhoon as it hurtles toward the Tokyo area by mid-week.

Chaba is projected to pass 70 miles south-southeast of Sasebo at 4 a.m. Wednesday and 45 miles south-southeast of Iwakuni six hours later, still packing a serious wallop.

And though the current track takes Chaba over land, Chaba could still be a Category 1-equivalent typhoon as it roars 38 miles north-northwest of Yokota Air Base at about midnight Wednesday.

This thing's no joke, folks, especially for Okinawa. One more day to finish preparations for some nasty weather to begin the week. U.S. bases remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3; expect that to be upgraded to TCCOR 2 sometime Sunday.


7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, Japan time: Here's the latest wind-forecast timeline for Okinawa from Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing Weather Flight. U.S. bases remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3.

-- 40-mph sustained winds or greater: 9 a.m. Monday.
-- 58-mph sustained winds or greater: 2 p.m. Monday.
-- Peak 92-mph sustained winds, 115-mph gusts for Kadena Air Base: 2 p.m. Monday.
-- Peak 104-mph sustained winds, 127-mph gusts for northeastern parts of Okinawa: 2 p.m. Monday.
-- Winds subsiding below 58-mph sustained: 6 a.m. Tuesday.
-- Winds subsiding below 40-mph sustained: 9 a.m. Tuesday.


6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, Japan time: A visit to Okinawa on Monday evening by Tropical Storm Chaba remains in the cards. And Sasebo Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni could be next, depending on Chaba's Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track.

At 3 p.m., Chaba was 796 miles southeast of Kadena Air Base, headed northwest at 14 mph, having strengthened slightly, 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts at center as it rumbles well east of the Philippines.

Little change to Chaba's forecast arrival for Okinawa, 8 p.m. Monday, but 12 miles east, packing 104-mph sustained winds and 127-mph gusts at center. No telling at this point whether Chaba will have an eye feature when it reaches the island. U.S. bases remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3.

As for a possible visit to Sasebo and Iwakuni, that all depends on Chaba's forecast track. Model guidance is split, with some depicting passage north and others south of Japan's main islands, still others right over them.

Currently, Chaba is forecast to pass 92 miles south-southeast of Sasebo at 1 a.m. Wednesday and 59 miles south-southeast of Iwakuni at 8 a.m., possibly still as a Category 1-equivalent typhoon or at the very least a severe tropical storm. PST maintains its vigil.


8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, Japan time: As September gives way to October, Chaba remains a tropical storm and continues on a northwest track toward Okinawa. Model guidance has tightened and point with more confidence to a track toward the island or just east of it.

But how strong will Chaba be as it makes its way into Okinawa’s neighborhood?

Previous updates depicted a peak of 115-mph sustained winds; the latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center update reduces that to 104-mph sustained winds, and an earlier arrival to Okinawa. Still a Category 2-equivalent storm; thus, still very dangerous. And all that could still change.

At 3 a.m., Chaba was 930 miles southeast of Kadena Air Base, headed northwest at 10 mph, holding steady at 58-mph sustained winds and 75-mph gusts at center as it churns well east of the Philippines.

If Chaba remains on its current course, it’s projected to make a near-direct hit, 6 miles east of Kadena at 8 p.m. Monday, just as it peaks at 104-mph sustained winds and 127-mph gusts at center.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3. Expect that to be upgraded sometime Sunday afternoon, but it could be sooner, depending on track speed and intensity.

Here is the latest wind-forecast timeline from Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight:

  • 40-mph sustained winds or greater: Noon Monday
  • 58-mph sustained winds or greater: 2 p.m. Monday
  • Peak 92-mph sustained winds, 115-mph gusts at Kadena: 2 p.m. Monday
  • Peak 104-mph sustained winds, 127-mph gusts further northeast on Okinawa: 2 p.m. Monday
  • Winds subsiding below 58-mph sustained: 3 a.m. Tuesday
  • Winds subsiding below 40-mph sustained: 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Midnight Friday, Sept. 30, Japan time: Still looking at a blustery, rainy Monday and Tuesday as the Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track for Tropical Storm Chaba continues to favor a rendezvous with Okinawa early in the week.

At 9 p.m. Friday, Chaba was 988 miles southeast of Kadena Air Base, tracking west-northwest at 13 mph, a few mph faster than earlier Friday. Chaba's intensity has increased to 63-mph sustained winds and 81-mph gusts. JTWC projects Chaba to become a Category 1-equivalent typhoon by Saturday morning.

If Chaba continues as forecast, it should pass 9 miles west of Kadena at 11 p.m. Monday, and should crest at 115-mph sustained winds and 144-mph gusts at center. A nasty Category 3-equivalent beast.

U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3. Maximum forecast wind values for Okinawa have increased, according to Kadena's 18th Wing Weather Flight's official Web site, Shogunweather.com.

Here's Shogunweather's forecast wind timeline. Bear in mind, this could change, as there does remain a spread in model solutions:

-- 40-mph sustained winds and greater: Noon Monday.
-- 58-mph sustained winds and greater: 6 p.m. Monday.
-- Peak 115-mph sustained winds and 140-mph gusts: 9 p.m. Monday.
-- Winds diminising below 58-mph sustained: 3 a.m. Tuesday.
-- Winds diminishing below 40-mph sustained: 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Between 2 and 4 inches of rain are also forecast.


Noon Friday, Sept. 30, 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.

Tropical Storm Chaba continues to intensify, while its latest forecast track has edged slightly west of Okinawa and later than earlier projections, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Although the storm's center might not pass directly over Okinawa, that it might head west of the island is bad news. It would mean the island would get hit with Chaba's east quadrants, which are the strongest, since they pull more moisture and heavier winds from south of the island. Climate is warmer to the south, cooler to the north. That's nature.

At 9 a.m., Chaba was 1,117 miles southeast of Kadena Air Base, tracking west-southwest at 12 mph, and intensity has increased to 58-mph sustained winds and 75-mph gusts at center.

Should it remain on its current path, Chaba is due to rumble 25 miles west of Kadena at 3 a.m. Tuesday, packing 115-mph sustained winds and 144-mph gusts at center, Category 3-equivalent nastiness.

Model guidance continues to remain apart, some models calling for a track further west of Okinawa, others an easterly track. Chaba is only two days old and much uncertainty remains. Stay tuned.

And start getting prepared! No time like now to stock up, if you need to, on non-perishable food and water, food for your furry friends, diapers and sanitary wipes for the babies, flashlight, radio and batteries. Start breaking down the outdoor furniture and trampoline. Get ready to store those, along with the barbeque and bicycles.


6 a.m. Friday, Sept. 30, Japan time: Tropical Storm Chaba has strengthened a bit as it continues its trek west away from the Marianas and is poised to start curving northwest on a track that apparently puts Okinawa dead in its sights, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

At 3 a.m., Chaba was 1,145 miles southeast of Kadena Air Base, tracking west-southwest at 14 mph. Winds at Chaba’s center have increased slightly, to 52-mph sustained and 63-mph gusts.

If Chaba remains on its current course, it’s forecast to make a near-direct hit on Kadena, the center 8 miles east, at 7 p.m. Monday, packing 121-mph sustained winds and 150-mph gusts at center. That's equal to a Category 3 hurricane in the States.

Model guidance remains split, though most solutions point to a track toward or near Okinawa, some just west of the island, some a tad east. Either way, the island should clearly feel the effects early in the week. U.S. bases on Okinawa remain in seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4 for now.


6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, Japan time: Chaba has been upgraded to a tropical storm. It's continuing to move west away from the Marianas, and remains on track for a near-direct hit on Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, come Monday evening, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
At 3 p.m., Chaba was 228 miles west-northwest of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, headed west at 16 mph, with sustained 46-mph winds and 58-mph gusts at center.
If Chaba remains on its current course, it's due to pass almost directly over Kadena at 6 p.m. Monday, at its forecast wind peak of 110-mph sustained winds and 132-mph gusts at center.
Model guidance has come into slightly better agreement on a curve northeast toward Japan's main islands next week. But not much better; a vast spread yet remains. The biggest questions center around the curve's timing and Chaba's forecast intensity. PST remains on it.


Noon Thursday, Sept. 29, Japan time: Which way will it go?
That remains the question in the long term regarding Chaba, which remains a tropical depression as it tracks away from Guam. Chaba was still holding steady at 35-mph sustained winds and 46-mph gusts at center, 157 miles west-northwest of Andersen Air Force Base as of 9 a.m.
One thing on which model guidance agrees: Chaba will eventually turn north and northeast toward Japan's main islands.
But exactly where and how soon that curve takes place? Or will it curve at all?
That's hard to say. And it gives a picture of just how unpredictable tropical cyclones -- or any form of weather -- can be.
Models are suggesting anywhere between a straight run toward Taiwan (again!), to finally giving Okinawa its long-awaited "big one" that the island has avoided all season, to sharply curving northeast, even bypassing Japan's main islands.
The only thing certain ... remains uncertainty.
For the moment, Joint Typhoon Warning Center projects a path that would take Chaba 16 miles west of Kadena Air Base at 7 p.m. Monday, packing 98-mph sustained winds and 121-mph gusts at center -- equal to a Category 2 hurricane in the States.
But all that could change. Very good chance of it changing, and repeatedly, as Chaba enters its second day as a tropical cyclone. Stay tuned.


10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, Japan time: The flood watch for the Marianas islands has been canceled, according to the National Weather Service on Guam.


6:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, Japan time: Tropical storm watch has been canceled for the Marianas Islands but a flash flood watch remains in effect.

Chaba remains a tropical depression for the moment, but is expected to begin intensifying as it moves west and away from the Marianas islands, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

At 3 a.m., Chaba was 77 miles northwest of Andersen Air Force Base, moving west at 13 mph, still holding steady at 35-mph sustained winds and 46-mph gusts.

It’s forecast to be come a tropical storm by afternoon, and remains on course to pass 21 miles west of Kadena Air Base at 4 p.m. Monday, packing 98-mph sustained winds and 121-mph gusts at center.

There remains a spread among model solutions, most agreeing on a curve northeast toward Japan’s main islands, but a question of timing and location remains.

The extended outlook from Shogunweather.com, Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight Web site, calls for gusts up to 85 mph on Monday with a 50-percent chance of showers and thunderstorms.


12:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, Guam time: Chaba’s forecast peak intensity has bumped up slightly; it’s expected to cap at 110-mph sustained winds and 132-mph gusts at center as it approaches Okinawa, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

But will it? That remains the $64,000 question. The latest JTWC update also states that the spread among model solutions – where Chaba will actually go – has also increased to a cool 75- miles. Fairly vast. Stretching from Taiwan to Japan’s main islands. And it’s still early in the life of a storm, less than a day old. Thus, the only thing certain … is uncertainty.

At 10 p.m., Chaba was 37 miles north-northeast of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, tracking west at 21 mph, still packing 35-mph sustained winds and 46-mph gusts at center. Wind and sideways rain continue to pelt the Marianas islands, and it’s expected to continue through later Thursday morning, perhaps afternoon as well.

If it remains on its forecast track – a big if, at this point – Chaba should pass 22 miles west of Kadena Air Base at about 2 p.m. Monday, packing sustained 104-mph winds and 127-mph gusts at center as it roars past. All of this can change, pending Chaba’s intensity and track.


7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, Guam time: Next up on Tropical Depression Chaba's itinerary: Okinawa, if the latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track offers up an indication.
If it remains on its current course, Chaba should be 63 miles south of Kadena Air Base at mid-afternoon Monday as a Category 2-equivalent typhoon, packing 104-mph sustained winds and 127-mph gusts at center.
Model guidance has come into slightly better agreement on a curve northeast toward Japan's main islands.
But there remains a vast spread, of 575 miles at this point, regarding the timing of such a curve and how close Chaba might actually come to Okinawa. That remains to be seen.
For the moment, Guam remains Chaba's first target. Tropical storm watch, flood watch, small-craft and high-surf advisories remain in effect. Gonna be a gusty, sideways-rainy Wednesday evening on Guam.


6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, Guam time: Tropical Depression Chaba continues bearing down on Rota, just north of Guam, with a near-direct hit on the tiny island forecast for 2 a.m. Thursday, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
A tropical storm watch remains in effect for Guam, Rota, Tinian and Saipan, according to the National Weather Service on Guam. A flood watch is in effect for Guam and Rota. A high-surf and small-craft advisory remains in effect as well.
Winds of 35-mph sustained and 46-mph gusts are forecast through Wednesday into Thursday. On Guam, a heavy thunderstorm with frequently dangerous lightning is occuring until 7 p.m. between Hagatna Bay down to Agat and Orote Point, near Naval Base Guam.


1:45 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, Guam time: Perhaps it might finally happen. After a whole season without a visit by a significant tropical cyclone, Okinawa might finally get a long-awaited typhoon, by early next week if Chaba remains on its initial forecast track.

At 10 a.m., Chaba, Thai for tropical flower, was 223 miles east of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, headed west at 16 mph, with 35-mph sustained winds and 46-mph gusts at center.

A small-craft advisory is in place for Saipan and Tinian and a high-surf advisory for the main Marianas Islands, including Guam, until 6 p.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service on Guam. The Marianas are also under a Tropical Storm Watch.

There's a vast spread among dynamic model guidance. Some models have Chaba turning northeast toward Japan, while others show a straight run into Taiwan.< Joint Typhoon Warning Center's initial forecast track takes Chaba northwest. By 9 a.m. Monday, Chaba is projected to be about 200 miles south-southeast of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, packing 75-mph sustained winds and 92-mph gusts at center.

Shogunweather.com, Kadena's 18th Wing Weather Flight official Web site, depicts winds picking up by Sunday, 21-mph sustained and 31-mph gusts, with between a 40- and 50-percent chance of showers and thunderstorms.

Note that this is an initial track. It's very, very early in the life of a tropical cyclone. Much can change over the course of a storm's first day or two.


1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, Guam time: Tropical Depression Chaba has formed east of Guam. Initial model guidance and the first Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track indicates a path toward Okinawa once it exits the Marianas. This post will be updated.


7 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, Guam time: A tropical cyclone formation alert has been issued on a disturbance 322 miles east-southeast of Guam. The disturbance is forecast to pass through the Marianas Wednesday into Wednesday evening, bringing showers and winds between 30 and 35 mph into Wednesday evening. PST is keeping an eye on this developing system.

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