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Are Phailin's winds the strongest ever recorded?

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Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Saturday, October 12, 2013, 2:00 -

The huge eye of Cyclone Phailin began to inch ashore Saturday morning -- and there's a chance it may have boasted the strongest  peak wind gusts ever recorded on Earth when it was at full strength Friday.

At the height the cyclone, peak wind gusts of more than 315 km/h ... five  kilometres above 1979's Typhoon Tip, and notably stronger than 2005's Hurricane Katrina, which reached 280 km/h.

But it will be some time before that's ever confirmed, if it ever is.


TUNE IN: We will be providing extended coverage of Cyclone Phailin on TV. Tune in for the latest updates.


Those wind gust speeds were estimated through satellite observation, as there is very little tropical storm measurement infrastructure in the Indian Ocean.

This is in comparison to the Atlantic, where tropical storms, referred to as hurricanes rather than cyclones, are extensively monitored by the National Hurricane Centre in Miami, Florida. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, covers typhoons, as they are known in the North Pacific, and Indian ocean cyclones.

And Typhoon Tip remains on top of the list of several other tropical storm indicators.

It boasted the lowest pressure in millibars, compared to second-place Katrina (Phailin scrapes in at fourth place).

All of the above storms were category 5 at their peak.

And although the wind speed and pressure difference between Tip and Phailinwww.theweathernetwork.com/videos/gallery#videos_brightcove-force-of-nature was slight, it was much larger, at 2,220 km across, compared to 1,450 km for this year's storm.

Typhoon Tip was a category 5 "super typhoon" that formed in the Pacific in late 1979.

Japan was the hardest hit, although it affected shipping over a huge swath of the ocean. Around a hundred deaths were blamed on the storm.

For today's active weather, check out the latest episode of Force of Nature.

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