The Super Typhoon known as Maysak has strengthened quite quickly, and is now the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, according to an advisory sent out by the National Weather Service in Guam.
The sustained winds of this storm have topped out thus far at 160 mph, which makes Maysak the third only super typhoon with winds that strong since records began in the 1940s. This cell is also only the fifth super typhoon on record prior to April 1st, according to a senior meteorologist. A western Pacific tropical cyclone is named a “super typhoon” when the maximum sustained winds reach 150 mph or higher.
The eyewall of this storm is more than likely hitting Fais Island in the Yap state, and will soon be passing through the atoll of Ulithi. There have been many typhoon warnings posted by the National Weather Service in Guam for parts of Yap state, including the islands of Fais, Ulithi, and Yap.
The track of this storm is critical in determining how severe the impacts will be. If this storm continues on its current path, it will pass north of the most populated Yap Island. Also, the eyewall, where the strongest winds usually occur, could possibly miss the most populated Yap Islands to the north.
Winds of up to 75 mph are possible as this storm makes its way to the Yap islands on Wednesday morning. The coast could become inundated up to 4-6 feet along the shorelines of the Yap islands, and flooding is also likely in the low-lying areas and in areas where there is poor drainage.
Maysak’s center will not reach Guam, so this will limit the impacts to some rain and high surf in the east, southeast, or southwest facing beaches. It is still too early to tell whether or not this cell will negatively impact the Philippines.
The biggest concern with this system is whether or not the upper high-level pressure will change the track of the storm, steering it towards the Philippines. If this occurs, the threat for northern or central Philippines will be over the weekend.
Maysak first devastated Chuuk, a group of Micronesian islands. Gusts of wind were measured as high as 71 mph at the Chuuk International Airport. About 95 percent of the tin houses in Chuuk were destroyed by Maysak, and communications were down in the islands on Satuday.
Maysak is the third typhoon of 2015, a record early start to the year in the Western Pacific. The western Pacific Ocean tropical cyclones (known as typhoons) can occur at any time of the year, but they usually hit a low in February and early March.