Hey, Megi! How Low Can You Go?

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Will Super Typhoon Megi go into the record books as the cyclone with the lowest pressure ever recorded? It’s close, but it’s not likely. As Megi continues moving northwest toward the coastline of China (landfall expected near Hong Kong on Saturday) it will continue to weaken as it moves away from the warmer waters that allowed it to become so strong.

Super Typhoon Megi makes its way to the coast of China. Image: ImpactWeather Gmaps 2.0.

What’s the current pressure? Tough to say with precise accuracy, though the last recorded reading was 893 millibars. Unlike Atlantic/Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico storms where aircraft regularly investigate and drop instruments to record pressure (among many other things), Pacific storms are investigated less often and pressure readings are therefore more infrequent.

What is the lowest storm pressure ever recorded? That would be Typhoon Tip from 1979 with a pressure reading of 870mbs. Three other storms recorded readings in the 870s (Nora, June, Ida), while nine storms have had pressures in the 880s — including Super Typhoon Megi with its lowest reading of 885 millibars. Interestingly, there has not been a storm in the 870s since 1979’s Tip, and the most recent 880s storm prior to Megi was Hurricane Wilma in 2005.

Super Typhoon Megi is not alone in the Eastern Hemisphere. In the northeastern Bay of Bengal is Cyclone 04B. East of the Philippines is Tropical Disturbance 98W. East of there, an area of disturbed weather may form into a tropical cyclone in the near future. Image: ImpactWeather Gmaps 2.0.

You can read more about Super Typhoon Megi here, and ImpactWeather’s last blog about a typhoon moving to the China coast can be read here. More about ImpactWeather’s Gmaps Interactive Mapping System can be found here.

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