Bill Read's Blog: Super Typhoon Sanba

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HOUSTON - At the time of this picture, Super Typhoon Sanba was estimated to have maximum winds of 170 mph and is generating wave heights of up to 60 feet!  The track forecast as of this graphic has the center of Sanba crossing over or near the island of Okinawa Saturday evening, Houston time. 

Typhoons are no stranger to Okinawa, as its location in the western Pacific is similar to south Florida in exposure.  If Sanba crosses with the forecast intensity of near 140 mph, this would be an extreme event even for Okinawa.  Many Americans are stationed at the large USAF and Navy facilities on Okinawa and I'm sure they are taking maximum precautions for Sanba. Next in line after Okinawa are southwestern Japan and Korea, early next week. 

Typhoon is simply the western Pacific name for a hurricane.  A Super Typhoon is the name they use for storms equivalent to category 4 and 5 on the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  The western Pacific tropics are the most active on Earth for tropical cyclone development, with nearly twice as many forming each year than we see in the Atlantic. 

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