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Record-breaking Typhoon Surigae scrapes Philippines

This April, 17, 2021 satellite image released NASA shows typhoon Surigae approaching...
This April, 17, 2021 satellite image released NASA shows typhoon Surigae approaching Philippines. The approaching typhoon has prompted the evacuation of more than 100,000 people as a precaution in the Philippines, although the unusual summer storm is not expected to blow into land. (NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) via AP)(AP)
Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 9:39 AM EDT
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PHILIPPINES (WHSV) - All is quiet for those of us in the North Atlantic basin when it comes to tropical storms and hurricanes, as it typically is for this time of year. Officially, hurricane season for our part of the world doesn’t begin until June 1st. However, things aren’t so quiet in the Western Pacific.

As of Tuesday morning, Super Typhoon Surigae sits approximately 290 nautical miles ENE of the city of Manila in the Philippines, churning just offshore with a whopping sustained 115 knots (approximately 132 mph), with gusts up to 140 knots (161 mph) inside the eye wall. Officially, this puts Surigae as a Category-4 super typhoon. The good news is that landfall of the eye or eye wall is not expected in the next several days, as the storm will slowly move north-northwestward and eventually eastward back out to sea. The bad news is that one person has already been killed, another is missing, and 100,000 residents have been evacuated as Surigae will continue to scrape along the northern coastlines of the Philippines in the next two days.

Typhoon Surigae is forecasted to scrape the Philippines before going back to sea
Typhoon Surigae is forecasted to scrape the Philippines before going back to sea(JTWC)

Typhoon Surigae made headlines over the weekend, away from land, when it intensified from a Category-1 typhoon on Friday to a high-end major Category-5 super typhoon on Saturday, just one day later. By doing so, Typhoon Surigae has become the earliest typhoon/hurricane to reach the highest level of a Category 5 in any year, and is now the strongest recorded storm ever in the month of April (or January, February, March, or May while we’re at it).

Incredibly, Surigae has avoided direct landfall as it has stayed just offshore of the Philippines when it looked as though it was inevitable, which likely avoided the worst-case scenario. That being said, it hasn’t come without its challenges and dangers. Incredible amounts of rainfall have decimated areas of the Philippines, triggering mudslides and major flooding across the region. Strong winds have battered the coastlines, churning the seas and adding to the flooding. This will continue in the next two days as Surigae stays dangerously close to the island nation, slowly moving up the coast, but things should improve by the weekend as the storm will eventually weaken and move away from land.

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