(Guam) – The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is bracing for yet another typhoon after the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Honolulu upgraded Tropical Storm Bualoi to a typhoon late Sunday afternoon.
Typhoon Bualoi continues to move northwest at 13 mph with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. Bualoi is forecast to continue to intensify Monday, possibly becoming a Category 3 typhoon during its closest point of approach when it passes just north of Saipan late Monday or early Tuesday morning.
Schools and government offices in the Commonwealth will be closed Monday as the typhoon approaches.
Acting CNMI Governor Arnold Palacios has asked President Donald Trump to declare a federal state of emergency.
As of 7 p.m. Sunday evening, Bualoi was located 12.5 degrees north latitude and 150.0 degrees east longitude, about 620 miles east of Guam.
The National Weather Service Sunday issued a Typhoon Warning for both Tinian and Saipan Sunday afternoon. This means damaging winds of 39 mph or more are expected over Saipan and Tinian by Monday evening, and typhoon force winds of 74 mph or more are expected Monday night.
The Typhoon Watch for Rota and the Tropical Storm Watch for Guam remain in effect.
Saipan and Tinian are now in Typhoon Condition II. Rota is in Typhoon Condition III. Guam remains in COR 4.
The 2 PM forecast track is holding steady with previous forecasts showing the passage of a category-2 typhoon near and just north of Saipan late Monday night/early Tuesday morning. You should plan for the next category up, particularly for those on Tinian and Saipan. A small southward shift would bring stronger winds to Saipan and Tinian; a northward shift would pull the strongest winds farther from Saipan and Tinian.
This storm will pass over the Marianas late Monday night Monday or early Tuesday morning with a path similar to Super Typhoon Hagibis two weeks ago, but it will not have the same intensity Hagibis had at its time of passage.