Aug 31, 2018 - Science

Super Typhoon Jebi is the strongest storm so far this year

Satellite loop of Super Typhoon Jebi in the Western Pacific Ocean.
Satellite loop showing Super Typhoon Jebi in the western Pacific Ocean on August 31, 2018. Data: CIRA / RAMMB; Gif: Harry Stevens/Axios

Super Typhoon Jebi reached a rarely achieved intensity on Friday, becoming the strongest storm so far this year. Based on satellite estimates, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 175 miles per hour, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

The big picture: The storm, which reached Category 5 intensity Thursday, is spinning well northwest of Guam and is forecast to eventually curve gradually northward over time, making landfall on September 3 or 4 in Japan as a Category 2 or 3 storm.

According to Weather Channel meteorologist Jonathan Erdman, based on both estimated wind speed and surface pressure, Super Typhoon Jebi beats all other storms so far this year, including Super Typhoon Maria, which peaked at 160-mile per hour winds, and Cyclone Marcus, which peaked off West Australia in late March.

Once the storm curves north of Japan, it could impart enough energy to the North Pacific jet stream to alter the weather pattern across thousands of miles, all the way to the United States.

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