Hagatna: A tropical storm packing steady rains and gusty winds moved into Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands on Sunday, after forecasters cancelled a typhoon watch for the area.
By this evening, Tropical Storm Bavi had dropped a half an inch of rain on Guam and 1.7 inches of rain on Saipan as it moved through the islands, according to National Weather Service senior forecaster Paul Stanko.
Continued rains were expected on Saipan, while rainfall was tapering off on Guam, the forecaster said.
He said the storm's northern edge hitting Saipan packed stronger winds and more rain than its southern bands.
"Guam ended up being on the weak side. We've manage to get a bit of rain," he said. "They (Saipan) were on the stronger side."
Tropical storm-force winds of 39 mph or greater were expected from late today through early tomorrow morning.
Stanko said the strongest recorded gust on Guam was 53 mph, compared with 62 on Saipan, located about 100 miles to the northeast.
So far, the NWS didn't have any reports of serious problems on the two islands associated with the storm. Earlier today, the weather service cancelled a typhoon watch, saying Bavi had weakened.
Guam prepared buses to take residents lacking transportation to shelters as the storm approached, the Pacific Daily News reported.
Guam Memorial Hospital was to begin accepting women at least 36 weeks pregnant and those with sensitive pregnancies.
United Airlines cancelled all afternoon flights from Guam due to the tropical storm. A flight to Tokyo was to be the last to depart.
Cape Air/United Express cancelled flights scheduled to arrive and depart from Guam today and tomorrow morning.
The governor urged residents to clear their property, raise shutters and make other storm preparations.
Residents were asked to stay out of the ocean, as a small craft advisory was in effect. Inexperienced mariners are instructed to avoid travel by boat in these conditions.