In just a day’s time, Super Typhoon Goni transformed from an ordinary Pacific cyclone into the year’s most intense storm on the planet. The typhoon is on a beeline for the Philippines, where it is expected to roar ashore Sunday.Goni’s explosive intensification occurred over the warm waters in the western Pacific Ocean. Its peak winds catapulted from just shy of 100 mph to nearly 180 mph between Thursday and Friday night local time. By Saturday morning, its winds were up to almost 185 mph.

Once its peak winds surpassed 150 mph, it qualified as a “super typhoon,” which is equivalent to a strong Category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic. But it grew even more intense, comparable to a strong Category 5. Goni has emerged as the strongest storm on Earth since Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and the most intense in the western Pacific since Super Typhoon Meranti in 2016. Both Dorian and Meranti also saw their winds peak at around 185 mph.