Typhoon Alley on Sunday began to resemble midtown Manhattan at rush hour:

Tropical Storm Saomai spared Guam much of its wrath as it quickly passed over the Marianas Islands and strengthened into a typhoon as it headed toward Okinawa.Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Maria spawned early Sunday just northeast of Iwo Jima, prompting Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in southern Japan to declare Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3 Sunday evening.And a third tropical cyclone, Bopha, formed Sunday afternoon and rapidly developed into a tropical storm just southeast of the Daito Islands.Saomai, the eighth storm of the northwest Pacific’s tropical cyclone season, performed a quick touch-and-go over the Marianas early Sunday, passing 15 miles north of Guam and just south of Rota, bringing heavy rain and gusty winds, National Weather Service officials said.

Guam received 4½ inches of rain from Saomai, said Roger Edson, science and operations officer at the National Weather Service on Guam. The strongest wind gust, 38 mph, was felt at 5:12 a.m. at Andersen Air Force Base, while Rota felt sustained winds of 40 mph and gusts of up to 55.

At 1 a.m. Monday Guam time, Saomai was 282 miles northwest of Guam, churning northwest at 18 mph, packing sustained winds of 75 mph and gusts of up to 92 mph at its center.

Though the Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s forecast track has Saomai coming within striking distance of Okinawa by early Thursday, it’s “too early to tell” how much of a threat Saomai will be to the island, said duty forecaster Master Sgt. Brian McDonald of Kadena Air Base’s 18th Weather Flight.

JTWC forecasts Saomai’s closest point of approach at 102 miles southwest of Okinawa at 1 a.m. Thursday, packing sustained winds of 121 mph and gusts of up to 150 mph.

Maria, the ninth storm of the season, quickly developed into a tropical storm overnight Saturday and took aim at Japan’s Kansai region, well to the north of Iwakuni, which declared TCCOR 3 at 6 p.m. Sunday as a precaution.

“It’s too soon to say” how much of a threat Maria will be, said Iwakuni’s weather chief Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Geraci.

At midnight Sunday Japan time, Maria was 242 miles north of Iwo Jima, tracking northwest at 13 mph with sustained winds of 69 mph and gusts of up to 86 mph, just shy of typhoon strength.

Bopha became a tropical storm on Sunday afternoon, but the JTWC forecasts it to track well south of Okinawa, with the closest point of approach 201 miles at 11 p.m. Monday.

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