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'50-pct. chance CNMI will get strong storm' – Saipan Tribune

With three more months before the year ends, there is still a 50-percent chance the CNMI could get a strong tropical storm—one that has winds of 50 to 73 miles per hour, according to a meteorologist with the U.S. National Weather Service.

On the other hand, the CNMI has a 25-percent chance of getting a Category 1 tropical storm—one that that has winds of 74 to 95 miles per hour—for the rest of 2017, said Charles “Chip” Guard, a warning coordination meteorologist with the NWS Forecast Office Guam.

The chance of getting a Category 3 typhoon—one that has winds of 111 to 129 miles per hour or stronger—is around 15 percent or less for the rest of the year, he said.

Guard discussed the weather outlook or predictions for the rest of 2017 and early 2018 during the #liveprepared CNMI event conducted by the CNMI Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management at the CNMI Operations Center on Capital Hill last week.

At the ceremony, the House of Representatives presented a commemorative resolution to Guard for his contributions to making the Commonwealth disaster-ready.

According to the resolution, introduced by Rep. Angel Demapan (R-Saipan), Guard introduced storm- and tsunami-ready programs to the CNMI.

In his typhoon predictions, Guard said that tropical cyclone activity will likely begin late in 2018, toward summer.

“We expect more tropical cyclone activity than in 2016 but not as much activity as in 2015,” he said.

For Saipan and Tinian, Guard said, the islands could see a nearby tropical storm or typhoon in late September, October, November, or December.

For Rota, he said, the island could see a nearby tropical storm or typhoon in October, November, December, and early January.

Guard said the Northern Islands could get a tropical storm or weak typhoon in September or early October, but the likelihood is quickly shrinking.

He said a move toward La Nina will likely increase the sea level heights, exposing the islands to increased coastal erosion during high wave events, either from typhoons or winter storms near Japan.

Guard said when a La Nina event occurs, the storm tend to develop later in the year and west of or near the Mariana Islands.

He said the Marianas is now on El Niño-Southern Oscillation-neutral, but the Climate Prediction Center has issued a La Nina alert.

“This means we could transition into a La Nina phase by mid- to late fall,” Guard said.

When an El Niño event occurs, tropical storms and typhoons begin to develop earlier in the year and farther to the east toward eastern Micronesia.

He said during El Niño events, the chance of Rota, Tinian, or Saipan getting a direct hit triples when compared to the chance during non-El Niño periods.

Guard said 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, he said, the odds of Rota, Tinian, or Saipan getting a typhoon is about 1 in 7 or about every seven years.

In El Niño years, he said, the odds are 1 in 3 or about every three years.

In La Niña, he said, the odds drop to 1 in 10 or about every 10 years.

Guard said most computer models are in agreement that the CNMI will remain in an ENSO-neutral state through the summer, and then either maintain the status or trend toward a weak La Niña state by late fall.

“In this scenario, we don’t get early season tropical cyclones,” he said.

As for the House resolution, Guard said it’s a big team effort from a lot of people behind at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Guam.

Guard also noted that CNMI HSEM has a “terrific team.”

Source: Google News : https://www.saipantribune.com/index.php/50-pct-chance-cnmi-will-get-strong-storm/

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