Forecasters say typhoon will move well south of Okinawa
August 12, 2004
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Typhoon Rananim won’t be saying “hello” to Okinawa after all.
Forecasters Tuesday plotted the storm’s course to pass well to the south of the island, meaning Rananim, the Chu’ukese word for “hello,” most likely will not interfere with business as usual on U.S. bases.
Monday night the bases went into Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3, preparing to be hit by winds exceeding 57 mph within 48 hours. But as the day wore on, the storm’s track was replotted. On Monday morning it was forecast to pass directly over Okinawa. By the evening, it was charted to pass close to the south.
By Tuesday afternoon, the storm’s course was predicted to swing some 167 miles to the southwest of Okinawa at its closest point of approach at 8 p.m. Wednesday. If the storm continues to move as forecast, winds peaking to 46 mph will occur from 6 p.m. Wednesday to midnight Thursday.
On Tuesday evening the storm, still not an official typhoon, was tracking to the northwest at 10 mph. It was expected to increase in strength to typhoon status sometime late Tuesday, with winds at the center reaching 86 mph.
Bases on Okinawa are not expected to go into higher conditions of readiness as the storm approaches, said Tech Sgt. Carlo Erhardt, a forecaster with the 18th Weather Flight.
“If I were a betting man, I’d bet it will miss us,” Erhardt said Tuesday afternoon. “There’s a subtropical ridge to the east that’s forcing the storm on a westerly track south of us.”
Typhoon Rananim will bring rain to the island, with rain showers forecast through Friday, according to the Weather Flight.