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From left, Pfc. Kendrick Harris, 20; Pfc. Stephen Rose, 20; and driver Pfc. Chris Broadstreet, 19, workers from the Camp Foster camp services unit, load trash cans onto a flatbed truck Tuesday, taking precautions for high winds expected from Tropical Storm Megi.

From left, Pfc. Kendrick Harris, 20; Pfc. Stephen Rose, 20; and driver Pfc. Chris Broadstreet, 19, workers from the Camp Foster camp services unit, load trash cans onto a flatbed truck Tuesday, taking precautions for high winds expected from Tropical Storm Megi. (Mark Rankin / S&S)

KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — All of a sudden, Tropical Storm Megi, Korean for “Catfish,” decided to blow, man, blow.

Early Tuesday the 18th Weather Flight predicted high winds from the storm to the southwest wouldn’t affect Okinawa. Then at 11:30 a.m., it issued a tropical cyclone alert for the island’s military bases, saying that due to the storm’s rapid development, winds of 57 mph or so would hit the island within 12 hours.

The Weather Flight predicted the storm would pass within 80 miles to the southwest of Okinawa by 7 p.m. Tuesday, with the strongest winds clocking at 63 mph.

Megi was expected to continue to lash Okinawa with winds exceeding 57 mph until 2 a.m. Thursday.

“The storm didn’t look like it was going to do much until Tuesday morning, when the track turned a bit closer to Okinawa,” said Tech. Sgt. Glen DeMars, a forecaster with the weather flight. “This is exactly why we remain in TCCOR 4 this time of year.”

Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4 means that damaging winds of 57 mph or greater could hit Okinawa within 72 hours.

The storm was expected to reach typhoon strength by 9 p.m. Wednesday as it churned toward the Korean peninsula’s southern tip.

The center of Typhoon Megi was expected to pass within 10 miles of Chinhae at 2 p.m. Thursday, with winds whipping up to 92 mph.


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