Tropical storm Kalmaegi making way toward South Korea; No TCCOR warning yet
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — After pummeling southern Taiwan overnight Thursday into Friday, tropical storm Kalmaegi skimmed China’s coast en route to possible landfall over the Korean peninsula on Monday morning.
Though it is forecast to be a fairly significant storm, packing 58 mph wind gusts at its center, no tropical cyclone conditions of readiness were issued for U.S. bases in South Korea as of Friday, U.S. Forces Korea spokesman David Palmer said.
"We’re keeping an eye on it," he said, adding that if Kalmaegi becomes a bigger threat than forecast, "we’ll issue the appropriate TCCORs."
At 3 p.m. Friday, Kalmaegi churned some 450 miles west of Okinawa, rumbling northwest toward China’s southeastern coast at 13 mph, packing 58 mph sustained winds and 75 mph gusts.
Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasts call for Kalmaegi — a North Korean word for seagull — to ram into South Korea’s west coast, some 8 miles north of Osan Air Base, at 5 a.m. on Monday. Sustained winds of 46 mph and gusts of 58 mph are forecast.
Rain and wind associated with Kalmaegi claimed at least seven lives after the storm slammed ashore over southern Taiwan. Kalmaegi then continued its northwest track and is forecast to pass over Shanghai on China’s east coast early Sunday morning.