BREAKING NEWS: Wutip to make closest approach today

Posted on Feb 24 2019

The CNMI State Warning Point continues its coordination with the National Weather Service, Guam Weather Forecast Office as it continues to monitor the track of Super Typhoon Wutip.


As of 1am today, Feb. 24, 2019, Super Typhoon Wutip was about about 170 miles west-southwest of Guam, about 225 miles southwest of Rota, about 280 miles southwest of Tinian, about 290 miles southwest of Saipan, about 460 miles south-southwest of Pagan, and about 495 miles south-southwest of Agrihan. It is moving northwest at 8 mph.


It is expected to continue to the northwest through Monday morning before turning to the north-northwest and north. Super Typhoon Wutip will continue to slow down in forward motion through Monday morning and the slow motion will persist through Wednesday.


Maximum sustained winds have increased to 155 miles per hour. Wutip is a powerful Category 4 super typhoon. Additional intensification is expected this morning with Wutip hitting its peak intensity around midday, possibly as a Category 5 super typhoon.



Gusty winds and heavy rains are occurring on Rota; winds of 35-40 mph with gusts up to 45-55 mph occurring primarily on the Sabana and in Songsong. Damaging winds may occur in parts of Songsong when winds come around the southeast.


An Urban & Small Stream Flood Advisory is in effect for Rota as well as a Flash Flood Watch. During the passage of Wutip, residents of Rota may expect 4-6 inches of rain. Additional rainfall of 3-5 inches is possible through Sunday night, more if the storm moves north and/or slower than predictions and less if the storm moves south and/or faster than predictions.


Combined seas of 16-20 feet are occurring producing dangerous surf as high as 25 feet along east and south-facing reefs. Surf will shift around to include west-facing reefs on Sunday. Coastal inundation of 3-4 feet is occurring along eastern and southern shorelines tonight and inundation of 2-4 feet on west-facing shorelines is likely on Sunday. Small craft and other ocean-going vessels should remain in port and well-secured.


Some damages that may be expected on Rota:

  • Some dead limbs, a few green palm fronds, lots of leaves
  • Light damage to poorly constructed buildings
  • Damage to signs along the roads
  • Damage to canopies and tarps; make sure they are well-secured
  • Very strong rip currents
  • Possibly short power outages


The Closest Point of Approach is expected around 9am, Sunday morning, 225 miles southwest of Rota.


Saipan and Tinian


A Tropical Storm Watch remains in effect for the islands of Saipan and TInian.


Saipan and Tinian may expect 30-35 mph winds with gusts up to 40-45 mph. Preparations for personal property should be complete in anticipation of damaging winds which may occur throughout Sunday. If Wutip turns northward earlier than what is forecasted, damaging winds are possible.


Rainfall of 1-2 inches is possible with an additional 2-3 inches through Monday for Saipan and Tinian.


Combined seas of 13-16 feet are occurring producing dangerous surf as high as 20 feet along east and south-facing reefs tonight and Sunday then west-facing by Sunday afternoon. Saipan and Tinian coastal waters are under a hazardous sea warning and it is strongly advised that small craft remain in port or seek safe harbor immediately.


The Closest Point of Approach is expected Sunday noon at the position of 285-300 miles southwest of Tinian and Saipan and with worst conditions expected to occur Saturday evening into Sunday morning.


Agrihan and Pagan


Damaging winds are not likely, but could still occur if Wutip makes an earlier northward shift. Combined seas of 10-12 feet are expected to increase and could reach 15 feet especially if the center moves closer to the islands. Hazardous surf is likely on the east and south-facing shores. Dangerous surf up to 18 feet is likely.


Precautionary measures


Avoid outdoor activities and remain in shelter until weather conditions improve. Loose outdoor objects which can be blown around should be secured. Stay in tune with the CNMI EOC State Warning Point and local media for updated information on current advisories in effect for each respective island. Be ready to act if flooding rains occur. (PR)

Press Release
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