Typhoon hits Guam

May 24, 2023
stormy coastline

I think thrashing is the word I would use.

Landon Aydlett, warning coordination meteorologist with the Guam National Weather Service, describing Typhoon Mawar. The storm is the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane.

Why It Matters: On Wednesday, Typhoon Mawar hit Guam – an American territory about the size of Chicago. It is the strongest storm to hit the island in decades as heavy rain, winds up to 165 mph, and a dangerous storm surge hit throughout the day. While the overall impact of the storm is still unknown, nearly everyone on the island has lost power.

Something To Consider: Guam is an important U.S. military hub in the Pacific, with the U.S. Department of Defense controlling about a third of the island. About 6,800 U.S. service members are stationed there. Leading up to the storm, the U.S. military sent away ships and remaining personnel are sheltering in place.

Note about Typhoon vs. Hurricanes: Typhoons and a hurricanes are both tropical cyclones, and the only difference between the two is the location in which the storm occurs. Once a storm has winds of 74 mph+, it becomes a hurricane, typhoon, or tropical cyclone. Typhoons, like what is happening in Guam right now, take place in the Northwest Pacific while hurricanes take place in the North Atlantic, central North Pacific, and eastern North Pacific. The more general characterization of tropical cycle is used in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean.

Super Typhoon Mawar passing over Guam as Category 4 storm with strong winds, rain (The Associated Press)

The strongest part of Typhoon Mawar is impacting Guam with heavy rain and damaging winds (CNN)

by Jenna Lee,