2 p.m. update: Storm tracking south of Guam | News

Date: 2021-09-23 03:45:00

Tropical Depression 20W is expected to be a weak tropical storm with winds between 40 and 50 mph and gusts of up to 60 mph when it passes near Guam between 9 p.m. and midnight Thursday, according to Landon Aydlett, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service on Guam.

The storm, which was previously forecast to pass directly over the island, is now tracking to the south of Guam.

As of 1 p.m., the system was located near 12.6 degrees north latitude and 145.5 degrees east longitude, about 75 miles southeast of Guam. It is moving west-northwest at 17 mph with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.

Rainfall of 2 to 4 inches is forecast for Guam, and 3 to 5 inches of rain is forecast for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Higher amounts are likely in some areas.

“We’re not going to be looking at a wall of showers and thunderstorms and winds persisting nonstop,” Aydlett said. “This will be more periodic in nature so we’re going to have peaks and lulls and weather and winds. You can probably see peaks of sunshine over the next five or six hours. That will not be out of the question.”

Most of the wind and rain is on the north side of the storm, Aydlett said.

Guam was placed under a tropical storm warning at 11 a.m., however, no adjustments have been made to the island’s condition of readiness.

The Department of Public Works is coordinating with mayors to position equipment in areas where flooding is common, Offices of Homeland Security and Civil Defense spokeswoman Jenna Blas said during a noon media briefing Thursday.

The system is forecast to intensify through Saturday, becoming a tropical storm later this afternoon or tonight. 

Forecasters warn that excessive rainfall will cause localized flooding in low-lying and poor drainage areas, and rapidly rising streams and rivers. Emergency officials advise residents to check storm drains to make sure they are not clogged. 

This is a good time to prepare your emergency kit.

Be prepared

  • Locate or prepare your emergency preparedness kits for your household; stock up on non-perishable food items and water for your household, flashlights, first-aid kits, batteries, matches or lighters, portable stove, toiletries, etc. Visit https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit for more information on what to include in your supplies list.
  • Secure important documents such as birth certificates, tax papers and insurance documents and keep copies in a water-proof bag.
  • Clear loose debris around your yard and store any items that may become airborne with heavy winds, before inclement weather arrives.
  • Gas your vehicles and get fuel for your generators now while the weather is clear.
  • Get ready to take action if flood advisories are issued. Do not camp, park, or hike along streams, rivers, and creeks, especially during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.


A flash flood watch is in effect for the Marianas through Friday afternoon. Heavy showers and thunderstorms associated with the tropical depression are expected.

A high risk of rip currents is in effect for the Marianas through Friday afternoon. Dangerous rip currents are expected along east-facing reefs of the Marianas. Inexperienced swimmers should remain out of the water due to dangerous surf conditions. 

A small craft advisory is in effect for the coastal waters of the Marianas through midnight Thursday. East winds of 15 to 25 knots with gusts up to 30 knots and seas of 6 to 9 feet are expected. Conditions will be hazardous to small craft. Inexperienced mariners, especially those operating smaller vessels, should avoid navigating in hazardous conditions.

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