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First typhoon of season takes its time moving northward

Date Posted: 2004-04-08

Typhoon Sudal, a tropical depression that formed in the western Pacific a week ago, is the seasonís first significant weather event.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center and the Japan Meteorological Agency say itís too early to tell if the lumbering storm will move on a track that could affect Okinawa. Itís moving at a slow eight knots, and is not forecast to pick up speed in the next day or two.

Officials say the typhoon, with atmospheric pressure of less than 990 hectopascals and maximum sustained wind speeds of 105 kilometers per hour, gusting to near 130 kilometers per hour, has been traveling westward, south of Guam. Itís forecast to begin making a sweeping northwesterly turn on Saturday.

Typhoon Sudal, with 24 Ėfoot waves, was named by the Republic of Korea. Sudal is the name for an otter, a small animal with four webbed feet, a flat tail and thick brown fur. The otter lives along the banks of rivers.

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