Typhoon Khanun blows past Okinawa
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Typhoon Khanun curved closer to Okinawa than first forecast but proved of little concern to the island overnight Friday and Saturday.
The 15th storm of the northwest Pacific’s tropical cyclone season passed 219 miles south-southwest of Okinawa at 4 p.m. Saturday. Multiple gusts of 43 mph first were recorded at 6:24 a.m. and Khanun deposited less than a half-inch of rain on the island, according to weather officer Capt. Colin Reece of Kadena Air Base’s 18th Weather Flight.
Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Storm Watch was declared at 3:50 p.m. Saturday, after TCCOR 2 had been invoked at 5 p.m. the day before. The island remained in Storm Watch into early Sunday morning.
“It took the (westward) curve a little later than we wanted, it was getting beyond our comfort level, ours and JTWC’s (Joint Typhoon Warning Center), and we agreed that action needed to be taken,” Reece said of declaring TCCOR 2 on Friday.
But wind speeds, he added, weren’t enough to warrant an upgrade to TCCOR 1, generally declared about 12 hours before predicted winds of 58 mph or greater.
At midnight Saturday, Khanun, originally forecast to become the fourth storm of the season to strike Taiwan, was 219 miles west-northwest of Okinawa, moving west-northwest at 14 mph. If it stays on course, it would come ashore about 100 miles south of Shanghai at 7 p.m. Sunday, packing sustained winds of 86 mph and gusts up to 104 mph.