8:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, Guam time:Typhoon Meari’s forecast peak winds have been dialed up by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center; now, Meari is projected to top out at 144-mph sustained winds and 173-mph gusts at mid-afternoon Sunday. Closing in on becoming the fourth super typhoon of the northwest Pacific season. But relax. Meari is still far, far away from any significant land mass. It passed 400 miles north-northwest of Andersen Air Force Base at sundown Saturday. The northern Marianas appear safe as well; Meari is due to pass 200 miles away from uninhabited Agrihan island about mid-afternoon Sunday. And 275 miles east of Iwo Jima at 10 a.m. Sunday. Model guidance is in tight agreement on a continued northeast track. PST is keeping watch in case of some drastic change.

11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, Guam time: Meari has been upgraded to a Category 1-equivalent typhoon by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. It’s forecast now to peak at 121-mph sustained winds and 150-mph gusts at center by mid-afternoon Sunday, but still well away from land – 255 miles east of Iwo Jima early Monday morning.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, Philippines time: Will Meari head west? Will Meari head north? That’s the wild-card question following the last update posted by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center and the latest model guidance. Meari has been upgraded to a tropical storm by JTWC and has slowed to a virtual crawl, nearly 1,100 miles southeast of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa and moving west-northwest at just 4 mph, 40-mph sustained winds and 52-mph gusts at center. Model guidance is consolidating, with most showing a curve north, then northeast, though one or two still indicate a possible track west toward the Philippines. Currently, Meari is forecast to peak at 86-mph sustained winds and 104-mph gusts at mid-afternoon Sunday, and pass 155 miles east of Iwo Jima at midnight Monday.

2:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, Philippines time: Tropical Depression Meari has formed west of the Marianas islands and is meandering in the general direction of the Philippines, gathering strength as it tracks slowly west.

At 8 a.m., Meari (Korean for echo) was 1,045 miles east of Manila, tracking west at 9 mph, with 35-mph sustained winds and 46-mph gusts at center. Model guidance is mixed, with some depicting a track west and others north and northwest. PST is eyeing it.

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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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