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Typhoon Fitow picked up strength as it continued churning in the western Pacific Ocean on a track toward mainland Japan.

No Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness warnings had been issued at any U.S. bases by Friday evening, but military forecasters said they could be coming over the holiday weekend.

“We’re not telling anyone to batten down the hatches at this point, but we’re keeping an eye out,” said Senior Airman Stephen Doiron, a forecaster with the 374th Operations Support Squadron’s weather flight at Yokota Air Base. “But it’s still a little too far out to discern what the hazards are going to be and whether it’ll be a threat to the mainland or not. A lot can change.”

At 6 p.m. Friday, the strong Category 1 storm had maximum sustained winds of 92 mph with gusts to 115 mph. It was 800 miles east-northeast of Iwo Jima, moving northwest at about 7 mph.

Fitow was expected to intensify. But even if it does reach the Tokyo area sometime this week, the typhoon should lose some punch as it encounters cooler waters.


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