Update: Reported via the NOAA, “the US’ National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had issued a bulletin saying that the storm’s intensity could no longer be tracked using the widely-used Dvorak storm intensity scale.” If it were to be rated, guesses are from strong cat 6 to cat 7.
This is just the beginning of what some climate researchers say may be in our collective future. Super-storms, hyper-canes, some inevitably hitting densely populated regions, taking out vast sections of our interconnected, interdependent global economy:
What may be the fiercest typhoon in recorded history smashed into the Philippines early Friday morning, carrying winds that make Superstorm Sandy look like a weak relative. Even Hurricane Katrina, the modern measure of nature’s disastrous force on the United States, pales when compared to the punch and expected devastation from Typhoon Haiyan.
According to the latest report, Haiyan, also known as Yolanda in the Philippines, was packing winds in excess of 200 mph as it homed in on the island nation in the western Pacific Ocean. The U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center said maximum sustained winds in the Category 5 storm were 195 mph with gusts to 235 mph.
This thing has the power to plow the very ground and wash completely over much of the island’s coastal areas for miles inland. There are some prelim reports now making their way out around the edges, a few scattered reports from the the storm’s center track. But by and large the Philippines are almost entirely dark, little power, comm grids knocked out, not much comprehensive damage assessment available, yet. Here’s the massive scale of Haiyan in more familiar perspective.
It’s not just that this Haiyan is so powerful that it might push the boundary of a heretofore unseen category 6 to 7 storm, it’s so huge that if the eye were hitting Charleston, South Carolina, hurricane force winds and storm surge would stretch from Miami to NYC. If you don’t believe me, here’s another hypothetical shot.