Guam, Marianas eyeing Typhoon Melor - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Guam, Marianas eyeing Typhoon Melor

by Janjeera Hail

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Guam, while a Typhoon Watch is in effect for our neighbors to the north in Rota, Tinian and Saipan.  Tropical Storm Melor has now become now Typhoon Melor.

With winds climbing to about 75 miles per hour, Tropical Storm Melor was upgraded to a typhoon this morning and it continues to make its way towards the Marianas.  Just before sundown, the National Weather Service put the disturbance about 500 miles away, at just about the same latitude as Guam, meaning that if it continues its west-northwestern movement it'll miss our island and head north of Saipan within the next 48 to 72 hours.

Meteorologist Paul Lee explained, saying, "As time goes on and the system takes a more polar track it makes it harder and harder for it to make a southwest turn.  We don't usually see southwest movement in these systems once they gain momentum."  But Lee warns that we aren't out of the woods yet.  The NWS continues to keep a close eye on Melor. 

The system is expected to intensify, and may even become a supertyphoon as it comes closer to our region.

Island residents aren't taking any chances, and retailers like Home Depot have seen a surge of customers prepping their homes in case of a storm.  General manager Jabarr Bean told KUAM News, "The last few days have been really busy for us a lot of customers coming into the store looking for generators, gas cans, batteries, flashlights, all the essentials that you need in this kind of environment."

The Office of Civil Defense and Homeland Security urges residents to develop disaster plans and stay prepared.  While we were spared damaging winds from yesterday's Tropical Storm 18W, Mother Nature's unpredictability won't always be in our favor.

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