As expected, CAT5 Super Typhoon Yutu made landfall over northern Marianas, passing directly over Tinian island and partially over Saipan.

Super Typhoon Yutu over Tinian island, Marianas. October 23, 15:51 UTC. NOAA-20. Image: NOAA / CIMSS.

At landfall Yutu was extremely powerful, with sustained winds of 178 mph (286 km/h) and gusts up to 219 mph (352 km/h) and a central pressure likely slightly below 900 mbar – making it one of the most powerful CAT5s this season, possibly the strongest. It has also possibly become the second-strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in the United States or one of its territories, second only to 1935 Labor Day hurricane*.

A new day has arrived over the western Pacific now and satellite presentation is simply stunning! Notice a very intense eyewall convection and completely symmetrical struture of this monster typhoon!

We will update as reports from the Marianas become available!

Typhoon Yutu rapidly strengthens from Category 1 to 4 in only 24 hours, now Category 5, tracking for landfall in the Marianas Islands

* – to be confirmed.