Super Typhoon Mawar wound up passing greater than 100nm South of Saipan on 24/25 May. A few videos taken from around the island midday on 24 May are below. This was about 7-8 hours before the typhoon was at the closest point of approach (CPA).
At this point, 2-3 feet of storm surge was noted on the East side of Saipan at Jeffrey’s Beach. We had been there the day before and had been able to walk out to where the waves were breaking in this video.
The video from Bird Island Lookout demonstrates the power of the seas, as well as seeing some of the refraction of the waves around Bird Island. This may remind some of the loss of SV Fantome in a Hurricane in 1998. Having taken shelter in the lee of Roatan Island, it is said that the seas refracting around the island contributed to her demise.
While Saipan was spared a direct hit by Mawar, it provided a perspective on what such a storm might be like at sea – even on the periphery. Needless to say, regardless of the name – typhoon, hurricane, severe cyclonic storm – these are weather systems like no others. And weather systems to take seriously and give a wide berth.
Let’s be safe out there.