Feb 20, 2016

Cyclone Winston, Strongest Southern Hemisphere Storm in History, Hits Fiji

Fiji
by
Eric Holthaus
,
Slate
Cyclone Winston, near peak strength, as it made landfall in Fiji on Saturday. Photo: NOAA
Cyclone Winston, near peak strength, as it made landfall in Fiji on Saturday. Photo: NOAA

One of the strongest storms ever measured on Earth just made a direct landfall in the South Pacific.

Cyclone Winston made landfall on Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu, late Saturday local time. The Fiji Meteorological Service estimated wind gusts near Winston’s center at around 200 mph—strong enough for Winston to be considered the strongest tropical cyclone ever measured in the Southern Hemisphere. Just prior to landfall, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii estimated Winston’s sustained winds at around 185 mph, based on satellite.