WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A powerful Pacific typhoon that intensified into the Northern Hemisphere’s strongest storm of the year but has since lost some of its punch could still threaten Japan by this weekend.
Typhoon Noru on Tuesday was packing maximum sustained winds of 204 kilometers (127 miles) per hour with gusts of up to 250 kilometers (155 miles) per hour, according to the U.S. military’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
That makes it the equivalent of a high Category 3 or low Category 4 cyclone. The Weather Channel said Noru reached Category 5 at its peak Monday and was the Northern Hemisphere’s strongest storm of 2017.
The Weather Channel said Noru should move slowly northwestward and could make landfall in Japan by this weekend, although it was still too early to be certain that would occur.
The typhoon strengthened from a tropical storm with winds of 113 kilometers (70 miles) per hour to a super typhoon with winds of 257 kilometers (160 miles) per hour in a period of just 18 hours, according to The Weather Channel.
The warning center forecast the storm would continue to ease somewhat with winds dropping to 185 kilometers (115 miles) per hour over the next few days.