Tokyo braces for typhoon
Typhoon Fitow is bearing down on Tokyo and expected to pay a visit to the Kanto Plain on Thursday.
Maj. Jonathan Leffler, commander of the 374th Operations Support Squadron’s weather flight at Yokota Air Base, said the storm could whip through the area with 80 mph gusts and 4-6 inches of rain. It’s expected to slide north to Misawa Air Base late Friday.
U.S. military bases in Tokyo — including Yokota Air Base, Atsugi Naval Air Facility, Camp Zama and Camp Fuji — declared Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3 at noon Tuesday, announcing that winds of at least 58 mph were possible within 48 hours.
Yokosuka Naval Base remained in TCCOR 4 at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
No TCCOR warnings have been issued yet at Misawa.
Leffler, who administers tropical warnings for every area base except Yokosuka, said he anticipated moving to TCCOR 1 by late Wednesday afternoon — signaling winds of 58 mph or greater within 12 hours. That’s also assuming no change in Fitow’s forecasted track, he added.
Showers were expected to develop late Wednesday and continue overnight, Leffler said.
“We’re expecting winds to increase from about noon Thursday into the entire afternoon and evening,” he said. “Thursday evening should be the worst of it for us.”
Along with heavy rains, Kanto Plain locations could receive 50 mph sustained winds and higher gusts, Leffler said.
He said Fitow was forecast to make landfall on Thursday somewhere between Mount Fuji and Tokyo Bay.
Although the Pacific Ocean off Tokyo remains warm, Leffler said, Fitow should lose power when it passes over the Kanto Plain’s mountainous terrain and no longer can draw heat from the water. The storm will weaken once it moves out of the metropolitan area but maintain tropical-storm strength by the time it reaches Misawa.