A super typhoon that formed in the Western Pacific over the November first weekend is being named the strongest storm of the year. Typhoon Nuri, whose winds were initially recorded near 290 kps (180 mph), has weakened over the past several days.
Although expected to hover east of Japan, it is making its way northeast into the Pacific Ocean where it’s expected to intercept with a trough that will see the storm make its way along the Bering Strait and giving it the potential to become the strongest regional storm in history.
The sheer size and magnitude of the storm is expected to influence the orientation of the jet stream over the Northern Hemisphere, which will then result in an extreme weather pattern across much of North America.
Parts of Alaska have already experienced near hurricane-strength winds as Typhoon Nuri moved through the remote Aleutian Islands. Sustained winds of 70 mph with guests of 96 mph were recorded. Residents have been forced to lock themselves indoors to wait out the passing storm. The area is also home to the US Military’s Eareckson Air Station. Don Llweellyn, acting manager, says people can see light poles waving in the high winds.
Public Affairs officer for the Alaskan command, Tommie Baker, said that the winds have since died down, allowing people to go outside to check for damage. “A couple of the buildings had some minor damage, but there were no injuries,” he said. “They are going to let it pass through a little bit more and (then) go out and do a full island assessment.”
National Weather Service, Jason Ahsenmacher, says that weakening of the storm is going to be a very slow process.
Nuri is responsible for pushing unseasonably cold air into parts of Canada and the US. It’s been anticipated that Nuri will freeze many of the lower 48 states during the week, bringing with it snow and daytime high temperatures about 20 degrees below normal.
Chicago’s National Weather Service meteorologist, Gino Izzi, notes that winter will definitely be arriving early this year. He says, “We’ve been above normal most of the fall, so this is our first shot going the other way being below normal. Basically, this is a wakeup call that this is November and it can get pretty cold this time of year. Hopefully we don’t stay that cold very long.”