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Guam’s mushrooming typhoons ‘Mawar’ and ‘Guchol’ coming…expected paths

As Typhoon Mawar, a Category 2 storm that hit Guam, slipped south of Japan, Typhoon Kuchol, a Category 3 storm, formed. The name was submitted by the Federated States of Micronesia and refers to “turmeric,” a type of spice.

The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) forecast on June 6 that Typhoon Kuchol was centered at 1490 kilometers east of Manila, Philippines, as of 9 p.m. that day. The typhoon, which is currently moving northwestward, will continue to move northwestward until it reaches a point about 1,000 kilometers southeast of Okinawa, Japan, or far east of the Philippines on the 9th.

By then, the typhoon’s intensity will be “moderate” and it is expected to turn northeastward. It has maximum sustained winds of 27 meters per second (97 kilometers per hour), enough to blow off roofs. On the 10th, the intensity will increase one level to ‘strong’. Typhoon intensity is categorized as super strong, very strong, strong, and moderate.

By 9 p.m. on the 11th, the typhoon is expected to reach 500 kilometers offshore southeast of Okinawa while maintaining “strong” intensity. The northwestward and then northeastward motion is reminiscent of Typhoon Mawar, the second typhoon to make it to Okinawa from the waters east of the Philippines and Taiwan, but Kuchol’s northward angle is expected to be steeper.

After the 11th, the European Centers for Medium Term Forecasts안전놀이터 (ECMWF) and the U.S. Weather Service (GFS) models are forecasting a northeastward path through the waters south of Okinawa and south of the Japanese mainland. Even if Typhoon Kuchol does not come close to the Korean Peninsula, it is still possible that it will bring water vapor into the area and produce strong rain clouds. Earlier, Typhoon Mawar brought heavy rainfall to large areas of western and eastern Japan, with some areas experiencing heavy downpours.

Trees lie on the street after being snapped by strong winds on Sept. 25 (local time), the day after Category 4 “super typhoon” Mawar hit the U.S. territory of Guam in the Pacific Ocean. Guam authorities said there were no casualties from the typhoon, but the strong winds and heavy rains caused power outages and water cuts, causing major difficulties for locals and tourists. 2023.05.26 Tumon Bay (US) AFP

Tourists stranded at Guam hotel – South Korean tourists huddle in a hotel banquet room after being unable to get into their rooms due to Typhoon Marawar at a hotel in Guam. 2023.5.25 Yonhap reader contribution.
Typhoon impacts ‘on the radar’ this summer

This year, La Niña is receding and El Niño is emerging. Experts warned that while the number of typhoons heading north toward the Korean Peninsula this summer may be lower than usual, they could be more powerful.

Cyclones in the Indian Ocean this year, like Mawar, share a common characteristic: they are strong and long-lasting.

If you’re traveling abroad and encounter a typhoon, or you think you might, you should check with your local tourist information center to find out what the risk is and what the damage is.

When booking a hotel, make sure the water and electricity supply is reliable and safe, and try to stay out of the house as much as possible during a typhoon or heavy rain. If possible, avoid walking around large trees and flimsy walls, and be aware of the risk of electrocution from power lines and streetlights.

In the event of a natural disaster, you should follow your country’s crisis response plan, report to local authorities, and contact your diplomatic mission so that they can keep track of your safety and well-being.

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