Typhoon “Yutu” approaching the Marianas, very strong winds and heavy rain expected

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Tropical Cyclone “Yutu” formed October 21, 2018 in the Northwest Pacific Ocean as 26th named storm of the 2018 Pacific typhoon season. The storm will move over the Mariana Islands sometime after noon UTC, October 24 as a Category 4 hurricane equivalent.

The National Weather Service in Guam has posted a typhoon warning for Rota, Tinian and Saipan and a tropical storm warning for Guam, and the far northern islands of Alamagan, Pagan, and Agrihan.​

At 18:00 UTC on October 23, the center of Typhoon “Yutu” was located about 530 km (329 miles) east-southeast of Rota, Northern Mariana Islands. Its maximum 10-minute sustained winds were 155 km/h (100 mph), 1-minute sustained winds were at 165 km/h (105 mph), with gusts to 220 km/h (140 mph).

The minimum central barometric pressure was 950 hPa and the system was moving northwestward at 20 km/h (10 mph).

Featured image: Typhoon “Yutu” at 19:10 UTC, October 23, 2018. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA

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On the forecast track, the center of Yutu will move over the Mariana Islands after 12:00 UTC, October 24. Maximum sustained winds at the time should be around 215 km/h (132 mph). This would make it a Category 4 hurricane equivalent on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Strengthening is expected to continue over the next 72 hours and the typhoon is forecast to peak around 12:00 UTC, October 26 with maximum sustained winds of 270 km/h (165 mph).

Featured image: Typhoon “Yutu” at 17:20 UTC, October 23, 2018. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA

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