Super Typhoon Haiyan
U.S Marines based in Okinawa board a plane headed to the Philippines to provide humanitarian support, as 130 countries from around the world donate relief goods, funds and personnel to the devastated country. The U.S.S George Washington battle group is also headed to provide support.
In terms of size, Haiyan is the most powerful storm in recorded history to make landfall. In comparison, Hurricane Katrina, a category 5 hurricane had winds of 175 MPH and was 400 miles wide. Super Storm Sandy was a category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 MPH and was 900 miles wide. Haiyan actually went off the scale, with winds of 195 MPH and measuring in at 1,200 miles wide.
Meanwhile, meteorologist and weather journalist Eric Holthaus was awed that Haiyan went off the charts as it approached the Philippines.
He pointed out that the US’ National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had issued a bulletin saying that the storm’s intensity could no longer be tracked using the widely-used Dvorak storm intensity scale.
"DVORAK TECHNIQUE MAKES NO ALLOWANCE FOR AN EYE EMBEDDED SO DEEPLY IN CLOUD TOPS AS COLD AS (THIS)," the bulletin said.
"That means Haiyan (approached) the theoretical maximum intensity for any storm, anywhere. Put another way, the most commonly used satellite-based intensity scale just wasn’t designed to handle a storm this strong," Holthaus explained.
"(I’ve) never seen that before," he added.