Typhoon Lupit eyes Okinawa
Typhoon Lupit may be setting its sights on Okinawa.
The storm, originally forecast to hit Guam, passed south of the island early Monday morning.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii is now predicting it will turn to the northwest.
And as the storm takes that course toward Okinawa, it will strengthen into a super typhoon with wind speeds exceeding 156 mph, Typhoon Warning Center meteorologist Lt. Karen Wingeart said Monday.
But forecasters are not yet predicting Lupit will hit Okinawa.
“That’s so far out, we can’t really tell, yet,” Wingeart said, confirming current models show the storm tracking toward the island. “That’s something we’re going to be looking at in the next 48 hours.”
Military officials at Andersen Air Force Base and U.S. Naval Forces Marianas on Guam are breathing a sigh of relief.
“We were lucky this time,” Naval Forces Marianas spokesman Chief Jonathan Annis said Monday of Lupit’s passing. “This just reminds us we need to be prepared.”
Military officials were evaluating the typhoon’s course Monday and were expected to downgrade bases’ condition of readiness.
According to Wingeart, the island felt few typhoon effects.
“They had some storms from feeder bands,” she said. “Winds topped 34 knots (39.1 mph) at one point.”
As of early Monday morning, the National Weather Service station on Guam was reporting Lupit had sustained winds of 110 mph, gusting up to 130 mph. The typhoon was situated about 385 miles south of the island and tracking west at 15 mph.
Typhoon warnings are in effect for that island as well as Woleai, Sorol and Yap.
After clearing Yap, Lupit is expected to track northwesterly toward Naha.