A tropical storm watch is now in effect for Rota, Tinian, and Saipan, with Tropical Depression 26W expected to intensify and become a tropical storm this morning.
Tropical storm conditions, including damaging sustained winds of 40 mph or more, are possible in the next 48 hours, according to the CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
As of 7pm last night, the center of Tropical Depression 26W was located about 140 miles south-southwest of Rota, 210 miles south-southwest of Tinian, and 220 miles south-southwest of Saipan.
Tropical Depression 26W is moving west-southwest at 13 mph. It is expected to slow down, turn toward the west, and move slowly to the north-northwest today, Thursday. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 35 mph.
Tropical Depression 26W is expected to produce strong winds over Rota in the next couple of days.
A wind advisory is now in effect until 6am Saturday. Winds of 25 to 35mph with gusts of up to 45 mph are expected through Friday night.
A wind advisory means that winds of 30 mph or more are expected. The public is advised to be cautious when driving, especially in high profile vehicles. Secure loose objects outdoors or bring them inside.
The U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam is working with the governments of Guam and the CNMI, Joint Region Marianas, and port partners in response to the approaching storm.
Sector Guam has taken preemptive measures to ensure the safety of personnel and property as Tropical Depression 26W approaches Guam and the CNMI. U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port established Port Heavy Weather Condition Yankee for the Port of Guam in accordance with Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 160.111. Some of the measures listed under Yankee include commercial vessels 200 gross tons or greater en route to Guam being prohibited from entering the port and having to remain a minimum of 12 nautical miles offshore. Owners or operators of commercial and small passenger vessels must make preparations to secure their vessels at a safe facility or location.
Citizens of Guam and CNMI are advised that normal responses to emergency conditions may be limited or hampered because of hazardous weather conditions.
The CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management will be monitoring the movement of Tropical Depression 26W and will be issuing bulletins as they become available. The public is urged to continue to monitor the official bulletins that will be available through local media sources and NOAA weather radio broadcast on 162.5 megahertz, or call the CNMI EOC dispatch center at 237-8000 or 211, and for the Northern Islands to contact CNMI EOC dispatch center at high frequency single side band radio on frequency 5.205.0.