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Typhoon Choi-Wan (15W) Weakens Slightly but Still Category 5 Storm

September 18th, 2009 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Super Typhoon Choi-Wan - September 18th, 2009

Super Typhoon Choi-Wan - September 18th, 2009

Enhanced image - September 18th, 2009

Enhanced image

Position of TY 15W - September 18th, 2009

Position of TY 15W

Track of Choi-Wan - September 18th, 2009 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of Choi-Wan

Typhoon Choi-Wan (15W), located approximately 120 nautical miles west-northwest of Iwo-To, Japan, has crested the western edge of the steering subtropical ridge axis and tracked north-northeastward at 11 knots over the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height is 41 feet.

The strongest storm on the planet has weakened a little since the last time it was observed (click here for previous articles). However, it is still a Category 5 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson classification scale, which less than 1% off all hurricanes reach.

As of today, winds speeds are down to 135 knots or 156 mph, although gusts are still measured up to 180 mph. Choi-wan is expected to weaken and turn extratropical over colder water in the next three days.

In contrast to the lull in the Atlantic basin, this storm in the Pacific Ocean had peaked with winds of 160 mph, gusting over 190 mph. Hurricane force winds extended 120 miles away from the center eye, while tropical storm force winds extended 280 miles from the center eye. The highly active and intensive storms in the western Pacific along with the relatively lull Atlantic season are common during an El Nino year, reports the Examiner.

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