Typhoon Vongfong may be slowly weakening, but it will not weaken enough in the hours before delivering a strong hit to Japan’s Ryukyu Islands, including Okinawa. At 9:05 a.m. Saturday (local time), weather observation stations in Nanjo City (on the southern end of Okinawa Island) gusted to 100 mph, per the Japan Meteorological Agency and NHK. Wind gusts as high as 101 mph were measured again at 9:25 a.m. local time.
As of 8 a.m. Japanese time Saturday (7 p.m. EDT Friday in the U.S.), the eye of Vongfong was roughly 165 miles south-southeast of Kadena Air Base on Okinawa, moving north at 9 mph.
The typhoon’s maximum sustained winds have tailed off to 125 mph, but Vongfong still remains the equivalent of a higher end Category 3 hurricane, according to the U.S. military’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
Unlike last week with Typhoon Phanfone, temporary blocking high pressure aloft north of Vongfong is likely to keep the core of Vongfong’s strongest winds, the eyewall, near or over parts of the Ryukyu Islands, including Okinawa.
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