Typhoon Goni has been spinning across the Pacific since Aug. 13, when it formed as a mere tropical depression southeast of Guam. Since then the storm tracked through the Northern Mariana islands, missing Guam to the south and Saipan to the north, bringing wind gusts close to 60 mph and dropping over 5 inches of rain as recorded by Anderson Air Force Base.
Then Typhoon Goni exploded from the equivalent of a category 1 with 90 mph winds to a category 4 with 135 mph winds in six hours — luckily, just after it cleared the Northern Marianas. Goni tracked west toward the northern Philippines over the next five days, where it unloaded a torrent of rain late last week and triggered deadly mudslides.
“Landslides killed at least 13 people in the mountain province of Benguet, including four gold miners who were pulled out of a huge mudslide that buried three work camps,” reports weather.com. “A dozen miners were missing and more than 100 policemen and fellow miners dug through the mud amid fading hope that survivors would be found, officials said.”
On Friday, Typhoon Goni took a hard right to the north and weakened significantly. But two days later Goni was a monster yet again — the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane — with sustained winds of 135 mph.
Goni’s eye passed directly over the island of Ishigaki, Japan on Sunday and as it did, the storm unleashed a record-breaking, 159 mph wind gust in Ishigakijima. The previous record wind gust for that weather station was 158 mph in 1977.
As the typhoon passed over Ishigaki, the weather inside Goni’s eye was peaceful and the sky was blue while the thunderstorms in the eye wall raged just a few miles in any direction.
As of Monday morning, Typhoon Goni was a Category 3 with sustained winds of 135 mph — not taking into account wind gusts — tracking north toward the Kyushu island in southern Japan. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center is forecasting Goni to make landfall on the island of Kyushu on Monday afternoon, eastern time, as a Category 3 or strong Category 2. There, Goni could bring sustained winds of around 100 mph, and as much as a foot of rain in the high elevations. The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued storm warnings for heavy rain and flooding for all of Kyushu.