The most powerful storm of 2014 swirled in the western Pacific toward Japan early Wednesday. The Weather Channel reported that the eye of Super Typhoon Vongfong was around 600 miles south-southeast of Kadena Air Base on Okinawa, moving west-northwest at about 8 mph, as of 5 a.m. ET on Wednesday. Its maximum sustained winds were estimated at 165 mph.
Satellite estimates from the Japan Meteorological Agency suggested the massive storm's central pressure dropped to 900 millibars on Tuesday, making it the most intense storm of any kind this year, according to The Weather Channel. "It's safe to say Vongfong is the strongest storm on Earth since Haiyan last year," said Michael Lowry, storm specialist for The Weather Channel. Vongfong is expected to sharply turn and head north by Thursday, weakening before it nears Japan. The storm is following a similar track to Typhoon Phanfone, which lashed central and eastern Japan with fierce winds and torrential rain last week.