The Commonwealth was placed on Tropical Storm Condition 3 as of 1pm yesterday as Typhoon Wutip continues to whirl toward the Marianas.
Tropical Storm Condition 3 means that damaging winds of 39-73 miles per hour are possible within 48 hours.
Fortunately, Typhoon Wutip’s path remains as forecasted—west— and is still seen to pass south of Guam by Sunday.
Expected winds in the CNMI are about 30-49 with gusts of 40-64 mph. Expected damage include some dead limbs and a few green palm fronds, light damage to poorly constructed buildings, damage to signs along the road, damage to canopies, leaves, and very strong rip currents.
The Marianas is urged to prepare for winds of 50-73 mph with gusts of 65-94 mph. The Marianas is also urged to prepare for major damage to huts made of loosely attached corrugated sheet metal and plywood, spotty power outages and some damage to secondary power lines, downed trees and limbs, inundation of 1-2 feet on windward coasts, and deadly rip currents.
Worst conditions are expected on Saturday night to Sunday morning as Wutip is forecasted to become a Category 3 typhoon with winds of up to 120 mph and gusts up to 145 mph in its closest point of approach.
Heavy rain is possible as Typhoon Wutip passes south of Guam. Bands of heavy rain showers are possible for Guam and Rota.
Based on information received from the National Weather Service in Tiyan, Guam, and compiled at CNMI Emergency Operations Center-State Warning Point, a flash flood watch will be in effect from Friday afternoon through early Monday morning.
Heavy rainfall associated with Typhoon Wutip could produce flash flooding across Guam and Rota.
A flash flood watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation. A flash flood may develop very quickly from sudden heavy showers, especially in mountainous and poor-drainage areas. Monitor the latest forecasts and be prepared to take action if a flash flood warning is issued.
Rota residents are being urged to stay informed on the latest statements and advisories.
During a weather briefing yesterday, Guam National Weather Service’s Chip Guard told members of the governor’s Cabinet and acting governor Arnold I. Palacios that Tropical Storm Wutip has been upgraded to a typhoon and advises the CNMI to be prepared to prepare as Wutip approaches.
Guard said at the briefing that tents that are currently being used as temporary shelters should be able to withstand the tropical storm force winds that are expected this weekend.
According to a press release from NWS, the center of Typhoon Wutip was moving west-northwest at 13 mph and is expected to make a slight turn toward the northwest with little change in forward speed over the next 24 hours.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to 75 mph. Wutip is forecast to intensify through Friday night.
Typhoon force winds extend outward from the center up to 35 miles and tropical storm force winds extend outward from the center up to 165 miles south of the center and up to 115 miles north.
As of 1pm yesterday, Wutip was located at about 600 miles southeast of Guam and about 660 miles south-southeast of Saipan.