Station adopts updated tropical cyclone conditions of readiness
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, began using new tropical cyclone conditions of readiness station-wide Wednesday.
According to Chief Warrant Officer Dante Rakestraw, Weathers Services Branch officer in charge, U.S. Pacific Command updated and employed new TCCOR categories in 2014, and U.S. Forces Japan adopted the same guidelines to ensure continuity with all commands within the Pacific.
“The change hasn’t had any affect on the way we forecast tropical cyclones,” said Rakestraw. “If anything … encourages early situational awareness and more advanced notice for commands to begin taking precautionary measures.”
In accordance with USPACOM Instruction 0539.1, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center provides tropical cyclone warnings to U.S. military agencies in Japan and includes TCCOR conditions station officials may declare. The following information is the most recent TCCOR updates station residents should review, according to USFJ Instruction 15-4001, dated March 1, 2015.
TCCOR Storm Watch - Strong winds of 35 knots sustained or greater are possible due to the proximity of a tropical cyclone; however, winds are not forecasted to meet the destructive wind criteria.
Destructive winds are 50 knots sustained or greater and gusts 60 knots or greater. Destructive winds can typically cause injury to exposed personnel, damage to aircraft, ships, structures and facilities, according to the MCAS Iwakuni tropical cyclone awareness brief.
Personnel should follow standard operating procedures for TCCOR Storm Watch and stay alert for any changes to TCCOR status. Strong winds will meet TCCOR 1 Caution criteria. The storm is also close enough to the area that a heightened alert status is necessary in order to rapidly establish elevated TCCOR conditions should the storm deviate from the forecast track or intensity. It is possible to return to TCCOR Storm Watch from another TCCOR level if the storm is no longer forecasted to reach destructive wind criteria.
•TCCOR 5 - Destructive winds are possible within 96 hours.
•TCCOR 4 - Destructive winds are possible within 72 hours.
•TCCOR 3 - Destructive winds are possible within 48 hours.
•TCCOR 2 - Destructive winds anticipated within 24 hours.
•TCCOR 1 - Destructive winds are occurring or anticipated within 12 hours.
•TCCOR 1 Caution - Winds of 35-49 knots sustained are occurring at a particular installation.
•TCCOR 1 Emergency - Winds of 50 knots sustained or gust factors of 60 knots or greater are occurring at a particular installation.
•TCCOR 1 Recovery - After the passage of a tropical cyclone, when destructive winds have subsided and are no longer forecast to occur. Survey and work crews are sent out to determine the extent of damage and to establish safe zones around hazards, such as downed power lines or unstable structures. Until the recovery process is declared complete by TCCOR All Clear, or the risk of injury or damage to personnel and property has been mitigated to a safe level, the general base population is normally asked to remain indoors.
•TCCOR All Clear - The storm is over and not forecast to return, and recovery efforts are considered complete by the installation commander.
To receive updates and monitor storm progress aboard MCAS Iwakuni, visit the official MCAS Iwakuni website or Facebook page.