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!
The southern half of Saipan, including the airport is in the Typhoon #Yutu eye and all of Tinian. 1530UTC Getting unconfirmed reports of a fire at the Tinian Power Plant & concrete health center about to collapse. pic.twitter.com/WLCrJpNR4N
— Jim Edds (@ExtremeStorms) 24 October 2018
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.