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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Initial warnings were issued late Sunday for the seventh storm of the northwest Pacific’s tropical cyclone season.

Tropical Storm Pabuk, which formed overnight Saturday well to Okinawa’s southeast, was forecast to pass far to Okinawa’s south on Tuesday by the Early Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

However, officials at Kadena Air Base’s 18th Weather Flight said it was “a little too early to tell” if the new system would stay to the south or curve north toward the island.

“It looks at this point that it will be to our south and track to our west,” said Capt. Jonathan Wilson, 18th Wing Weather Flight commanding officer. “We’re watching it to see what it does. We’ll have a better handle on it” by sometime Monday morning.

There were no immediate plans to upgrade from seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4 as of Sunday evening, Wilson said.

At 6 p.m. Sunday, Pabuk swirled 587 miles southeast of Okinawa, rumbling west-northwest at 13 mph, with sustained 52-mph winds and 63-mph gusts.

If it remains on its JTWC track, Pabuk is forecast to churn 340 miles south of Kadena at 2 p.m. Tuesday, packing sustained 112-mph winds and gusts of up to 140 mph at its center.

The forecast track shows the new storm making landfall over central Taiwan’s eastern shore around 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Pabuk is a Laotian word for large freshwater fish.


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