Monday, April 19th 2021, 9:08 pm - The blistering pace at which Super Typhoon Surigae intensified is also in rarified air, achieving a 165 km/h increase in intensity in just 36 hours. A feat only accomplished by 64 other tropical cyclones.
Super Typhoon Surigae is way more than an early bloomer.
Just as Japan's precious cherry blooms sprouted at a record blistering pace this March, the western Pacific typhoon season is off to a roaring start.
In recent history, at least 10,000 tropical systems have churned across the oceans of the planet, as documented by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) -- with some storms in the database dating back to the mid-1800s.
It's nearly impossible to grasp the rarity of Super Typhoon Surigae.
We'll begin just with the sheer number of storms documented in the western Pacific basin. It is the most active oceanic basin in the world in terms of tropical activity.
Since 1945, nearly 3,000 storms have been documented. This is a tropical basin that witnesses cyclone activity year-round, with the majority developing between May and December.
Sam Lillo, a researcher at CIRES/NOAA, analyzed the global database of tropical cyclones exceeding 305 km/h and found only a handful of storms meeting the rare wind intensity.
It's nearly an impossible list to crack. Up until now, only 19 tropical cyclones have made this arbitrary threshold.
Remember the monster storms of the infamous 2017 Atlantic hurricane season? Well, hurricanes Marie and Irma wouldn't even make this list, both having sustained winds under 300 km/h at peak intensity.
Of those, the earliest on record up until Super Typhoon Surigae was a storm on June 26, 1966: Super Typhoon Kit. It reached a maximum intensity of 315 km/h as it carved a path northeast of the Philippines.
That means Super Typhoon Surigae achieved this feat a full 70 days earlier, demolishing the record books.
The blistering pace at which Super Typhoon Surigae intensified is also in rarified air, achieving a 165 km/h increase in intensity in just 36 hours. A feat only accomplished by 64 other tropical cyclones.
For a tropical cyclone to meet the definition of rapid intensification, it must intensify at least 55 km/h in 24 hours. Super Typhoon Surigae managed to triple this threshold in just 36 hours.
A true outlier, among a handful of outliers.