Nida brings needed rain to Okinawa
May 21, 2004
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Super Typhoon Nida brought much-needed rain to Okinawa as it was forecast to pass some 195 miles to the east Thursday morning.
Nida, a popular woman’s name in Thailand, had winds exceeding 144 mph near its center as it continued on a track that is forecast to put it some 55 miles east of Yokosuka and 88 miles east of Yokota Air Base on Friday morning.
The storm is expected to weaken as it travels northeast at 17 mph and should be downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it reaches Tokyo, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii.
“The storm is going to weaken somewhat because it’s being smashed in the northwest side by a cold front,” said Air Force Capt. Aaron J. Williams of the 18th Weather Flight on Kadena Air Base.
Winds at the storm’s center Friday were expected to blow at a sustained 57 mph, according to the forecast.
The storm dumped almost six inches of rain on Okinawa, Williams said.
And that filled the island’s parched reservoirs to above 50 percent capacity for the first time in months, Okinawa officials reported. The level at the island’s nine reservoirs was measured at 51.1 percent Wednesday.
Okinawa had balanced on the edge of declaring water rationing for the past two months.
Maximum winds on Okinawa were expected to reach 23 mph by 9 a.m. Thursday. The bases, which entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3 on Monday, were not expected to enter a higher readiness level.
The extended forecast for the island is for rain and possible thunderstorms through Saturday and partial cloudiness Sunday. Temperatures are expected to range from a low of 72 degrees Friday to 85 degrees Sunday afternoon.
While Super Typhoon Nida spared Okinawa, it hit the Philippines with a vengeance, with officials reporting at least 13 people dead and 10 people missing. Landslides destroyed at least three villages.