Super Typhoon Yutu, packing sustained winds of 180 miles an hour and likely producing gusts at or above 200 MPH is hammering the Northern Mariana Islands. It is the strongest storm to form on Earth so far in 2018 and is hitting Tinian, Saipan and Rota. It is the most powerful storm ever to stirike the Northern Marianas and is among the strongest tropical cyclones recorded in modern times. It is similar in strength to Super Typhoon Haiyan which killed thousands of people in the city of Tacloban in the Philippines in 2013. Because the storm is moving through and area with light upper level winds it is traveling slowly. Because it is over an area of extremely warm water, it could continue to intensify.
Its intensity is approaching that of 1979’s Super Typhoon Tip, which delivered wind gusts of 190 miles an hour and sustained winds of 180. Super Typhoon Tip was much larger at its peak, and, had it been over the United States, would have covered the entire eastern half of the country. Yutu may surpass Tip in intensity, but it is unlikely, given its location, to equal it in size.