While there have been several powerful tropical storms this year, Super Typhoon Vongfong in the Western Pacific has strengthened to become the year’s biggest typhoon. With gusts over 300 mph and sustained 155 mph winds, the massive storm is the most intense typhoon to tear its way through any ocean this year. Although it is currently rated at a category 4, it could reach category 5 by tomorrow.
Last year the deadly Super Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the Pacific and became one of the strongest tropical storms on record. So far this year, there have been five super typhoons, though none as big as Haiyan. Although it is currently rated at a category 4, Vongfong could reach the mind-blowing category 5 by tomorrow. The super typhoon is expected to strengthen as it passes over warm water Wednesday and then turn sharply and head north on Thursday at which point it will begin to weaken before hitting Japan.
Last week Japan was hit by Typhoon Phanfone, killing one US airman who was taking photos of the typhoon with two colleagues when they were swept out to sea. The storm also put rescue efforts on hold at last month’s volcano site, where over 50 people were killed. Fortunately, October is the peak of typhoon season, so hopefully this will be the end of the worst of it.