Tropical Storm Mirinae continues to strengthen
Tropical storm passes north of Rota, not Guam (Pacific Daily News)
A small tropical storm that was forecast to pass just north of Guam instead passed north of Rota yesterday morning, said National Weather Service meteorologist Clint Simpson yesterday.
Parts of northern Guam may have felt some 30 mph gusts and heavy showers, but that is not abnormal on any day, he said.
Rota, Saipan and Tinian felt stronger winds, he said.
"This is another situation where, here on Guam we should ... count our blessings that the storm was far enough away that it did not have a heavy impact on our community," Simpson said. "If it had been 20 or 30 miles south of its original track, it would have been a very noticeable and even could have caused some local damage."
Mirinae continued to strengthen today reaching sustained winds in excess of 50 MPH. Intensity predictions earlier today showed a steady increase in windspeed until the storm made landfall with Category 3 strength winds. Current indications are that there may be a slight weakening of Mirinae just prior to making landfall. This may be a benefit considering that the area is still recovering from TS Ketsana and Typhoon Parma.
Tropical Storm Mirinae likely to become next typhoon to strike the Philippines (Examiner)
Continuing to gain strength, a tropical disturbance in the Pacific became Tropical Storm Mirinae today. This latest storm is on a track that will have it make a direct hit on the Philippines just as the nation is trying to recover from two previous storms.
The new storm has winds that have increased to 52 mph, gusting to 64 mph and is forecast to reach typhoon strength equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane in the next 12 hours. Additional strengthening is expected through Friday at which time Mirinae will be nearing the Philippines with winds of 115 mph (Category 3).
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects some weakening after 72 hours which is good news for the Philippines. Current forecasts have to storm making landfall in southern or central Luzon on Saturday as a Category 1 storm with winds just over 80 mph. Manila remains in a direct line to be hit by the storm.