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A typhoon expected to gain strength in the western Pacific Ocean could threaten the Tokyo area around the middle part of next week, a military forecaster on Okinawa said Thursday.

Master Sgt. Brian McDonald, noncommissioned officer in charge of the 18th Wing’s weather flight at Kadena Air Base, said shifts in its track remain possible but computer models put Typhoon Fitow on a path toward mainland Japan.

It appears Sasebo Naval Base will be spared the brunt but the area could still see heavy rain, he said, adding that the typhoon could have an impact anywhere from Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station up to Misawa Air Base in northern Japan.

“I would have them watch this closely as it develops through the early part of next week,” McDonald said. “It’s worth keeping an eye on, especially around Tokyo.”

At 3 p.m. Thursday, the Category 1 storm was a minimal typhoon with sustained winds of 74 mph and gusts to 92 mph. It was moving north at 10 mph but forecast to turn due west by Monday, according to McDonald.

Intensification is expected as Fitow approaches Tokyo, he said. By Tuesday, it could reach super typhoon status with 150 mph sustained winds — gusting to above 180 mph — as it again tracks north off the central Japan coast.


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