Super typhoon 'Soudelor' is the world's most powerful storm this year

Super Typhoon Soudelor developed into 2015’s most powerful storm on Tuesday, as the tropical cyclone bears down on Japan and China.

Meteorologists expect the category 5 cyclone will weaken slightly as it hits Japan’s far southwest Ryukyu Islands on Friday night, before heading to Taiwan and the eastern Chinese provinces of Fujian, Zhejiang and Guangdong on Saturday.

Photo: http://earth.nullschool.net/

It has already left its toll on the Northern Marianas, which declared a state of disaster and significant emergency.

Other regions expected to feel the impact of Soudelor include the Philippines and Hong Kong, which could get strong winds and locally flooding rain.

Yesterday the Japan Meteorological Agency estimated Soudelor’s central pressure was 900 millibars – strongest recording seen in 2015.

NASA has been keeping an eye on the weather system from space.

NASA’s Goddard space flight recorded images of the cyclone from the International Space Station yesterday using its Aqua satellite and RapidScat instrument.

NASA said sustained winds at that time of the photos were approximately 250km/h, waves in the area were 14.6 meters and the eye of the storm was more than 22 kilometres-wide.

Here’s one of the photos:

On Aug. 4, 2015, at 4:10 UTC (12:10 a.m. EDT) the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this visible-light image of Super typhoon Soudelor.
Credits: NASA Goddard’s MODIS Rapid Response Team.

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