Guard: Bualoi remains a “serious threat” to the CNMI; minimal impact on Guam

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NWS meteorologist Chip Guard

(Guam) – Tropical Storm Bualoi is expected to have a minimal impact on Guam  according to National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Chip Guard. However he says it remains a serious threat for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Guard gave a briefing on the track and potential impact of the storm to government of Guam officials Sunday morning at the Civil Defense bunker in Agana Heights.

The current forecast he said calls for Bualoi to pass just north of Saipan early Tuesday morning as a Category 2 Typhoon with winds in the neighborhood of about 105 mph.

There is very little chance of typhoon force winds being felt on Guam, said Guard.

“I’m really more concerned about the Northern Mariana Islands. You know they have a lot of tents up there, they’ve got a lot of tarps up there, and this is a very serious threat for them.”

The CNMI is still recovering from the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Yutu in October 2018 and just last week Super Typhoon Hagibis passed north of Saipan dealing only a glancing blow to the CNMI.

“It’s a fairly small storm,” said Guard during the briefing. However, “the problem with this track is geometry.”

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NWS warning meteorologist Chip Guard says Tropical Storm Bualoi is a relatively small storm that will have minimal impact on Guam but it remains “a serious threat” for the CNMI. https://t.co/3dQY2Jg9W8

“There’s wobble in it,” said Guard. “Sometimes it moves towards the northwest and sometimes it moves more towards the west.”

“If it moves to the northwest earlier than its going to move north of Saipan, but if it moves later it could be affecting Rota,” he said. “The timing is really important.”

Guam may experience tropical storm force winds of 39 mph or greater but Guard said he does not expect anything stronger. “We’re only looking at 1 to 3 inches” of rain on Guam said Guard. Tinian and Saipan will see considerably more.

The storm will also generate high surf and dangerous rip tides throughout the Marianas.

“I never turn my back on a Typhoon,” said Guard “because once you think you’ve got it all figured out you’ll get a lesson in humility.”