Guam Tropical Storm And Typhoon Watch

Maintained by Bill's Bible Basics

URLs Last Validated On : November 21, 2018
Current Status : There are currently no tropical storms or typhoons threatening Guam and the rest of the Mariana Islands.
Note 1 : This page is best viewed on a desktop computer and not on a mobile device such as a tablet or a cellphone. Viewing it on a mobile device will result in some portions of the page being distorted.

Note 2 : The URLs for these Guam tropical storm and typhoon advisories, watches, warnings, updates and images change from time to time. If you discover that any of them are invalid, broken links, please let me know so that I can fix them. Thanks!

Please also note that all of the links on this page will open in a new tab in your web browser. That way you will always have this main page available in the first tab of your web browser.

Project Goal

Aside from serving as an educational tool, the purpose of this typhoon page is to keep my online friends informed of my status here, in the event that a storm threatens or strikes us. If our region is threatened by a strong typhoon, I will usually mention it on my Facebook timeline and Facebook page. My friends can then come here and avail themselves of the various links and information I provide here, in order to remain up-to-date regarding my situation.

When we are directly struck by a strong typhoon -- meaning eye passage -- particularly a Super Typhoon, we can lose power for days, weeks, and in very severe cases, even months. For example, in 2002, the destruction of our island-wide power grid was so great due to Super Typhoon Pongsona crossing over us, that I was without power for thirty-two days. Some folks were without electricity even longer than me. Not only that, but due to a severe glass shortage following Pongsona, it took my landlord five months to replace my two bedroom windows.

So, if we lose power here, it means that I will have no way to communicate with my online friends. It also means that the Bill's Bible Basics website -- and everything associated with it, including my BBB Blog, poetry page, KJV Bible Verse Lists, articles, etc. -- will be completely offline until such time that the power and Internet service are restored. This is because I operate my own web server, and host the BBB website on it.

So, if I talk about an approaching typhoon on Facebook, you would be wise to visit this page, in order to determine my status. Well, at least until the power goes out. You may even want to bookmark some of the meteorological URLs that I provide here. That way, if we do lose contact, and this page disappears, at least you will still be able to keep track of what is happening in our region in regards to the typhoon. You may also want to avail yourself of the online edition of our main local newspaper, the Pacific Daily News. It will no doubt carry aftermath news.

About Typhoons

Allow me to share with you a small amount of science regarding tropical storms and typhoons.

Typhoons start out in the Northwest Pacific Ocean basin as Tropical Disturbances. When such an area of convection reaches the status of Tropical Depression, it is given a number, with the suffix "W", by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center of the United States. If the Tropical Depression continues to develop and reaches the status of Tropical Storm -- which occurs when its sustained winds exceed 39 MPH -- it is assigned a name by the Japan Meteorological Agency. Outside of the Philippines, a storm will retain this same name if it further develops into a full-blown typhoon. A Tropical Storm reaches typhoon status when its sustained winds exceed 74 MPH. A typhoon graduates to Super Typhoon status when its sustained winds exceed 150 MPH, which is the same as a Category 4 or Category 5 hurricane.

It usually takes a few days -- or longer -- for a Tropical Disturbance to develop into a full-blown typhoon. In our region of the Pacific -- which is referred to as "Typhoon Alley" -- these tropical storms generally move from the southeast near the Equator to the northwest, although they sometimes will also move north, northeast, or even make a beeline straight west. In either case, the majority of them eventually curve northward where they run into the Polar Jet Stream, which rips them apart and drags them to the east towards Alaska and the western coast of the continental USA. You can see this happening with some of them in the "Dance of the Typhoons" movie that is located further down on this same page.

Very powerful typhoons are quite capable of knocking down concrete power poles as if they are toothpicks, turning over and stacking up cars, and even tossing huge, heavy ocean freight containers through the air as if they are matchbox toys. As strong typhoons make landfall, they can also create a powerful wall of water -- referred to as a surge -- which can be as much as 20-30 feet high. Such surges can be very destructive, and will wipe out the vegetation for hundreds of feet inward along the coastline, as well as destroy any weak structures. So as you can see, a strong typhoon is not a threat to be taken lightly.

Furthermore, powerful tropical storms which develop in the Pacific Ocean basin north of the Equator and west of the International Date Line are referred to as typhoons, while those which form to the east of the International Date Line and north of the Equator are referred to as hurricanes. In some regions, they are also referred to as cyclones. Meteorologically-speaking, they are basically the same phenomenon with different nomenclatures. One final interesting point is that in the Northern Hemisphere, these weather phenomena rotate counterclockwise, while in the Souther Hemisphere they rotate clockwise.

Guam Regional Map

The image below will help to familiarize you with what you are seeing in all of the other images and animations which are found on this page. Please note that it is rather large at about 1 MB in size, even after optimizing it, so please be patient while it loads in your web browser. It will open in a new browser tab. Please click on the following link:

Guam Regional Map With Country Names

Guam Tropical Storm And Typhoon Images

You will need to use your web browser's scroll bars in order to see these entire images. Also, with some of them, if you click on the image after it loads in your web browser, you will see an even larger, more-detailed image.

Please Note: These images are normally updated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration once every hour, unless there are technical problems such as corrupted satellite images. These images will open in a new tab.

NOAA Wide-Area 1360x960 Infra Red
NOAA Wide-Area 1360x960 Infra Red Color
NOAA Wide-Area 1360x960 Guam Closeup
NOAA Wide-Area 1360x960 Water Vapor

Guam Tropical Storm And Typhoon Advisories, Watches, Warnings and Updates

The following links will provide you with meteorological information which is more specific to Guam and other islands in the Marianas.

NWS Guam Public Advisory
NWS Guam Public Advisory (Q1) [URL could end in Q1, Q2, Q3 or Q4]
NWS Area Forecast Discussion
NWS Satellite Interpretation Message
NWS Surf Zone Forecast
NWS Guam Climate and Tide Data
NWS Zone Forecast for the Marianas
Tropical Cyclones Info
Active Watches and Warnings

Recent Significant West Pacific Typhoons and Super Typhoons

Note : As is always the case when it comes to statistics such as these, there is some debate between different parties who keep track of typhoon intensities. As such, the figures below should be viewed as approximations.

Year Name Min. MBs Max. 10-Min. Sust. Winds Max. 1-Min. Sust. Winds

1986 Kim 905 205 kph (125 mph)  
1988 Roy 940 155 kph (100 mph) 215 kph (130 mph)
1989 Andy 920 185 kph (115 mph)  
1990 Russ 971 185 kph (115 mph)  
1991 Yuri 895 220 kph (140 mph) 280 kph (175 mph)
1992 Omar 920 185 kph (115 mph) 240 kph (150 mph)
1997 Paka 920 185 kph (115 mph) 295 kph (185 mph)
2002 Chataan 930 175 kph (110 mph) 240 kph (150 mph)
2002 Pongsona 940 165 kph (105 mph) 240 kph (150 mph)
2015 Dolphin 925 185 kph (115 mph) 260 kph (160 mph)
2015 Soudelor 900 215 kph (130 mph) 285 kph (180 mph)
2018 Mangkhut 905 205 kph (125 mph) 285 kph (180 mph)
2018 Trami 915 195 kph (120 mph)  
2018 Kong-rey 915 195 kph (120 mph)  
2018 Yutu 905 215 kph (130 mph) 285 kph (180 mph)

Dance of the Typhoons

In late 2013, I made a series of small movies which showed different typhoons which passed through our region of the world during that year. The video below is one of them.

While the movie below is only 57 seconds in length, it actually covers a period of 53 days, from September 21, 2013 to November 12, 2013. Obviously, I had to greatly speed things up, so that the movie would be short, and not too big in size.

As you will see, this was a very busy typhoon season for us. Thankfully, NONE of these storms struck us directly. The area you see in this movie is actually several thousand miles in size. Please refer to the "Guam Region Map" higher up on this page if you want to see the actual country names.

Due to its size, this movie is best viewed in a web browser on a desktop computer. You can try to view it on a mobile device, but it won't be a very good experience; particularly not on a cellphone, because you will have to scroll to the right.

After viewing this short video, you will come to understand why our region is regarded as the most typhoon-active area of the world, and is referred to as "Typhoon Alley".

If you happen to be analytical, see if you can count how many typhoons developed in this 53-day period. Personally, I don't remember, but it was a lot. Thankfully, none of them struck us directly. Guam is located in the center column, in the third square. It's that little brown speck near the top of the square.

This browser does not support the video element.

Guam Tropical Storm And Typhoon Java Animations

Please note that, depending on the speed of your Internet connection, it can take from a few seconds to a few minutes in order for all of the images to load in your web browser before these animations can actually begin, so please be patient! Thanks!

SSEC Java Animation - This is the nicest java animation I have found to date. It is hosted by the Space Science and Engineering Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The animation consists of 287 images from Japan's Himawari satellite, and covers the last several days.

To access this animation, please click on the following URL:

JMA Java Animation - This is an excellent java animation from the Japan Meteorological Agency. If you live in the Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Philippines, or Japan, you should choose the following settings to see a great wide-area overview of our weather:

Region : Full Disk
Channel : Infrared
Size : Large
Animation For : Last 24 Hours
Animation Rate : 30 Minutes
Seconds Per Image : 0.1 or 0.2

Please Note: After you make the above settings, please be patient while all of the images load in your web browser. It may take up to a few minutes if you set it to "Last 24 Hours". If the animation does not automatically start after you make the above settings, then click on the "Play" button that is located in the controls section.

To access this animation, please click on the following URL:

NOAA Java Animation- This is an eight-frame Guam infrared loop animation from the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration. While it offers a close-up view of Guam and the surrounding area, it does not offer nearly as many controls, or flexibility, as the previous two java animation.

To access this animation, please click on the following URL:

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Rating Scale

Designed by Florida consultant engineer Herbert Saffir and Robert Simpson -- a former head of the National Hurricane Center -- the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Rating Scale is used to describe the effects of a hurricane based on its category, wind speed, storm surge and potential for flooding.

Category Wind Speed Pressure Storm Surge Damage Potential

1 - weak 75-95 mph
65-82 knots
33-42 mts/sec
> 28.94 in. Hg
> 980.0 mb
> 97.7 kPa
4.0-5.0 ft.
1.2-1.5 mts.
minimal damage to vegetation

2 - moderate 96-110 mph
83-95 knots
43-49 mts/sec
28.50-28.93 in. Hg
965.1-979.7 mb
96.2-97.7 kPa
6.0-8.0 ft.
1.8-2.4 mts.
moderate damage to houses

3 - strong 111-130 mph
96-113 knots
50-58 mts/sec
27.91-28.49 in. Hg
945.1-964.8 mb
96.2-97.7 kPa
9.0-12.0 ft.
2.7-3.7 mts.
extensive damage to small buildings

4 - very strong 131-155 mph
114-135 knots
59-69 mts/sec
27.17-27.90 in. Hg
920.1-944.8 mb
91.7-94.2 kPa
13.0-18.0 ft.
3.9-5.5 mts.
extreme structural damage

5 - devastating > 155 mph
> 135 knots
> 70 mts/sec
< 27.17 in. Hg
< 920.1 mb
< 91.7 kPa
> 18.0 ft.
> 5.5 mts.
catastrophic building failures possible

Millibars to Wind Speed Conversion

Minimum Sea Level
Maximum Sustained Surface Winds
In Knots        In MPH      In KPH

1000 millibars 30 34.52 55.56
997 millibars 35 40.27 64.82
994 millibars 40 46.03 74.08
991 millibars 45 51.78 83.34
987 millibars 50 57.54 92.60
984 millibars 55 63.29 101.86
980 millibars 60 69.04 111.12
976 millibars 65 74.80 120.38
972 millibars 70 80.55 129.64
967 millibars 75 86.31 138.90
963 millibars 80 92.06 148.16
958 millibars 85 97.82 157.42
954 millibars 90 103.57 166.68
948 millibars 95 109.32 175.94
943 millibars 100 115.08 185.20
938 millibars 105 120.83 194.46
933 millibars 110 126.59 203.72
927 millibars 115 132.34 212.98
922 millibars 120 138.09 222.24
916 millibars 125 143.85 231.50
910 millibars 130 149.60 240.76
906 millibars 135 155.36 250.02
898 millibars 140 161.11 259.28
892 millibars 145 166.87 268.54
885 millibars 150 172.62 277.80
879 millibars 155 178.37 287.06
872 millibars 160 184.13 296.32
865 millibars 165 189.88 305.58
858 millibars 170 195.64 314.84
851 millibars 175 201.39 324.10
844 millibars 180 207.14 333.36

What this means is that if a cyclone, typhoon or hurricane is about to strike you, and the barometric pressure at sea level is 938 millibars, for example, you can expect Maximum Sustained Surface Winds of 105 knots, which is the same as 120.83 miles per hour (mph), or 194.46 kilometers per hour (kph).

Caveat : Please note, however, that other factors come into play, such as other meteorological forces affecting the storm, reduction in speed, encountering land, etc. So the wind speeds you actually experience may not be exactly what you expect, based on the barometric pressure in millibars. Hurricane and typhoon prediction is NOT an exact science, and these monsters often have a mind of their own and can do unexpected things.

Recommended Typhoon Tool For iOS Users

If you live in an area which is prone to strikes by hurricanes, typhoons or cyclones, Barometer & Altimeter Pro is a very cool -- and free with no ads -- tool to have. It is specifically designed for users of iOS devices which have a barometric pressure sensor installed by Apple. As of this writing, these include the following devices:

iPhone 6, 6s, 7, 8, X (including Plus models)
iPad Air 2, Mini 4, iPad Pro (all sizes) and the newest iPad
Apple Watch model 3

Once you get the hang of the app -- go to the app's settings, and scroll down until you come to the "Help / About" link -- not only will you be able to know the barometric pressure at your location -- referred to as "station" -- but you will also know the barometric pressure at sea level, and be able to track the changes in pressure in the interactive trending section of the app. Please refer to the graph below. This information will tell you if a storm is strengthening or weakening, and still approaching you or moving away from you. In other words, once the storm begins to move away, the barometric pressure will begin to rise again on the graph, whereas while the storm is still approaching you, the barometric pressure will continue to drop on the graph. Of course, there may be small fluctuations even while the pressure readings continue in one general direction -- that is, up or down -- on the graph. Such is the nature of these powerful tropical storms.

As a bonus, if you are the outdoors type, the altimeter function can also be used for activities such as hiking, mountain climbing, etc.

Here is a link for it: Barometer & Altimeter Pro

This app is particularly useful when the power goes out due to an approaching storm, and you no longer have access to external weather reports via radio, TV or Internet. Unlike some other barometer apps, this app does NOT require an Internet connection in order for you to use it. As long as you have juice in your iOS device, you are good to go! So, enjoy!

Tip : If you are using this app in a single, permanent location, and if you are certain that you know your location's altitude/elevation -- you can find out on topographical maps -- you can disable GPS in the app's settings window, and manually enter your altitude in the "Station altitude" field, which is found just below the three GPS settings. You may want to do this if your "station altitude" indicator is fluctuating too much on the "Barometer" window.

Disclaimer : While the developer has high confidence in the reliability of this app, you should not rely upon it solely in a life-threatening situation.
I hope that you have found this tropical storm and typhoon status page helpful, interesting and educational. If so, please consider sharing the URL with your friends. Also, if you see that a serious storm is coming our way, please do remember us in your prayers. We really appreciate it. Thanks so much! The power of God's natural forces on the Earth are awe-inspiring, even if they can sometimes be very dangerous as well.

Your fellowservant,
Bill Kochman

BBB Tools And Services

Please avail yourself of other areas of the Bill's Bible Basics website. There are many treasures for you to discover.