World’s Strongest Typhoon Heads To Japan

Super Typhoon Vongfong turned into the world’s strongest tropical cyclone this year as it further intensified overnight on Monday and Tuesday and is now headed to Japan.

It has a maximum sustained winds of about 180 miles per hour and gusts higher than 200 miles per hour, equivalent to the highest Category 5 Hurricane, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, The Weather Channel reported.

“It’s safe to say Vongfong is the strongest storm on earth since Haiyan last year,” said Michael Lowry, storm specialist for The Weather Channel. Super Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the central-eastern part of the Philippines last year, leaving around 10,000 people dead and missing and billions-worth of damages lost.

As of 3 a.m. Wednesday,Japanese time , the eye of Vongfong was about 700 miles south-southeast of Kadena Air Base on Okinawa, moving west at about 10 mph, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

Super Typhoon Vongfong is expected to intensify in the next hours as it travels the warm waters of the Pacific until it reaches the maximum sustained winds of 195 miles per hour, Mashable reported.

On Monday, the tropical cyclone’s maximum sustained winds are estimated at 150 miles per hour, equivalent to a Category 4 Hurricane, almost reaching Category 5 status.

And based on NASA’s satellite imagery, Vongfong strengthened and reached the intensity level that few storms ever achieved in recorded history.

Vongfong is 2014’s fifth super typhoon to emerge in the Pacific. There were also five super typhoons in 2012 and 2013, including the Super Typhoon Haiyan, which was one of the strongest tropical cyclones in history. Late July through October is peak typhoon season in the Western Pacific, according to The Weather Channel.

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