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Tropical depression could turn into tropical storm overnight

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - Although it's been years since the island has been hit by a tropical storm, weather officials can't determine just yet if we'll be able to dodge what's now Tropical Depression 26-W.

It's official. It's typhoon season.  

With record setting rainfall reported last month and a number of tropical disturbances in our area in the last few days, residents are advised to prepare for not only more rain, but also a possible storm.

With a tropical storm watch in effect and condition of readiness three declared earlier this afternoon, National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologist Chip Guard says the tropical disturbance is now Tropical Depression 26-W.

Currently 75 miles southeast of Guam, 26-W is moving west-southwest at about 15 miles per hour but guard says it's tough to predict its next move.

"The forecast for this system now is to go south of Guam and then slow down and take a northward jut.  The problem is, after it moves south of us probably tonight, late tonight, it's going to slow down. We don't know how slow it's going to move. 1604 we don't know exactly what track it's going to take and we don't know how much intensification it's going to go through," he said.

Guard says tonight and tomorrow morning will determine the fate for Guam and our neighbors in the CNMI with chances the depression developing into a tropical storm overnight.

He said, "Certainly through the nighttime hours its easier for these storms to intensify than it is during the daytime hours. 1622 right now you're seeing a little bit of a lull but after the sun goes down tonight especially maybe around 10 o'clock you'll start to see the winds pick up it'll rain a bit heavier and we could see some flooding and gusty winds through the nighttime hours."

Even if we don't get hit by a storm, Guard says we may still feel the blow of one, including damaging winds between 39 and 73 miles per hour within the next 48 hours.  

"The damaging winds haven't developed yet but later on after they develop they'll probably expand to about 120 miles so that would allow it to affect Guam maybe even Rota," he said.

Now that we are in Condition of Readiness 3 and under Tropical Storm Watch, it is important for all residents to take the necessary steps to ensure safety and preparedness should the weather escalate. Adelup deputy press secretary Phil Leon Guerrero said, "Governor Calvo is encouraging all residents to prepare for this weather event that would be to make sure you are stocked up on your non-perishable food items like canned goods, bottled water certainly as the evening hours progress its important that you are staying informed and here on Guam that would be by listening to the radio that would mean stock up on your batteries if you don't have a battery operated radio please get one."

Residents are reminded to gather the needed essentials such as gas, water and flashlights and make outside preparations such as secure loose items around your home.

As the evening hours progress, it is anticipated that the winds will pick up significantly and the island will see heavy rainfall.

Another heavy weather briefing will be held at 8pm this evening.

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