Monday, July 7, 2014

Super Typhoon Neoguri to brush past Japanese island of Okinawa

CNN: A large super typhoon is gathering force as it barrels along a path that is expected to take it close to the Japanese island of Okinawa. By the time it nears Okinawa early Tuesday, Super Typhoon Neoguri is likely to be generating winds as strong as a Category 5 hurricane, meteorologists say. "This is a beast," said CNN International Meteorologist Tom Sater.

Okinawa, where multiple U.S. military facilities are situated, regularly finds itself in the path of big typhoons. Many of the buildings on the island are designed to weather the powerful winds that come roaring in off the Western Pacific. Based on current predictions, Neoguri is expected to pass to the west of Okinawa, sparing the island its full fury.

"It'll brush Okinawa -- maybe Category 1, Category 2 winds," Sater said. "But they're ready for that." Authorities at Kadena Air Base, the largest U.S. military installation in the Asia-Pacific region, aren't taking any chances.

"I can't stress enough how dangerous this typhoon may be when it hits Okinawa," Brig. Gen. James Hecker, the Commander of the 18th Wing, said Sunday on the base's Facebook page. "This is the most powerful typhoon forecast to hit the island in 15 years." He advised those on the base to secure outdoor items and prepare supplies.

"This is not just another typhoon," Hecker said. "If we all follow the typhoon procedures and take care of each other, we will all make it through this typhoon safely."

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center projects that by Tuesday, Neoguri could be producing sustained winds as strong as 165 mph (265 kph) with gusts as powerful as 200 mph (320 kph). It could stir up waves as high as 39 feet (12 meters), the center predicted....

Typhoon Neoguri viewed from the International Space Station, July 5, 2014

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