Typhoon Meranti is a scary, powerful storm. And it’s about to crash into Taiwan.
A Category-5 tropical cyclone with sustained winds as fast as 185 miles-per-hour and gusts reaching 225 mph, Meranti poses a serious danger to the island nation and Southeastern China. It’s expected to make landfall Thursday.
Meranti’s sustained winds put it on a short list of the fastest typhoons and hurricanes ever recorded.
(“Typhoon” and “hurricane” are two names for the same thing: a tropical cyclone. Broadly speaking, cyclones around the Americas get called hurricanes, and cyclones around Asia get called typhoons.)
Just six named storms ever have reached 185 mph sustained winds: Hurricanes Wilma (2005), Linda (1997), and Gilbert (1988), and Typhoons Haiyan (2013) and Tip (1979). A seventh unnamed Atlantic hurricane in 1935 reached similar speeds.
Here’s what Meranti looks like from space:
And the path it’s projected to take: