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UPDATE: Super Typhoon Hagibis is an equivalent-CAT5 monster

Super typhoon Hagibis has now restrengthened back to equivalent-CAT5 after a transient drop in strength due to an eyewall replacement cycle. And the structure on this system is tremendous!

Super Typhoon Hagibis currently packs sustained 160 mph (257 km/h) winds, almost as powerful as Hurricane Dorian in early September. Latest imagery by the Himawari-8 satellite reveals a truly impressive super typhoon:

Super Typhoon Hagibis late on October 9th local time. Image: Himawari-8 / Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)

See the comparison below between the size of Hagibis’ eye late on October 7th (local) and late on October 9th! Tight pinhole eye on Oct 7th, with Hagibis already a CAT5-equivalent super typhoon. The eye tightened to a diameter of less than 10 km, possibly even <5-6 km before an eyewall replacement cycle took place and Hagibis transiently weakened to equivalent-CAT4. A larger (current) eye formed and Hagibis has restrengthened to equivalent-CAT5.

Exceptional difference Super Typhoon Hagibis’ eye before and after the ERC! Images on October 7th and 9th, respectively. At same scale. Image: Himawari-8 / Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)

Latest model guidance suggests Super Typhoon Hagibis will retain its full power for at least another 12-18 hours, before weakening slightly.

Super Typhoon Hagibis late on October 9th local time. Image: Himawari-8 / Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)

Hagibis is on track for landfall near Tokyo early on October 12th. By then it will have weakened to an equivalent CAT2 or CAT3 system, still a powerful and potentially extremely dangerous tropical cyclone.

Forecast track of Super Typhoon Hagibis until October 14th. Maximum sustained wind speed in knots (nautical miles per hour). Map: Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Stay tuned for further updates!

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