CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Okinawa can expect a wet and perhaps very windy Labor Day if Typhoon Nabi continues on its forecast track, weather officials at Kadena Air Base’s 18th Weather Flight said Wednesday.

The 14th tropical storm of the typhoon season gained strength as it passed about 40 miles north of Saipan at midday Wednesday and churned westward on a track toward two smaller groups of islands east and north of Okinawa.

Okinawa could feel the brunt of the storm starting Monday morning, according to Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasts.

Officials at the 18th Weather Flight said it was “too soon to say” how severely Nabi would affect Okinawa because the storm still was about five days away.

But according to current weather forecasts, Okinawa could expect to begin feeling Nabi’s fury “at mid-day Saturday and Sunday” with rainshowers and wind gusts “worse than the last typhoon (Talim) we just had,” said duty forecaster Senior Airman Kyna Davis.

Talim churned past Okinawa on Tuesday and Wednesday, raking Okinawa with wind gusts up to 45 mph and hard rain showers.

The 18th Weather Flight was planning a typhoon strike meeting, typically held before elevating the tropical cyclone readiness condition, for Thursday afternoon.

At 9 p.m. Wednesday, Nabi was 173 miles north of Saipan, moving west-northwest at 13 mph and packing sustained winds of 121 mph and gusts up to 150 mph.

Joint Typhoon Warning Center satellite imagery taken at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday showed a well-organized storm with a clearly defined eye.

If it continues on the path projected by the warning center, Nabi will be at super-typhoon strength by 9 a.m. Monday.

At 9 p.m. Monday, Nabi is forecast to be 118 miles east of Okinawa, west of the tiny Daito islands, rumbling toward Yoron, Erabu and Toku islands north of Okinawa with sustained winds of 161 mph and gusts up to 196 mph.

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Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages the Pacific Storm Tracker.

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