By Barbara Brown
(Tumon, Guam) The Joint Typhoon Warning Center moments ago released the latest on Typhoon Hagibis, showing that the storm, now 322 miles east-northeast of Guam, has strengthened even further with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph.
The typhoon is moving westward at 18 mph. The center of the storm is expected to move 62 miles north of Saipan tonight at midnight.
Chip Guard, lead meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told GovGuam officials and media this morning at a heavy weather briefing at Civil Defense that the storm is predicted to intensify rapidly. At the time of the briefing, the typhoon had maximum sustained winds of 100 mph. About an hour ago, the typhoon had increased in strength to 105 mph, according to the latest information from Landon Aydlett of the NWS. JTWC, which published information a few moments ago, now is tracking the storm's maximum sustained winds at 115 mph.
This is important information for the people of the Marianas to be aware of, because of the size of the storm, and the potentially damaging and destructive winds and rains that the storm will bring, even without the eye wall making a direct hit over any of the main islands of the Marianas.
"From this point on, weather conditions across the Mariana Islands will deteriorate," Mr. Aydlett wrote in his update.
The information below is the data provided by the JTWC.