By Barbara Brown
(Tumon, Guam) Yes, what was just a bunch of clouds 1,246 nautical miles east of Guam two days ago, now is a tropical storm with a name now 755 nautical miles east of Guam and moving west at 17 mph.
It formed, moved and intensified that quickly. The next name on the list for a storm in this area? Hagibis. It's a Tagalog term that translates to English as 'swift passing,' according to most translations that can be found online.
It's moved so quickly that even the government of Guam hasn't had much time to prepare for it; the governor has not stood up the Joint Information Center yet in order to coordinate the local government, federal government, military, and private sector preparation and response to the storm. It's expected to pass closest to Guam late tomorrow night or early Tuesday evening.
Tropical Storm Hagibis likely will be Typhoon Hagibis by that time. Global forecast models agree that within 96 hours Hagibis will reach super typhoon strength, but that it will have passed the Marianas by then.
Hagibis will pass close to the Northern Mariana island of Anatahan Monday night, according to the National Weather Service. Last night the forecast had predicted the storm would pass further north on an NMI island called Alamagan. This shift to the south shows how the forecast can change within the track, so it's important for residents to stay tuned to the latest information on this storm.
A Tropical Storm Watch remains in effect for Rota, Tinian, Saipan, Agrihan and Anatahan. This means tropical storm-force winds between 39 mph and 73 mph are expected within 48 hours on those islands.
Guam is within the trajectory of the storm's path, but on its southern perimeter.