The season’s first tropical storm is intensifying very close to the northern CNMI, which means it will skip the inhabited islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.
Based on information received from the National Weather Service in Tiyan, Guam, and compiled at the CNMI emergency Operations Center-State Warning Point, Tropical Storm Haishen is nearing Agriha, Pagan, and Alamagan. At 8am yesterday, Haishen (or 11W) was located by satellite with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and was moving west-southwest at 8 mph.
This is about 210 miles west-northwest of Agrihan, about 235 miles northwest of Pagan, about 260 miles northwest of Alamagan, and about 395 miles north-northwest of Saipan
Tropical Storm Haishen will move west-southwest through the day before turning northwest today, Thursday, with little change in forward speed. Haishen was intensifying and there was a possibility that it would turn into a typhoon last night. Scatterometer data shows tropical storm force winds just west of the islands of the northern CNMI.
Rain bands associated with Haishen may brush the Northern Islands and cause occasional heavy rain showers and thunderstorms. These may bring brief wind gusts up to 40 mph through the day. By Thursday Haishen will continue to move away and winds will begin to decrease, as will the potential for heavy showers. One to three inches of additional rain is possible through Thursday.
Dangerous surf of around 15 feet is likely to continue along west and north facing reefs through Friday. Interisland travel by boat should be avoided the next few days due to winds and seas. Hazardous surf along west and north facing reefs is likely to continue through early next week as Haishen continues to send long-period swell toward the Marianas.
Residents of Alamagan, Pagan, and Agrihan are being advised to monitor the situation closely and heed instructions from Saipan HSEM EOC State Warning Point via high frequency single side band radio on 5.205.0. (PR)