Okinawa's typhoon season kicks off with storm alert
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — It’s the end of May and the weekend is approaching — must be typhoon season.
U.S. military bases on Okinawa went into heightened tropical storm conditions for the first time this spring at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, marking the beginning of the tropical storm season.
Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3 (TCCOR-3) was declared as Tropical Storm Linfa, which had weakened as it passed over northern Luzon in the Philippines, was expected to regain strength as it passed over warm water on its northeastward trek toward Okinawa.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Richelle Greer of the 18th Weather Flight at Kadena Air Base said Linfa, named after the Chinese water lily, was expected to pass within 73.6 miles east of Kadena Air Base at 3 a.m. Saturday. Winds at that time were expected to be no more than 46 mph.
A spokesman for the Okinawa Meteorological Observatory said the storm would pass to the east of Naha by noon Friday. He said the winds could be a bit stronger at 67 mph.
TCCOR-3 means winds of 57 mph or greater could be expected within the next 48 to 72 hours. All base residents and workers should conduct a general cleanup around their homes and workplaces.
Okinawa experiences an average of 3.7 typhoons a year. The typhoon season usually lasts from June through October.
— Chiyomi Sumida contributed to this report.