Typhoon sweeps past Yokosuka, Tokyo
By VINCE LITTLE | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 21, 2008
Typhoon Sinlaku brought heavy rain and gusty winds to U.S. military installations on the Kanto Plain early Saturday as it brushed past Yokosuka Naval Base overnight.
Military forecasters predicted up to 4 inches of rain in the Tokyo area.
Yokosuka declared Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1 at 10 p.m. Friday night — in anticipation of 58 mph or greater winds within 12 hours. It had moved to TCCOR-2 earlier that afternoon.
With the Category 1-equivalent storm forecast to remain off Japan’s southeast coast, no weather alerts were expected for Yokota Air Base, Camp Fuji, Atsugi Naval Air Facility or Camp Zama. Officials said Misawa Air Base in northern Japan shouldn’t feel any effect from Sinlaku.
Unless the forecast track shifts dramatically, the typhoon won’t make any landfall, said Tech. Sgt. Kimberly Hawn, a forecaster with the 374th Operations Support Squadron’s weather flight at Yokota.
"It’s just riding along the coastline," she said Friday evening. "It should shoot right out to the Pacific Ocean."
According to Yokosuka’s weather Web site, the base could get 52 mph sustained winds with gusts to 75 mph by late Saturday morning. Improving conditions were forecast in the afternoon.
At Yokosuka, no ships or maritime assets had been taken out to sea in advance of the typhoon as of 7 p.m. Friday, according to 7th Fleet officials.
Hawn said Yokota and other Kanto Plain locations were facing 46 mph gusts and 3 to 4 inches of rain overnight before the system pulls out of the Tokyo area around 9 a.m. Saturday.
At 9 p.m. Friday, Sinlaku was centered about 155 miles southwest of Tokyo, moving northeast at 22 mph. It packed maximum sustained winds of 70 mph with gusts to 86 mph at its center.
Stars and Stripes reporter Dave Ornauer
contributed to this report.