Super Typhoon Haima has rapidly intensified to Category 5 strength, and will be the second typhoon in four days to hammer the northern Philippines Wednesday, before turning toward southeast China late in the week.
Haima was centered about 385 miles east-northeast of the Philippine capital, Manila, as of early Wednesday, local time.
Infrared satellite imagery shows a classic, intense, west Pacific super typhoon with a large eye and an intense ring of convection surrounding it. The Japanese Meteorological Agency estimated Haima's central pressure had dipped to 900 millibars, and a satellite estimate from the University of Wisconsin estimated a pressure of 910 millibars Tuesday evening, U.S. time.
Maximum sustained winds in Haima increased from 85 mph late Sunday morning to 160 mph by Tuesday morning (U.S. time), which means the typhoon has undergone rapid intensification. Rapid intensification is when maximum sustained winds increase by at least 30 knots (about 35 mph) in 24 hours or less. The outflow of winds aloft exhausting the top of Haima, low wind shear and warm, deep ocean water set the stage for Haima's rapid intensification.