CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A new tropical storm spawned overnight Monday east of the Philippines, but weather officials at Kadena Air Base said it should only graze Okinawa to its west with winds of up to 40 mph this weekend.
Tropical storm Nangka became the fourth named storm of the northwest Pacific’s tropical cyclone season.
Nangka was forecast by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center to pass 190 miles northwest of Okinawa around 8 a.m. Sunday. It’s expected to peak at 52-mph sustained winds and 63-mph gusts Wednesday and Thursday as it rumbles over the Philippines.
"We’re in ‘wait-and-see’ mode still," said Senior Master Sgt. Brian McDonald of Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight of Nangka’s possible path.
By the time it passes Okinawa, it should be packing winds of less than 50 knots (58 mph) at its center, McDonald said. The island should feel winds of between 30 and 40 mph Saturday night into Sunday morning if the storm stays on its JTWC forecast track, he added.
At 9 p.m., Nangka swirled 288 miles southeast of Manila and 1,041 miles south-southwest of Okinawa, churning west-northwest at 16 mph with sustained 40-mph winds and 52-mph gusts at its center.
Nangka is Malaysian for a yellow, oval-shaped fruit known as the jackfruit. Nangka spawned on the heels of the third named storm of the season, Typhoon Linfa, which grazed China over the weekend before dying out northwest of Okinawa on Tuesday.