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Typhoon Surigae Churns Near the Philippines

April 19, 2021

The Himawari-8 satellite, operated by our partners at the Japan Meteorological Agency, is closely monitoring Typhoon Surigae, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Bising. The above GeoColor imagery, captured as the sun rose on April 19, shows the storm approximately 370 miles East of the Philippines.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds rapidly intensified from 90 mph (equivalent to a Category-1 Atlantic hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale ) on Friday, April 16 to an estimated 180 mph 24 hours later, equivalent to a Category-5 hurricane. Rapid intensification occurs when a tropical cyclone strengthens at least 30 kts (about 35 mph) in a 24-hour period. By Saturday evening, sustained winds peaked at 190 mph before it weakened slightly on Sunday, April 18.

Surigae is not only the first typhoon of the season in the West Pacific, but also became the year’s first Super Typhoon, which has wind speeds of at least 150 mph. It set a record for the strongest tropical cyclone during the month of April anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere, surpassing Typhoon Maysak in 2015, among several others that had maximum sustained winds of 173 mph.

This image was captured by the Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI) on Japan’s Himawari-8 satellite. This satellite, the first unit of the Japan Meteorological Agency's (JMA) third-generation of geostationary satellites, provides visible light and infrared images of the Asia-Pacific region. Himawari's data are vital for global geostationary coverage, which is why NOAA and JMA have agreed to mutual back-up arrangements for their geostationary systems.