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KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Typhoon Maemi continued to move toward Okinawa on Monday, but the latest forecasts have the storm moving to the west of the island.

The storm, previously forecast by Hawaii’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center to make a direct hit on Okinawa with sustained winds of 143 mph, was forecast at 6 a.m. Monday to pass about 100 miles to the west by 3 a.m. Thursday.

At that time, the storm’s maximum sustained winds are forecast to be about 130 mph, with gusts to 160 mph.

The strongest winds on Okinawa were predicted to be 50 mph with gusts up to 75 mph.

But don’t delay making sure you have everything you need to weather the storm, warned Tech. Sgt. Rob Fournier, Kadena Weather Flight forecaster.

“The path of the storm will change from bulletin to bulletin,” Fournier said. “It’s not until we get with 24 hours of reaching us that the path gets narrowed down. You have to remember, when it’s three days out, an adjustment of a couple of centimeters on the map — that’s 50 miles.”

According to Monday morning’s forecast, the strongest winds on Okinawa would be felt early Thursday, he said.

“But we could see stronger winds starting as early as the evening of the 10th,” he said, which is Wednesday. “Even if the center of the storm is 100 miles or so out, we should still see some pretty good winds.”

Okinawa’s typhoon readiness conditions were normal early Monday. Heightened typhoon conditions were not expected until 7 p.m. Monday, at the earliest, when the bases were expected to go into Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3. That’s when destructive winds of 57 mph or greater are possible within 48 hours.

At that time base residents are instructed to make sure they have adequate emergency supplies of such things as water and batteries and are instructed to initiate a general cleanup around their homes and offices.

The typhoon center Monday morning said Maemi, the Korean name for a cicada that legend says chirps madly to warn of a coming typhoon, had sustained winds of 75 mph, gusting to 92 mph.

Maemi was located about 655 miles southeast of Okinawa and tracking west-northwest at 12 mph.

Once past Okinawa, Typhoon Maemi is forecast to take a more northerly swing toward South Korea. The storm was expected to make a direct hit on Taegu early Saturday with sustained winds of 100 mph, gusting to 126 mph.


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