“Super Typhoon Haiyan: The Most Powerful Cyclone in History?”

The eye of Super Typhoon Haiyan is a thing of terrible perfection: a gyre of furious thunderstorms anchoring one of the most powerful cyclones to ever menace the Pacific. One American meteorologist thinks it might be the most powerful in recorded history to hit land, although problems with measuring winds makes that unknown for now.

On Friday morning, Philippines time, the storm was throwing 195 m.p.h. sustained winds and occasional gusts of 235 m.p.h, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center – the speed equivalent of the strongest category of tornado, a monster EF-5. In the West it would be classified as a top-of-the-scale Category 5 hurricane, which causes “catastrophic damage” when it makes landfall, says the U.S. National Hurricane Center: “A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months”…

—Via The Atlantic Cities

—See also: Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground on cyclone “Haiyan”