Tropical storm watch in effect for Marianas; experts believe storm heading toward Guam

Weather experts with the Joint Typhoon Warning Center and the National Weather Service are tracking that Tropical Depression 20W will intensify into a tropical storm by tonight and likely will hit Guam some time Friday. Rota and Tinian are within the storm’s track as well.

According to a JTWC tracking model the NWS Guam Office has adopted, the storm will intensify quickly after it leaves the island into a major typhoon, though those predictions are less certain.

The NWS has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for Guam, Rota, Tinian, and Saipan as of 8 a.m. Thursday. This means that tropical storm force winds are expected over the Mariana Islands through Friday morning.

As of 7 a.m., the system was located near 12.1 degrees north latitude and 147.0 degrees east longitude, about 175 miles east-southeast of Guam and 225 miles south-southeast of Saipan. It is moving west-northwest at 14 mph with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.

Excessive rainfall will cause localized flooding in low-lying and poor drainage areas, and rapidly rising streams and rivers. Check storm drains in your area to make sure they are not clogged. Make plans to protect property if you live near streams and rivers or in areas that habitually flood during heavy rain. Take the following preparedness actions now:

·      Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action; clear drainage areas and unblock clogged storm drains in your area to minimize the chance of flooding.

·      Stay up to date with the latest information. The system track or intensity may change and advisories may be issued.

·      Locate or prepare your emergency preparedness kits for your household; stock up on non-perishable food items and water for your household, flashlights, first-aid kits, batteries, matches or lighters, portable stove, toiletries, etc. Visit for more information on what to include in your supplies list.

·      Secure important documents such as birth certificates, tax papers, and insurance documents and keep copies in a water-proof bag.

·      Clear loose debris around your yard and store any items that may become airborne with heavy winds, before inclement weather arrives.

·      Gas your vehicles and get fuel for your generators now while the weather is clear.

·      Be prepared to take action if flood advisories are issued. Do not camp, park, or hike along streams, rivers, and creeks, especially during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.

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