Recalling Wutip, February's first Category 5 typhoon

Wutip sustained maximum winds of 270 km/h.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


Typhoon Wutip, known in the Philippines as Tropical Depression Betty, is the first Category 5-equivalent typhoon recorded in February.

It all started on Feb. 16th, when a low-pressure formed south of the Marshall Islands. It continued to develop as it moved westward. On the 18th, the system officially turned into a tropical depression.

By the 20th, the depression strengthened into a tropical storm and received the name Wutip from the Japan Meteorological Agency. The next day, Wutip intensified into a typhoon.

Wutip passed over the Federated States of Micronesia from Feb 19–22 as a Category 2.

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Over the next three days, Wutip continued to intensify until it reached its first peak on Feb. 23rd. As a Category 5-equivalent super typhoon, it passed over the southwest of Guam. It sustained winds of 195 km/h for at least 10 minutes, and winds of 270 km/h for at least a minute.

On Feb. 25th, Wutip reached its second peak with winds of 185 km/h for at least 10 minutes, and winds of 260 km/h for at least one minute.

Wutip surpassed Typhoon Higos from 2015 as the strongest Feb. cyclone on record.

Overall, Wutip caused at least US$3.3 million in damages in Guam and Micronesia and destroyed aroaund 160 houses in Gaum.

To learn more about Typhoon Wutip, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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Thumbnail courtesy of Wikipedia