- By Pacific Iland Times News Staff
Wutip intensifies; Guam schools to close at 1pm, CNMI under COR3
Typhoon Wutip continues to intensify as it makes its way toward the Marianas, according to the CNMI State Warning Point.
On Guam, acting Gov. Joshua F. Tenorio has ordered that non-emergency Government of Guam services end at 1 p.m. Friday in anticipation of Typhoon Wutip. All Guam Department of Education students are scheduled to be released from school before 1 p.m.
In the CNMI, acting Gov. Arnold I. Palacios placed the islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota on tropical storm condition III. Tropical Storm conditions include the expectation of damaging winds of 39 mph or more to be possible within the next 48 hours.
As of 7 p.m. Thursday, the center of Typhoon Wutip was located near 7.2 degrees north latitude and 148.8 degrees east longitude.
Wutip is moving west-northwest at 16 mph and is expected to make a slight turn toward the northwest with a slight decrease in forward speed over the next 24 hours.
Wutip is now 585 miles south-southeast of Saipan and 510 miles southeast of Guam.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to 85 MPH and is forecast to intensify through Friday night. Typhoon force winds extend outward from the center up to 35 miles while tropical storm force winds extend outward from the center up to 165 miles south of the center and 115 miles north.
On its current track, Wutip’s closest point of approach (CPA) to Guam is expected around midnight Saturday about 150 miles southwest of Guam. Although the CPA is expected around midnight Saturday, the onset of damaging winds of 39 mph or more is expected around 3 a.m. Saturday and is expected to last through Sunday. The onset of destructive winds of 58 mph or more is not expected at this time. The worst conditions will be Saturday night into Sunday morning. Rainfall of 4-6 inches is expected during Wutip’s passage.
The onset of 39 mph winds is expected around 7 a.m. Saturday morning for the islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota with the Closest Point of Approach (CPA) for the islands of Saipan and Tinian expected to be late Sunday morning at 250 miles southwest and 200 miles southwest of Rota early Sunday morning. Predicted maximum sustained winds for Saipan and Tinian are 30 to 35 mph with gusts up to 45 mph, and 35 to 40 mph for Rota with gusts up to 45-50 mph.
During Wutip’s passage, 3-5 inches of rain are expected on the islands of Saipan and Tinian, and 4-6 inches on Rota. More rain may be expected if the storm moves north and/or slower than predicted, and less if the storm moves south and/or faster than predictions. Stay alert for any flash flood warnings issued by the CNMI State Warning Point.