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Typhoon Dolphin Bears Down on Guam

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Following an unusually early start to the tropical season along the East Coast over the weekend, it’s a far different part of the United States that could see big impacts from a tropical system in the next 48 hours.

Specifically, it’s the territory of Guam – America has five overseas ‘territories’ including Puerto Rico, the Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa – that could see significant impacts from Typhoon Dolphin, most likely on Friday. Guam is no stranger to typhoons, with Super Typhoon Pongsona slamming the island of 165,000 people with 144 mile-an-hour sustained winds in 2002, leaving widespread destruction in its wake.

Dolphin, meanwhile, was packing winds of 105 miles-an-hour as of 3pm EDT Wednesday afternoon, and the strengthening system was 610 miles southeast of Guam. A typhoon watch was in place for the island. The storm was moving northwest at 8 miles-an-hour.

The current forecast, according to the National Weather Service office in Guam, brings Dolphin potentially making a direct hit on Guam on Friday evening, with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles-an-hour – equivalent to that of a strong Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

The track eventually hooks Dolphin to the north, potentially affecting Japan next week.

We’ll keep you posted on all the latest, and residents of Guam should be completing preparations for this powerful storm.

Meteorologist Chris Bianchi

Images courtesy: Joint Typhoon Warning Center, NOAA

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