OCTOBER 1979 –TIP STRONGEST AND MOST MASSIVE TYPHOON EVER
On early October 1979, a storm churning over the Western Pacific Ocean grew to epic proportions for both intensity and size; from this, the largest and most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded, Typhoon Tip, emerged.
Tip developed out of a disturbance in the monsoon trough on October 4, near Pohnpei in Micronesia. The typhoon continued to strengthen over the open waters of the Western Pacific until reaching peak intensity on 12 October, about 837 km (520 mi) north-northwest of Guam. Tip reached peak winds of 305 km/h (190 mph) and a worldwide record-low sea-level pressure of 870 mbar (870.0 hPa; 25.69 inHg) on October 12. At its peak strength, it was also the largest tropical cyclone on record with a diameter of 2,220 km (1,380 mi). Its eye was 15 km (9.3 mi) wide. A total of 40 U.S. Air Force aircraft reconnaissance missions flew into Typhoon Tip, making it one of the most closely monitored tropical cyclones.
Typhoon Tip weakened after peaking with winds of 233 km/h (145 mph). It maintained this intensity for several days as it continued moving in a west-northwest direction. The typhoon then weakened further, shrank in size, and then curved toward the northeast on 17 October. A greatly weakened Typhoon Tip made landfall on Honshu, the largest of the Japanese Islands, on 19 October with winds of 129 km/h (80 mph). The storm quickly moved over the island and rapidly deteriorated. It became extratropical over northern Honshu just hours after landfall and was last observed near the Aleutian Islands some time around 22 October.
Extensive flooding destroyed more than 20,000 homes while hundreds of mudslides occurred. Tip claimed the lives of 86 people.
(Source: NOAA – Image: NASA)
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