DISCUSSION: As people continue to mentally and physically recover both along parts of the Southeast U.S. and Bermuda from the recent impacts of Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Nicole respectively, the world's attention now turns to the Tropical West Pacific Ocean basin. This attention is due to the robust presence of what is now Super Typhoon Haima which has quickly made global headlines and will soon make even more headlines with its current heading aimed directly at northern portions of the Philippines. Unfortunately, this event has the potential to deliver similar impacts as those felt in association with Super Typhoon Haiyan which impacted nearly all of the central and northern Philippines back in November 2013. Though this storm is somewhat weaker than Haiyan was even prior to the time of landfall, this storm is still comparable in strength.
More specifically, Super Typhoon Haima currently has maximum sustained winds of 165 mph with gusts up to (or possibly just over 200 mpn) very close to this tropical cyclone's circulation center. Thus, as a point of reference, it currently is maintaining the equivalent intensity as that found in association with a Category 5 hurricane in the Tropical Atlantic or Tropical Eastern/Central Pacific basins. Therefore, this is an incredibly dangerous tropical cyclone which has now become a very serious threat to the central/northern Philippines as well as eastern China upon Haima re-emerging over the northern South China Sea. Though it is forecast to weaken down to the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane after the first landfall in the Philippines, Haima will then present a serious coastal and inland flooding threat to eastern China. Note how in the visible satellite loop attached above (courtesy of Meteorologist Dan Lindsey via the Himawari-8 satellite imager), you can clearly identify the perfect symmetry and large, clear eye associated with Haima as of a little earlier today! The bottom line is that this is an incredibly dangerous tropical cyclone which will continue to deliver increasing more pronounced impacts to the central and northern Philippines as time continues to pass!
Be sure to stay tuned for updates on the status and progress of Super Typhoon Haima right here at the Global Weather and Climate Center as we move forward in time!
~Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz