It started to rain in earnest about an hour ago. Lashing, biting rain, driven by the wind and portents of what is to come. I checked the Doppler radar at the National Weather Service site, it looks like this is feeder band activity from Tropical Storm Talas.
At the 8:00 pm update, the storm was located 550 miles east-southest of Guam and heading west at 24 mph. Closest approach is expected at 7:00 pm tomorrow night, at a distance of 94 miles. I hope this thing misses us. I gassed up the car this evening, and put away some outdoor stuff, but I left the shutters open. I’ll see how it looks tomorrow morning before I head to work, maybe I won’t have to shut up the house at all. This storm is moving fast, and it looks like it won’t even be a typhoon by the time it reaches us.
Tropical Storm 31W was assigned a name yesterday; Talas, a Filipino word meaing sharpness or cunning. Tropical Storm Talas is expected to strengthen to a typhoon this afternoon. The current storm track has the storm passing about 60 miles to the south of Guam on Monday afternoon.
Needless to say I am a little anxious about this storm’s approach. At this point it could be a very nasty little storm, especially if it veers to the north a little bit and smacks Guam dead-on.
Here’s the current storm forecast:
TROPICAL STORM TALAS LOCAL STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TIYAN GU
900 AM GUAM LST SUN DEC 12 2004
...TROPICAL STORM TALAS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST...
THIS STATEMENT RECOMMENDS ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN BY RESIDENTS OF FANANU
AND ULUL OF CHUUK STATE...AND GUAM..ROTA..TINIAN AND SAIPAN.
PREPARATIONS SHOULD BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO THE ONSET OF DAMAGING
...WATCHES AND WARNINGS...
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING AND TYPHOON WATCH REMAIN IN EFFECT FOR
FANANU AND ULUL. TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED AND TYPHOON
CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN 24 HOURS.
A TYPHOON WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR GUAM..ROTA..TINIAN AND SAIPAN.
TYPHOON CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN 48 HOURS...INCLUDING DAMAGING
WINDS OF 39 MPH OR GREATER.
AT 7 AM GUAM LST..2100Z..THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM TALAS WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 10.0 DEGREES NORTH AND LONGITUDE 155.8 DEGREES
EAST. THIS IS ABOUT 280 MILES EAST-NORTHEAST OF FANANU
315 MILES EAST-NORTHEAST OF CHUUK
430 MILES EAST-NORTHEAST OF ULUL
765 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF SAIPAN
770 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF TINIAN AND ROTA
785 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF GUAM.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE 50 MPH. TROPICAL STORM TALAS IS MOVING
WEST-NORTHWEST AT 28 MPH.
...GUAM AND ROTA...
GUAM REMAINS IN CONDITION OF READINESS (COR) 3. TROPICAL STORM TALAS
IS EXPECTED TO PASS BETWEEN 70 AND 90 MILES SOUTH OF GUAM MONDAY
EVENING AS A TYPHOON. RESIDENTS SHOULD MAKE PREPARATIONS FOR THE
ONSET OF DAMAGING WINDS AND THE POTENTIAL FOR TYPHOON-FORCE WINDS AS
EARLY AS MONDAY EVENING. SECURE OUTSIDE FURNITURE AND OTHER LOOSE
OBJECTS AND UPDATE YOUR DISASTER PREPAREDNESS KITS. SMALL CRAFT
SHOULD REMAIN IN PORT. FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE GUAM CIVIL
DEFENSE...AND FROM THE SAIPAN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE.
EAST WINDS 15 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 30 MPH MONDAY MORNING WILL
BECOME NORTHEAST 25 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH MONDAY AFTERNOON.
DAMAGING NORTHEAST WINDS OF 35 TO 45 MPH WILL BEGIN MONDAY EVENING
...BECOMING EAST 40 TO 50 MPH LATE MONDAY NIGHT. STRONGER WINDS ARE
POSSIBLE IF THE STORM TAKES A MORE NORTHWARD TRACK THAN CURRENTLY
...STORM SURGE AND SURF INFORMATION...
SURF WILL BECOME HAZARDOUS TONIGHT...PEAKING AT 13 TO 16 FEET MONDAY
NIGHT. 1 TO 2 FEET OF INUNDATION IS POSSIBLE ALONG LOW-LYING EASTERN
COASTAL AREAS IN THE VILLAGES OF MERIZO AND INARAJAN ON GUAM AND
SONGSONG ON ROTA.
...OTHER STORM EFFECTS...
NO SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL IS EXPECTED THROUGH MONDAY MORNING. HEAVY
RAINFALL IS POSSIBLE MONDAY AFTERNOON AND MONDAY NIGHT.
So I guess that means I will be spending today securing the house for a typhoon tomorrow. Got to bring in all the stuff from outside like furniture and plants, make sure the I got the keys for the shutters (check), collect water (and beer), make sure the generator has gasoline and all the other sundry chores. Batten down the hatches, a late season typhoon is coming.
Guam’s had a nasty history of December typhoons in the years that I’ve lived here. Paka in ’97, Pongsona in ’02, and now Talas in ’04. Curiously, these typhoons only hit Guam when I head back to Missouri for the holidays. That’s a very odd coincidence, and I only realized it this moment.
It’s a bright Sunday morning. Sitting here reading the headlines and listening to Selected Shorts on KPRG. How about a few links of interest?
- Lonely Whale Wanders The Pacific: Since 1992 researchers have tracked a lone whale wandering the North Pacific. Using naval hydrophone designed to track submarines, researchers have tracked the perambulations of a peculiar whale singing a song unlike any other known whale.
- Attack Submarine School Album: Speaking submarines, here is an interesting photo album from a Japanese attack submarine training school. These young men were trained to become human torpedoes in their ‘iron whale’ suicide submarines.
- Chilean Colonel Charged in Jara Killing: Over thirty years after the Chilean singer Victor Jara was brutally executed the colonel suspected of ordering his death has been charged with murder. Jara was a popular singer and well know communist who was tortured and shot repeatedly on Sept. 11, 1973, the day the military staged a coup d’etat of Salvador Allende’s socialist government.
- Finally, a post from Coherence Engine that I will quote in it’s entirety:
An AP article carried on CNN presents the usual sky-is-falling problem of students blindly accepting information on the Internet. It takes a sideways swipe at Wikipedia — “The credentials of the people writing grass-roots Web journals and a committee-written encyclopedia called Wikipedia are often unclear.” — but allows that, maybe, multiple reviewers and points of view just might be useful.
The article’s kicker is a quote by Paul Saffo, director of the Institute for the Future:
Referring to the 1903 Western “The Great Train Robbery,” Saffo said audience members “actually ducked when the train came out on the screen. Today you won’t even raise an eyebrow.”
It’s hard to know if the mistake is Saffo’s or the unnamed AP reporter, but the movie that featured a training hurtling toward the audience was 1895’s L’Arrivée d’un train à la Ciotat, directed by the legendary Lumière brothers. (“The Great Train Robbery” did feature an outlaw firing a gun directly at the audience.)
In any case, this story of panicked audiences seems to be a myth, according to this article from the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television.
It seems that you just can’t trust everything you read on the Internet.
- Sorry, got one more here. An interesting essay on How to Save the World about leaving the United States while the getting is good. Maybe I will look into a life in New Zealand…