Typhoon Dolphin split the difference between Guam and Rota early Friday morning, eastern time, passing through the 40 mile-wide channel that separates the U.S. territories. Though the typhoon did not make a direct landfall on either island, both saw the strong winds and whipping rain associated with the storm’s eye wall.
Dolphin brushed the islands as a moderately strong typhoon with sustained winds of 110 mph. The storm brought sustained winds up to 84 mph to the island of Guam, which was swiped by the left side of typhoon’s eye wall. Wave heights peaked above 20 feet off the coast of Guam before the buoy stopped reporting. Rota, which was in the right side of the eye wall, likely saw stronger wind speeds and taller waves.
Despite the expectation that it would strengthen as it approached Guam, Typhoon Dolphin has been maintaining its intensity at the equivalent of a category 2 hurricane since Wednesday. This came as good news for Guam and Rota, which at one point were starting to prepare for a direct hit from the storm. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center is still forecasting Dolphin to strengthen to as much as a category 4, with winds of 135 mph, over the weekend. However, Guam and Rota are the last land masses the storm will encounter as it gets swept out into the open Pacific by early next week.
Typhoon chaser James Reynolds was in Rota and shot this compilation of video during the storm:
Waves crashing on Tagachang Beach on Guam:
Wind-driven rain on Guam:
Fallen tree branches on Ysengsong Road in Guam: