Super Typhoon Mawar is tracking toward Taiwan after hitting Guam on Wednesday.
The super typhoon’s forecast prompted President Joe Biden to declare an emergency on the U.S. territory, Naval Base Guam to send away its ships, and the Andersen Air Force Base to shelter its planes in hangers or send them off the island as well. The storm is now moving through the Philippine Sea with sustained winds of 165 miles per hour, which is the same strength as a Category 5 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Meteorologists have remarked on the strength of the super typhoon, identifying it as the strongest storm on the planet this year and warning the Philippines and Taiwan to continue watching the storm for developments.
“Strongest storm on the planet so far in 2023. In rare territory, Super Typhoon #MAWAR reached peak intensity of 185mph overnight. Wave heights 66+ FEET within the storm. Eyes in #Philippines & #Taiwan should remain close watch,” The Weather Channel meteorologist Scot Pilié tweeted Friday morning.
“A look at the strongest storm on the planet this year,” the National Weather Service in Austin tweeted on Thursday accompanied by a radar image of the robust storm. “Super Typhoon Mawar recently passed through Guam and is now over open waters of the western Pacific Ocean. Current sustained winds are at 180 mph! #TyphoonMawar“.
Newsweek reached out to AccuWeather by email for comment.
Outer bands of precipitation and strong winds from the storm could hit the Philippines this weekend. The storm has entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility and is forecasted to remain in the Philippine Sea through the weekend, but the storm is expected to peak Saturday afternoon before winds begin to lose strength.
By Sunday afternoon, the forecast shows Mawar dropping to a “very strong” typhoon with 130 mph winds and continuing to taper off and slow down through mid-week next week, likely well before it hits Taiwan.
Despite the storm’s obscene strength, Guam escaped with no fatalities, although much of the island lost power and running water. It was the strongest typhoon to hit Guam since 2002, but the Associated Press reported that massive destruction was largely avoided. Photos shared on Twitter showed building damage and fallen trees, wind speed, and flood damage.
Super Typhoon Mawar was the strongest typhoon to hit the island since 2002, when Pongsona walloped the island, inflicting $1 billion in damages.
A typhoon is classified as a severe tropical cyclone occurring in the Northwest Pacific. A hurricane is the term for the same type of storm in the Northeast Pacific and Northern Atlantic. Outside of these regions, the storms are called tropical cyclones.