Aug 3, 2015

Soudelor is strongest typhoon of 2015, spinning toward Okinawa, Taiwan and China

Saipan,
Taiwan
CNMI
by
Angela Fritz
,
Washington Post
Super Typhoon Soudelor in the northwest Pacific Ocean ballooned from the equivalent of a category 2 to a category 4 in just 12 hours. Image: University of Wisconsin/CIMSS/JMA/Himawari-8
Super Typhoon Soudelor in the northwest Pacific Ocean ballooned from the equivalent of a category 2 to a category 4 in just 12 hours. Image: University of Wisconsin/CIMSS/JMA/Himawari-8

The eye of Soudelor was just four miles wide as it made landfall as a category 2 with sustained winds of 105 mph. Weather Underground’s Bob Hensen says that Soudelor was “among the smallest eyes and eyewalls observed anywhere as a tropical cyclone was making landfall.” But given its small size, satellite imagery may not have been sufficient to convey just how strong the typhoon was as it passed over Saipan.

Super Typhoon Soudelor reached the equivalent of category 5 hurricane status on Monday afternoon, eastern time, with sustained winds of 178 mph. Soudelor is now the strongest tropical cyclone on Earth since Super Typhoon Hagupit in December 2014, which also peaked with winds of 180 mph.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center is forecasting even more strengthening to wind speeds of 184 mph