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Cyclone Season Already?

We’ve seen wild winter weather all over the West Coast in the last few weeks. But a cyclone? Already?

“Typhoon Wutip is currently gathering strength just south of Guam, making it the first typhoon of 2019 and just the second one on record to spin up in this part of the Pacific in February,” according to Gizmodo, which was quoting data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“While Wutip’s stats aren’t as exceptional as some of the other monster typhoons that can roar across this part of the Pacific, its timing is certainly weird,” Gizmodo said. “Only one other typhoon has ever been recorded this close to Guam in February, according to NOAA.”
© 2019 Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies

On Friday, Wutip had winds of 120 mph, which is the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane. Wave heights are said to be in the 40-ft range.

“All this puts Guam in a weird spot of having to prepare for possible typhoon impacts in what is essentially the off-season,” Gizmodo continued. “It currently sits on the outer edge of the cone of probability for where the storm could track with the southwest tip of the island most at-risk. But even if Guam doesn’t get a direct hit, the storm’s winds and rains could still lash the island. Tropical storm-force winds (that is, winds in excess of 39 mph) currently extend 184 miles to the northeast of the storm’s core and hurricane-force winds extend 46 miles outward. Given Wutip’s northward turn and that the storm is already less than 160 miles from Guam’s shores, it is all but certain the island will feel the storm’s effects in some form.”

1 Comment

  1. William Crowley 5 years ago

    It is my understanding that, in the Northern Hemisphere, hurricanes are traditionally given names starting at the top of the alphabet at season’s start, and progressing toward “Z” as the season wears on. Do they do the opposite with cyclones in the Southern Hemisphere? I suppose that would be logical.

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