Tropical Storm Mawar is strengthening in the Pacific into a hurricane and is expected to make landfall on Wednesday, bringing strong winds and possible flooding to the Mariana Islands, including Guam, the National Weather Service said.
Mawar had maximum winds of 80 miles per hour early Monday local time, with gusts up to 95 mph, said Patrick Doll, the Weather Service’s lead meteorologist.
The storm is expected to continue to strengthen and intensify, and forecasts project that it will reach Guam, a US territory, on Wednesday morning, Mr. Doll said, and is likely to peak around 4 p.m. local time, he said.
The eye of the storm could pass through a 20-mile gap between the islands of Guam and Rota, Mr. Doll, but enough time left to change Mawar’s course.
As the storm approaches the islands, its winds will “intensify,” said Brandon Bukunt, a meteorologist with the Weather Service, and showers outside could bring heavy downpours, increasing the chance of flooding. including Guam, which is home. to Andersen Air Force Base.
Bagyong Mawar is equivalent to a Category 1 typhoon, said Mr. Bukunt, early Monday local time. The difference between typhoon and typhoon is only in name, and based on geography. Typhoon is used for tropical storms that develop in the northwest Pacific and affect Asia. Elsewhere, they are called typhoons.
Mawar, which formed early Sunday morning local time, could make landfall as a tropical storm. Mr. Doll said the storm watch was maintained due to the change in the storm’s path.
“The system makes a little shake, like a snake moving through the grass,” he said. “It can travel in a general direction, but you have a shock here and there. And the key is, when that shock occurs and with what force, that determines if there is a direct hit.”
The Weather Service issued a high surf advisory early Monday, saying large waves breaking seven to nine feet were building as Mawar approached.
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero of Guam and Rear Adm. Benjamin Nicholson put the island and its military bases on alert Saturday for potentially damaging winds, according to a statement from the base.
The statement added that “all military installations on Guam are currently securing facilities, and residents are encouraged to initiate severe weather preparedness efforts.”
Storms can form throughout the year but usually from May to October.
Mawar, a Malaysian name meaning “rose,” is the second named storm in the Western Pacific this season. The first, Tropical Storm Sanvu, weakened in less than two days.
Lauren McCarthy contributed to the report.