Typhoon Watch Update

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:

GUZ001-002-003-004-PMZ172-120500-
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...
...AREAS AFFECTED...
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
WINDS.
...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.
...STORM INFORMATION...
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.
...WIND INFORMATION...
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
FORECAST.
...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.