Jebi, strongest storm on Earth; Norman puts Hawaii on alert
Friday, August 31, 2018, 2:22 PM - The tropical Pacific has come to life, with two powerful cyclones and plenty of ongoing tropical activity to monitor. Hurricane Norman strengthened into a major hurricane on Thursday and as it swirls fiercely in the Pacific Ocean, it puts the Hawaiian Islands on alert once again -- that's after record rainfall amounts upwards of 1200 mm blasted parts of Hawaii with the recent hit from Hurricane Lane.
Meanwhile, over 2000 km to the west, Super Typhoon Jebi has become the strongest cyclone on the planet and so far in 2018, with a destructive path into the heart of Japan by next Tuesday.
An update on the Pacific activity, below.
- Hurricane Norman maintains Category 4 strength on Friday
- 90% chance of another tropical development within next 5 days in eastern Pacific (potential for Olivia)
- Super typhoon Jebi set to hit Japan next week, currently strongest storm on planet
Norman was a tropical storm as of Wednesday and really blew up through the overnight hours in terms of strength. As of Friday, it now has winds sustained at 220 km/h and has been rated as a Category 4 storm (on a scale from 1 to 5) on the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, Norman was about 1200 km southwest of the southern tip of Baja California Friday and is expected to remain a very powerful hurricane during the next few days.
WHERE DOES IT GO NEXT?
A west-southwest motion is forecast on Friday, followed by a turn back toward the west and west-northwest over the weekend and into next week. While a direct hit on Hawaii is unlikely, we're closely watching Norman's track as there is still plenty of time for things to change. This would have devastating impacts if it maintains its current strength potentially causing widespread wind damage and flooding.
This, only weeks after Hurricane Lane dumped record rainfall on the Big Island causing catastrophic flooding. This was due to the angle in which the storm approached the island, causing rainfall to be enhanced by local mountains.
SUPER TYPHOON JEBI
Currently the strongest storm on Earth and of 2018 so far, super typhoon Jebi is a dangerous storm spinning in the western Pacific Ocean. On Friday, Jebi had sustained winds of 278 km/h, with gusts clocking over 330 km/h, making it a powerful Category 5 storm on the Saffir Simpson scale. To put in perspective, its sustained winds within the eye wall are the equivalent of an EF-4 tornado, but on a much larger scale.
Jebi is expected to maintain itself over the weekend and take a northward turn towards Japan for next week, leading to a significant blow for the island. Its current track would put Tokyo in the northeast quadrant of the storm, which is notoriously known to bring the largest storm surge. However, cyclone forecasting is painfully tricky and the storm track will be tweaked accordingly, even hours up to landfall.
CLICK TO WATCH: DOES JEBI COMPARE TO AN EF-5 TORNADO?
Check back often as we continue to monitor this developing forecast.