8 Fastest Wind Speeds Ever Recorded in the Western Pacific Region

The wind is one of the world’s most powerful and potentially devastating natural phenomena. Unfortunately, it’s a double-edged sword; along with its numerous benefits comes widespread devastation. Extreme winds generated by some of the world’s fiercest storms and hurricanes have wreaked havoc on infrastructure and resulted in countless casualties.

As humans, we are usually helpless in the face of such calamities, but we may learn from them to be better prepared for such disasters in the future. These catastrophic winds are especially common in the western Pacific.

The following are the typhoons reported as having the highest recorded wind speeds in that region.

8. Yutu

Maximum wind speeds: 175 miles per hour / 280 kilometers per hour
Classification: Violent Typhoon
Fatalities: 29
 Year: 2018

Yutuphoto source:  Vox

Typhoon Yutu, known in the Philippines as Super Typhoon Rosita, was a devastating tropical storm that devastated Tinian and Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands and subsequently affected the Philippines. Yutu rapidly intensified through October 23, attaining Category 5 supertyphoon status on October 24.

Yutu hit Tinian and southern Saipan at its peak intensity on October 25, with a low central pressure of 900 millibars (27 in Hg) and 10-minute sustained winds of 215 km/h (130 mph).

The hurricane destroyed several Tinian and Saipan homes and killed two individuals. Strong winds ravaged southern Saipan. Landslides and flooding in the Philippines killed at least 27 people, while high surf in Hong Kong killed one.

Did You Know:

Typhoon Yutu is the strongest typhoon ever documented to have struck the Mariana Islands and is tied for the second-strongest tropical storm to have struck the United States and its unincorporated territories in terms of wind speed and barometric pressure.

7. Yuri

Maximum wind speeds: 140 miles per hour / 220 kilometers per hour
Classification: Violent Typhoon
Fatalities: None
 Year: 1991

Yuriphoto source:  Wikimedia Commons

In terms of the lowest central pressure, Yuri was the strongest tropical cyclone in 1991. Yuri, the nineteenth and last super typhoon of the 1991 Pacific typhoon season, was a tropical disturbance that intensified into a tropical depression in the Philippine Sea on November 22.

After recurving on November 29, Yuri rushed towards the northeast on November 30, deteriorating into a strong tropical storm that evening. A few hundred kilometers east-northeast of Iwo Jima, by the morning of December 1, it had degraded into a tropical storm. Soon after, the extratropical transition was accomplished, and the storm’s remnants remained until December 3.

Although Yuri never made direct landfall on Pohnpei, it caused $3 million in damages, including destroying a radio tower. In addition, the hurricane caused widespread beach erosion and the destruction of between 60 and 350 structures in Guam. Damages there totaled $33 million.

Did You Know:

It is one of history’s most closely examined storms; a study was conducted on its eye.

6. Meranti

Maximum wind speeds: 140 miles per hour / 220 kilometers per hour
Classification: Violent Typhoon
Fatalities: 47
 Year: 2016

Merantiphoto source:  The Weather Channel

In September 2016, Super Typhoon Meranti struck the northern Philippines, Taiwan, and China. The typhoon saw fast intensification on September 11 and 12, which indicates that the maximum sustained winds increased by at least 30 knots (about 35 mph) in less than 24 hours.

In the 24 hours before September 12 at 11 a.m. EDT, Meranti’s winds increased from 85 mph to 180 mph, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). During that period, wind speeds increased by 95 mph, more than double the requirement for fast intensification.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency assessed Meranti’s pressure to be 890 millibars on September 13. Only two storms in the Atlantic have had lower pressures (Wilma and Gilbert).

Did You Know:

The storm was responsible for 4.79 billion dollars worth of damage.

5. Surigae

Maximum wind speeds: 161 miles per hour / 260 kilometers per hour
Classification: Violent Typhoon
Fatalities: 10
 Year: 2021

Surigaephoto source: Severe Weather Europe

Surigae started as a low-pressure region south of the Micronesian island of Woleai, which on April 12 formed into a tropical depression. At 18:00 UTC that day, it intensified into a tropical storm and was designated by the JMA as Surigae.

On April 13, due to the development of an eye and strengthening winds, the JMA upgraded the system to a severe tropical storm. The storm progressively intensified, and by the evening of April 15, Surigae had become a typhoon.

The Palauan islands of Koror and Kayangel and the Federated States of Micronesia’s Yap were placed on watch and warned when Surigae was named. The storm caused $4.85 million in damages in Palau by severing electricity and water lines and damaging infrastructure.

As the typhoon approached the Philippines, warnings were issued for portions of the country, and eastern Visayas districts were evacuated.

Did You Know:

In addition to producing at least 272.8 million in damages in the Philippines, the storm killed at least ten people and left eight more missings.

4. Bess

Maximum wind speeds: 160 miles per hour / 260 kilometers per hour
Classification: Violent Typhoon
Fatalities: 95
 Year: 1982

Bessphoto source:  Wikipedia

Tropical Storm Bess hit Honshu on August 1, 1982. Although Bess had been classified as a super typhoon before impact, the storm significantly weakened before landfall. Despite this, Bess provided severe rainfall to Japanpopulatedpopulous areas.

A high 24-hour rainfall of 36 inches (922 mm) was reported on Mount Hidegadake in Nara Province. About $2.3 billion in damages and 95 lives were lost during Bess’s rampage. After the storm, 2,100 police officers and firefighters sifted through the wreckage to rescue victims.

Did You Know:

Bess was Japan’s worst typhoon since Tip in 1979. Following the season’s conclusion, the name Bess was removed from the list of available options.

3. Megi

Maximum wind speeds: 185 miles per hour / 295 kilometers per hour
Classification: Violent Typhoon
Fatalities: 31
 Year: 2010

Megiphoto source:  BBC

On October 18, 2010, Typhoon Megi neared the northern Isabela Province of the Philippines and landed there. Megi was the fifteenth tropical storm and seventh typhoon of the season in the western Pacific Ocean. It measured more than 600 kilometers (370 miles) in width.

The storm reached the “super typhoon” classification on October 16 and reached a peak wind speed of around 178 miles per hour on October 17 while still over the Pacific Ocean. After that, however, Megi weakened as it went ashore on October 18 around 11:30 a.m. and passed the Sierra Madre Mountains.

At least 31 people were killed, and $255.1 million in damage was incurred in Luzon due to Typhoon Megi in 2010, placing it among the top twenty most expensive typhoons in the Philippines.

After moving to the South China Sea, the outflow of Typhoon Megi and a weather front produced heavy rains, inflicted $42.2 million in damages, and claimed the lives of 38 people in Yilan, Taiwan, making Megi the deadliest typhoon of the 2010s in Taiwan.

Megi also inflicted $411.7 million in damages over Fujian, China, although the storm did not claim any lives in the region.

Did You Know:

The worldwide name of the storm is Megi, which in Korean means “catfish.”

2. Tip

Maximum wind speeds: 190 miles per hour / 305 kilometers per hour
Classification: Violent Typhoon
Fatalities: 86
 Year: 1979

Tipphoto source:  Wikipedia

Beginning in October 1979, a powerful monsoon trough extended from the Philippines to the Marshall Islands in the western Pacific Ocean. Typhoon Tip, the biggest and most powerful tropical storm ever recorded, formed from this.

Tip originated as a disturbance within the monsoon trough near Pohnpei, Micronesia, on October 4. Initially, Tropical Storm Roger to the northwest impeded the formation and motion of Tip, yet once the storm went more north, Tip was allowed to intensify.

On October 12, after crossing Guam, Tip swiftly developed, reaching peak sustained winds of 305 km/h (190 mph). The tip was the biggest tropical cyclone ever recorded, with a wind diameter of 2,220 kilometers at its peak strength (1,380 mi).

Tip progressively weakened as it traveled west-northwestward and moved to the northeast in reaction to an incoming trough. The hurricane produced extensive floods and 42 deaths; offshore shipwrecks left 44 people dead or missing.

Did You Know:

Typhoon Tip was one of the tropical cyclones observed most attentively. Forty times, U.S. Air Force Reconnaissance aircraft flew into the storm and provided sixty storm repairs.

1. Typhoon Haiyan

Maximum wind speeds: 195 miles per hour / 315 kilometers per hour
Classification: Violent Typhoon
Fatalities: 6,352 confirmed deaths, 1,771 still missing
 Year: 2013

Typhoon Haiyanphoto source:  Peace Winds America

With a maximum wind speed of 195 miles per hour, Typhoon Haiyan had the fastest wind speed of any storm in the Western Pacific region. On November 8, 2013, Haiyan, also known as Super Typhoon Yolanda, landed in the Philippines as a Category 5 storm.

It ravaged the island chain of the Visayas, the country’s core heartland and home to 17 million people. Haiyan was the strongest storm of 2013 and one of the strongest typhoons in history.

The enormous storm surge was considerably more devastating. The hurricane wreaked terrible devastation in the Visayas, notably on the islands of Samar and Leyte. According to UN authorities, around 11 million people were affected, and many were homeless. In addition, a large number of individuals remain missing as a result of this storm.

Did You Know:

When Haiyan reached the Philippines, it sustained winds of 190 to 195 mph, making it the strongest typhoon ever to land.

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