Day 1059 [Aug. 27/11 JST] – Typhoon Talas Update – Day 1

Today's Report
Aug. 27/11 JST 

Position:  27°03'N, 142°11'E (Ogasawara, Chichijima Island, Japan)
Remaining to Yokohama:  502 nm (ETA: ?)

Slate-gray skies opened up with torrential rain and booming lightning across Tokyo yesterday, not part of the weather system Saito-san is facing, but giving a sense of foreboding as Talas, still this morning a Category 1 typhoon, closes in on his position.

When he called at 0900 today, he was at a big-ship mooring out into the harbor at Ogasawara. Yesterday afternoon the Coast Guard and several men from the Ogasawara Fishing Association assisted his move from a concrete pier out into a relatively safer area of the harbor where NBSDIII will be free in a bow-mooring to turn and face the wind while it intensifies and changes direction with the typhoon's passage. Sails, he said, have been well lashed down and all lines secured. 

Approximate location where NBSDIII is moored.
He confirmed he is securely tied with three different heavy mooring lines, and feels confident that he will be able to safely ride out the storm over the next several days. Winds are expected to be from the east from 35 to as much as 70 knots. This wind direction appears favorable, with land blocking the worst of it, as well as providing a barrier to sea surge, with the harbor entrance in the opposite direction.

As of this morning, ClearPoint was projecting the eye to pass directly over his position in about 50-55 hours. If that holds true it may spare him from being in the typhoon's upper right quadrant, where the winds, as they move counter-clockwise, are normally the strongest. ClearPoint projects them to be 55-60 knots sustained with the Japan Meteorological Agency indicating max winds of 75 knots at 70% probability.

Location of Typhoon Talas at 0900 this morning

Projected passage of eye in approx. 55 hours; cross is NBSDIII

It certainly could be worse, and IS just 1,000 nm to his southwest. There, a second, compact and slow-moving typhoon named Nanmadol has been officially declared a "super-typhoon." It is the season's 14th typhoon and has been in the area a few days longer than Talas.

Fortunately for Saito-san, Nanmadol is moving NNW away from Chichijima in the general direction of Korea. It carries sustained winds of 70 knots, and may hit 105 knots – in other words, about the same ferocity as Hurricane Irene that this weekend is causing major evacuations along low-lying areas of the US eastern seaboard.

Typhoon Talas (right) and super-typhoon Nanmadol (left) at 0900 this morning

Saito-san will call twice daily during the typhoon, which is expected to take about 5 days to clear the area. He will remain alone on board until then.