UPDATE 11 AM 11/7/2013: Typhoon Haiyan "blew up" Social Media worldwide in the last day. There have been nearly 100,000 tweets from Twitter containing the word "Typhoon" in the last 12 hours, coming in at a maximum rate of 321 per minute, according to TrendsMap.com data (click to enlarge image below for details).
We may not know the full extent of damage from this storm until the weekend, but the damage shown in this photo looks like tornado damage, and it's no wonder if the winds were 235 mph, that's F4 tornado strength.
BREAKING NEWS 2 PM 11/7/2013: The JTWC has now declared that Super Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) has sustained winds of 170 knots (195 mph) with gusts to 205 knots (235 mph). The satellite images are just incredible:
A satellite researcher I was speaking with says the Dvorak rating of the storm has reached 8.0, the maximum intensity, and this is the highest wind speed ever assigned based on that satellite estimate:
@Accu_Jesse Yes, I think it's safe to say this is the highest wind speed ever assigned based solely on Dvorak.— Brian McNoldy (@BMcNoldy) November 7, 2013
So is this the strongest storm ever recorded on Earth? The answer, as it always is in meteorology is: It depends. A couple of storms in history were measured (not estimated) with higher winds, as high as 180 knots, but storms before 1970 were later disqualified from the rankings. I think it's safe to say that no storm in recorded history has made landfall at this pressure reading. However... these sat wind estimates are below 253 mph, the new wind record set by Typhoon Olivia in 1996, that was confirmed three years ago. Amazingly, that was instrument measured, and it remains to be seen what instruments have measured with Haiyan.
@Accu_Jesse Looking back in the best track data, Ruth '55 (180kts), Ida '58 (175kts), Nancy '61 (180kts), Violet '61 (180kts). 1/2— Brian McNoldy (@BMcNoldy) November 7, 2013
I documented a couple of undular bores on my blog before, but today, it's personal.
A trend I've noticed this Summer on Social Media is a large increase in "lightning strike selfies." Here are a few examples.
The Simpsons Marathon has started on FXX. Today, I look at the number of episodes featuring weather, share some weather-related quotes, and other tidbits:
History was made by Hurricane Iselle this week and I have some of the most impressive images and maps from the storm.
We're monitoring a total of six storms in the Atlantic and Pacific, and some of them are record-breakers.
As is often true this time of year, the tropics are busy, with five notable named storms. Among them are three storms near Hawaii, and Bertha is back for the seventh time.