NWS Provides Typhoon Predictions for 2018

NWS Provides Typhoon Predictions for 2018

The National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Office Guam, in coordination with the Pacific ENSO (El Nino-Southern Oscillation) Applications Climate (PEAC) Center, prepared an assessment for tropical storm and typhoon activity for the island of Guam for the remainder of 2018.

 The full assessment is attached below and within this email.

The Offices of Guam Homeland Security and Civil Defense (GHS/OCD) advise residents and visitors that tropical cyclone activity could begin as early as mid-summer and that there is an anticipated surge in tropical storm and typhoon activity than in previous years. Residents and visitors are advised to make preparations for all-hazards ahead of time: Make a Plan, Build a Kit, Stay Informed:

       I.            Make  a Plan:
A.    Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to think about the following situations and plan just in case. Consider the following questions when making a plan:

                                                        i.            How will my family/household get emergency alerts and warnings?
                                                      ii.            How will my family/household get to safe locations for relevant emergencies?
                                                    iii.            How will my family/household get in touch if cell phone, internet, or landline doesn’t work?
                                                    iv.            How will I let loved ones know I am safe?
                                                      v.            How will family/household get to a meeting place after the emergency?

B.     Download and Print A Plan. Visit https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan:

                                                        i.            For parents
                                                      ii.            For kids
                                                    iii.            For your wallet
                                                    iv.            Steps to make a plan
                                                      v.            Tips on emergency alerts and warnings

C.     Here are a few easy steps to start your emergency communication plan:

                                                        i.            Understand how to receive emergency alerts and warnings.  Make sure all household members are able to get alerts about an emergency from local officials.

Local media; TV, radio, print, text alerts
  • Social media: GHS/OCD Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. National Weather Service Guam Facebook.
  • GHS/OCD website: www.ghs.guam.gov, National Weather Service Guam website: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/guam/.
  • Emergency Alert System (EAS): All broadcast and cable stations are required to be EAS compliant. The Primary Entry Point station is KSTO. Weekly or monthly tests of the EAS are conducted.
  • All Hazards Alert Warning System (AHAWS): 15 in low-lying areas, with voiced, pre-scripted capabilities and 6 wailing sounds and sirens.
  • Have a battery operated radio.
  • GHS/OCD recognize all of these as separate forms of communication and rely on all to relay important emergency notifications.

                                                ii.            Discuss family/household plans for disasters that may affect your area and plan where to go. 

Have discussions with everyone in the family about the different risks that may affect the community.
  •    Typhoons, Earthquakes, Tsunamis, whether you live in a flood zone, etc.  

                                                    iii.            Collect information. Create a paper copy of the contact information for your family that includes:
  • phone (work, cell, office)
  • email
  • social media
  • medical facilities, doctors, service providers
  • school

                                                    iv.            Identify information and pick an emergency meeting place. Things to consider:
  • Decide on safe, familiar places where your family can go for protection or to reunite.
  • Examples of meeting places:
  • In your neighborhood: A mailbox at the end of the driveway, or a neighbor’s house.
  • Outside of your neighborhood: library, community center, church, or family friend’s home.
  • Outside of your village: home of a relative or family friend. Make sure everyone knows the address of the meeting place and discuss ways you would get there.
  • Make sure these locations are accessible for household members with disabilities or access and functional needs.
  • If you have pets or service animals, include them in your plan.

                                                      v.            Share information. Make sure everyone carries a copy in his or her backpack, purse, or wallet. You should also post a copy in a central location in your home, such as your                                                                                       refrigerator or family bulletin board.

                                                    vi.            Practice your plan. Have regular household meetings to review your emergency plans, communication plans and meeting place after a disaster, and then practice, just like you would                                                                      a fire drill.

    II.            Build A Kit:

A.    A disaster supplies kit, or emergency kit, is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.

B.     Kits should be assembled well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you.

C.     You may need supplies to last for at least 72 hours.

D.    Multiple if possible: Home, work, vehicle

E.     A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

                                                        i.            Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation

                                                      ii.            Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

                                                    iii.            Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both

                                                    iv.            Flashlight and extra batteries

                                                      v.            First aid kit

                                                    vi.            Whistle to signal for help

                                                  vii.            Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

                                                viii.            Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

                                                    ix.            Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

                                                      x.            Manual can opener for food

                                                    xi.            Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

                                                  xii.            Specific to your household:
  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler's checks and change
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Clothing
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

 III.            Stay Informed:

A.    www.ready.gov

B.     www.ghs.guam.gov

C.     http://www.prh.noaa.gov/guam/


For more information, contact GHS/OCD Public Information Officer, Jenna G. Blas at (671) 478-0208 or via email at jenna.g.blas@ghs.guam.gov.




Full assessment below:


Typhoon Predictions for Guam for 2018

1 May 2018


Prepared by: Chip Guard, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, National Weather Service Forecast Office Guam

Dr. Mark Lander, PEAC Scientist, Water and Environmental Research Institute, University of Guam


This is the coordinated National Weather Service and Pacific ENSO (El Nino-Southern Oscillation) Applications Climate (PEAC) Center assessment for tropical storm and typhoon activity for the island of Guam for the remainder of 2018.  This assessment is based on independent Pacific-wide typhoon predictions, the current and predicted states of the El Niño—Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate pattern, and the historical tropical cyclone activity associated with past ENSO states.  It is prepared for the Government of Guam and Guam citizens and visitors.  These predictions could change over the next few months.

Background:  For Micronesia, there is a relatively predictable relationship between tropical cyclone activity and the state of ENSO.  In the tropics, tropical cyclones generally move from southeast to northwest.  Thus, if a tropical storm or typhoon develops southeast of Guam, it will often track toward the island.  If a tropical storm or typhoon develops west or north of the island, it will usually move away from the island.  When an El Niño occurs, tropical storms and typhoons begin to develop earlier in the year and farther to the east toward eastern Micronesia.  They tend to move toward the west, west-northwest or northwest, often toward Guam.  When a La Niña event occurs, the storms tend to develop later in the year and west of or near the Mariana Islands.  In this case, they usually move west before significantly intensifying.  During El Niño events, the chance of Guam getting a direct hit triples when compared to the chance during non-El Nino periods.  During an ENSO-neutral state, which is the transition state between El Niño and La Niña, the chance of getting a direct hit by a tropical storm or a typhoon is much better than during La Niña, but not as good as during El Niño.  In general, the odds of Guam getting a typhoon are about 1 in 5 or about once every 5 or 6 years.  In El Niño years, the odds are 1 in 3 or about once every 3 years, while in La Niña the odds drop to 1 in 10 or about once every 10 years. 

Options:  So where are we now?  We are in a weak La Niña status, and have been in a weak to moderate status since the transition from ENSO-neutral last October.  What do we expect for the future?  Most climate forecast models suggest that we will remain in the La Niña into the spring and then transition to an ENSO-neutral state.  Then most models are in agreement that we will remain in an ENSO-neutral state through summer, with a trend toward a continued ENSO-neutral state or a weak El Niño state by late summer or fall.  In this scenario, we don’t get many early season tropical cyclones.  A late El Niño will either be a short-lived one or the precursor to a stronger one in 2019.  It is too early to say which will occur with any confidence.

Outlook:  So what does this mean for Guam? 

1.  We expect more tropical cyclone activity than in 2016 and 2017, about the same activity as in 2015 for Guam (Typhoon Dolphin), but not quite as busy as 2015 for the CNMI (Typhoons Soudelor and Dolphin).

2.  For the remainder of the year, there is a 50% chance of getting a strong tropical storm (sustained winds 50-73 mph) and a 25% chance of getting a Category 1 typhoon (sustained winds 74-95 mph).  The chance of getting a Category 2 typhoon (sustained winds 96-110 mph) is about 15%, while the chance of getting a Category 3 typhoon (sustained winds 111-129 mph) is around 10%.  Chances of getting a Category 4 typhoon (sustained winds 130-155 mph) is around 3%, and finally, the chances of getting a Category 5 (sustained winds 156-195 mph) is less than 1%.  These percentages will likely need to be fine-tuned as the season evolves.  Tropical cyclone activity for Guam could begin a little late, toward mid-summer, but keep in mind that the weather patterns can change quite rapidly.  Remember, we are in the only basin that can get a typhoon any month of the year.

3.  A move toward ENSO-neutral or El Niño will likely decrease the sea level heights, exposing the reefs to more direct sun during low tides and increasing chances for coral bleaching.

4.  The below normal rainfall we saw through mid-April is transitioning to above normal rainfall.  Normal to above normal rainfall will likely persist through the end of the year.

Keep in mind that these predictions can change as the year progresses. 


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June 2018 is Typhoon Preparedness Month