The Storm of The Year

Typhoon Vongfong intensifies, heads toward Japan

An infrared satellite image of Typhoon Vongfong.

An infrared satellite image of Typhoon Vongfong.

The strongest storm of the year, Typhoon Vongfong, is currently churning through the Pacific Ocean and is set to begin impacting Japan as early as this weekend. The violent storm, which comes on the heels of another typhoon that wreaked havoc on Japan last week, recently exploded from a Category 2 Hurricane into a full-blown Super Typhoon with winds exceeding 150 mph. With these latest measurements, meteorologists have given Typhoon Vongfong the uneasy distinction of becoming the strongest storm of the year.

Some forecasters are predicting that Typhoon Vongfong could rival Typhoon Haiyan in strength, which destroyed much of the Philippines last year and claimed more than 6,000 lives. However, if current predictions and readings hold true, the storm is expected to weaken as it moves north toward Japan and could make landfall as a Category 2 storm. According to an NBC News report, “Vongfong is expected to sharply turn and head north by Thursday, weakening before it nears Japan.” Heavy mudslides and flooding could occur and Japanese officials are monitoring weather reports closely.

While the Atlantic Ocean has remained relatively calm in this hurricane season, the Pacific has been active and Typhoon Vongfong marks the sixth Super Typhoon of the year.