A storm on Earth
Super Typhoon Maria is sweeping across the Pacific.
The powerful tropical cyclone named Super Typhoon Maria is this week heading westward across the Pacific, posing a threat to the southern islands of Japan, Taiwan, and eastern China.
Over the course of 10-12 July, the storm – the equivalent of a Category 5 cyclone in the Australian classification system, with sustained winds of over 230 kilometres per hour – is expected to wreak havoc on its way to a collision with the Chinese coast somewhere south of Shanghai.
The typhoons that hit the northwestern Pacific have been growing more intense over the last four decades, and scientists expect this trend to continue as ocean temperatures increase under global warming.
The picture and animation shown here were taken by Himawari 8, a Japanese-run geostationary satellite that monitors weather around the clock.