Typhoon Aere expected to swoop by Okinawa on Thursday
August 23, 2004
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — On Saturday, military bases on Okinawa started bracing for the “storm.”
Typhoon Aere, which means “storm” in the language of the Marshall Islands, was located some 635 miles south-southwest of Okinawa on Saturday night and traveling northeast at 14 mph, according to the 18th Weather Flight on Kadena.
The storm was upgraded to typhoon status at 3 p.m. Saturday, with winds at the center blowing a steady 75 mph and gusts whipping up to 95 mph. A forecaster at the weather flight said winds of 57.5 mph or greater were expected on Okinawa all day Thursday. The strongest winds were expected to peak at about 86 mph at noon Thursday.
According to a forecast issued Saturday night, bases on Okinawa were expected to enter Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3 early Tuesday and TCCOR 1-Emergency by midnight Thursday.
Rain was forecast from Monday night to late Thursday. Typhoon Aere is expected to make its closest pass some 95.5 miles to the southeast at noon Thursday.
A forecaster at the 18th Weather Flight said Typhoon Aere is being followed a bit further to the southeast by Typhoon Chaba, which was located about 410 miles east of Saipan on Tuesday night and traveling to the west at 12.6 mph. Winds at the center of the storm, named for the Thai word for the hibiscus flower, were clocked at 80.5 mph.
Chaba also caused the USS Kitty Hawk and frigate USS Gary to cut short their port visit to Guam on Saturday. Due to their unplanned early departure, “a small number of the ships’ crew did not return to the ships in time for departure,” according to a Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Marianas press release. Those members who missed their ships’ departure were directed to a local hotel according to the release.
“When two storms are in such proximity, they can have the tendency to influence each other, to either build in intensity or rotate around each other,” a forecaster said Tuesday night. “But at this moment we do not see that happening. They are maintaining their own environment.”