Guam – Guam can expect more tropical storm and typhoon activity this year than in 2017 and 2016. This is according to the 2018 typhoon prediction for Guam prepared by the National Weather Service and the Water and Environmental Research Institute or WERI.
Guam could see more storm action this year as compared to 2016 and 2017. In fact, weather forecasters say that Guam could see as much storm activity as we saw in 2015 when typhoon Dolphin hit the northern half of the island. However, it’s not expected to be as bad for Saipan in 2015 when they were hit by typhoon Soudelor.
This is all according to the 2018 typhoon prediction report for Guam which was prepared by National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Chip Guard and UOG’s Water and Environmental Research Institute scientist Dr. Mark Lander.
Their report forecasts a 50% chance of getting a strong tropical storm or a storm with sustained winds of 50-73 miles per hour and a 25% chance of getting a category1 typhoon or a typhoon with sustained winds of 74-95 miles per hour. Then there is a 15% chance of getting a category 2 typhoon with sustained winds of 96-110 miles per hour, a 10% change of getting a category 3 typhoon with sustained winds of 111-129 miles per hour, a 3% change of a category 4 with sustained winds of 130-155 miles per hour and a 1% chance of a category 5 or 156-195 miles per hour.
Although typhoon season typically begins during the summer the activity is expected mid-summer. It should be noted that Guam is “in the only basin that can get a typhoon any month of the year.” We are also expecting normal to above normal rainfall for the rest of the year.
So, what are all these predictions based on? Well there are many factors, but one major factor is the tracking of what is known as the El-Nino and La Nina weather patterns.
In Micronesia there is a “relatively predictable relationship between tropical cyclone activity and the state of the El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO).” During El Nino Guam has a better chance of getting storms. During La Nina Guam stands less of a chance of getting storms. Right now, we are in a weak La Nina and are transitioning in an ENSO-Nuetral state or a state in between El Nino and La Nina. In this state chances of a storm are basically in-between that of an El Nino and La Nina. Which means since we are leaving La Nina and heading into the ENSO-Neutral state we are increasing our chances of getting a storm but not as much as we would if we were in an El Nino state. However, the report suggest that we could potentially enter a weak El Nino state by late summer or by the fall.
So, with talks of El Nino’s, Enso-Nuetrals, and La Nina’s the bottom line is our chances of getting a storm are about the same as they were in 2015 when Guam was hit by typhoon Dolphin. This means you should revisit your typhoon plans, restock your typhoon supplies and check your typhoon plans. And begin preparing for what could be a much busier typhoon season than we’ve seen in the last two years.