05 October 2013 - 1:30 pm JST
Chasing FITOW: Heading north for battle!

The moment of truth on this chase has come. The cyclone is bearing down on Miyako-jima.

After wobbling N overnight, Typhoon FITOW switched to a more W course, which it's stayed on all morning. This has put the center on a potential collision course with Miyako-jima!

At the hotel, we can hear surf thundering against the sea wall, and about an hour ago I measured steady wind of 30-35 knots, with a gust to 49 knots, right on the waterfront. (Pressure at that time was 993 mb.)

As the typhoon will probably gain more latitude on its approach, James Reynolds and I have decided to head N to a tiny satellite island, just off the main Miyako Island, called Ikema Island (24.93N 125.24E).

Only about one mile across and accessible by a small bridge, tiny Ikema Island should get the typhoon's full force tonight—and it presents our best chance of getting in the eye. (Mark Thomas has opted to ride out the storm in our hotel, in town on the main island.)

Th wind is howling and my hotel room's windows are rattling.  Time to head N before conditions get too rough.

—Josh Morgerman