Wet, windy weekend is forecast for Okinawa
July 11, 2007
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A wet, windy weekend is in store for Okinawa thanks to Tropical Storm Man-yi, which grazed Guam to the southwest on Monday and began rumbling northwest toward Japan’s southwesternmost islands.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasts Man-yi, the fourth storm of the northwest Pacific’s tropical cyclone season, to skirt west of Okinawa starting Friday evening and continuing through Saturday.
Kadena Air Base’s chief meteorologist said the island should begin bracing for “a lot of wind and rain.”
“At this point, it’s a little far out to tell, but I have a strong feeling we’ll see 1E,” said Capt. Jonathan Wilson, 18th Wing Weather Flight commander, referring to Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1E (emergency). That’s the highest state of weather alert for bases on the island, when winds are exceeding 58 mph.
Man-yi’s eye is forecast to pass 98 miles west of Okinawa at 9 p.m. Saturday. But even without the close distance, Man-yi’s size — 1,380 miles across, roughly the distance from the Southern California-Mexico border to Canada — still would mean nasty weather for the island’s bases.
Guam felt wind gusts exceeding 40 mph throughout Monday “and they were 200 miles away,” Wilson said.
At midnight Monday, Man-yi whirled 180 miles northeast of Yap and about 1,150 miles southeast of Kadena, churning west-northwest at 14 mph with 63 mph sustained winds and 81 mph gusts.
If it remains on its forecast track, Man-yi will be packing 132 mph sustained winds and 161 mph gusts at its center as it passes west of Okinawa on Saturday evening.
Accelerated TCCORs for Okinawa should be issued sometime Wednesday or Thursday, Wilson said, depending on how quickly Man-yi moves.
Wilson warned island residents to begin preparing immediately.
“If you haven’t gotten prepped, now is the time to do it, not when we go to TCCOR 3,” he said.
“You want to give yourself plenty of time to protect your stock, make sure nothing’s expired, check your water supply, go make sure you have everything you need, the three-day supply that’s recommended,” Wilson said.
“The point being, get ready. It’s a big storm.”
There was still some uncertainty Monday evening, Wilson said, over which way the storm might travel, due to interaction of Man-yi and a low-pressure center forming over China with the seasonal high-pressure ridge over the East China Sea.
“The two interacting against the high is what would change the track,” he said. “A lot could change. The storm could speed up; the storm could slow down.”
Man-yi passed 258 miles southwest of Guam at 2 p.m. Guam time Monday, dropping 1.63 inches of rain on the island even from that distance, said Guam National Weather Service senior forecaster Paul Stanko. Maximum winds were 54 mph at 12:36 p.m. Monday.
Guam remained in seasonal TCCOR 4 throughout the storm period.
Weather advisories were issued for Andersen Air Force Base and U.S. Naval Base Guam, and residents were advised to secure outdoor home and office items, base officials said, but no activity or operations schedules were affected by Man-yi.
Day care centers and summer schools were closed, while winds toppled a power pole near a home in Maina village, according to the Pacific Daily News.
Stars and Stripes reporter Teri Weaver contributed to this story.
Conditions of Readiness on OkinawaWind speeds shown for each TCCOR serve as a guide for decision-making. Final decision on TCCOR declaration rests with Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing commander, weather forecasts, safety and operational and mission concerns.
TCCOR 4: Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are possible within 72 hours.TCCOR 4 will be in continual effect as a minimum condition of readiness from June 1 to Nov. 30 annually.Now is the time to stock up on food and typhoon supplies.
TCCOR 3: Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are possible within 48 hours.Initiate a general cleanup around homes and office.
TCCOR 2: Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are possible within 24 hours.Remove or secure all outside items.
TCCOR 1: Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are possible within 12 hours.No school for Department of Defense Dependents Schools students. Staff and teachers will work normal hours, unless changed by DODDS-Okinawa district superintendent.Fill any containers you can use for water storage.If living in low-lying quarters, make arrangements to stay with a friend.Make final check of food and other supplies.
TCCOR 1C (caution): Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are anticipated within 12 hours. Actual winds are between 39 and 56 mph.All non-essential personnel will be released to their quarters, DODDS schools will close and staff and teachers will return or remain home at this time.Base exchange, shops, commissary, shoppettes, gasoline stations, services facilities, clubs, restaurants, recreational facilities and post offices will close.Movement about the base should be kept to a minimum. Security forces will enforce “essential vehicles only” policy, in accordance with Kadena base operations plan 32-1, “Base Disaster Operations Plan.”
TCCOR 1E (emergency): Actual winds of 58 mph or greater are occurring at this time.All outside activity is prohibited.
TCCOR 1R (recovery): Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are no longer occurring. Actual winds are between 39 and 56 mph.Nonessential functions remain closed unless directed by the installation commander.All but emergency essential personnel remain in their quarters.
Storm Watch: Typhoon is moving away, but the base is still feeling some effects. Hazardous conditions may exist due to storm damage.In some cases, the storm could return to Okinawa, so remain alert.All military and civilian personnel will return to work within two hours or at normal duty hours, and commissary and base exchange will resume operations unless otherwise instructed by their installation commander.
All Clear: Hazardous conditions and winds are no longer present.Return to normal duties.All Clear is announced when all hazards have been cleared.DODDS teachers, staff and students will return to school during normal hours.From June 1 to Nov. 30, seasonal TCCOR 4 will resume.
For more information:Follow Pacific tropical storm forecast tracks and wind speeds at: https://metocph.nmci.navy.mil/jtwc.php
Get updated forecasts and Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness updates at: http://weather.kadenaservices.com/