Tropical Storm Mangkhut is forming an eye as it continues to organize and intensify as it heads toward the Marianas.
Weather officials continue to urge residents to prepare for typhoon-strength winds. The storm is expected to turn into a typhoon today and continues to head toward the Marianas. Guamanians can expect damaging winds of at least 39 mph by tomorrow.
The storm has sped up but it is expected to slow and some southward movement is anticipated. It may pass just north of Guam which means northern Guam would see typhoon-strength winds but this could change.
The National Weather Service (NWS), Guam Weather Forecast Office is continuing to monitor the storm. Currently, Guam remains in Condition of Readiness (COR 3).
As of 7 a.m., the center of Tropical Storm Mangkhut was located near latitude 14.9 degrees north and longitude 156.0 degrees East. Tropical Storm Manghut (26W) is moving toward the west at 23 mph. It is expected to maintain this general course with a decrease in forward speed through Monday. Tropical storm winds extend outward from the center up to 115 miles.
It is important to still prepare for the worst-case-scenario of a Category 5 typhoon:
· Category 4 Typhoon is referred to as a “Very Strong Typhoon” with maximum sustained winds of 130-156 and peak gusts of 165-198 mph.
· Category 5 Typhoon is referred to as a “Devastating Typhoon” with maximum sustained winds of 157-194 mph and peak gusts of 199-264 mph. A Category 5 typhoon has the ability to be life-threatening to those that do not prepare in advance.
Officials continue to urge residents to be prepared by Monday night as damaging winds of 39 mph or more are expected as early as that evening. Weather conditions may quickly change or even worsen.
Winds will be between 69 and 104 mph close to the center of Mangkhut as it intensifies and reaches the Marianas waters. Winds are forecasted to begin to increase Monday afternoon, reach maximum Tuesday morning, and start to subside Tuesday evening. Further from the center will be tropical storm force winds.
Combined seas in excess of 30 feet are possible due to the expected high winds near the center. Farther from the center, combined seas will be between 10 and 20 feet elsewhere in the Marianas waters.