Speed Reads

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Super Typhoon Vongfong is the strongest cyclone of 2014

As it continues to gather strength over the Western Pacific, Vongfong has become the most powerful super typhoon of 2014.

The U.S. Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii reports that Vongfong reached sustained winds of 155 mph and gusts of up to 190 mph on Tuesday. It's currently a Category 4, but could grow into a Category 5 by Wednesday as it travels over warm water; a storm becomes a super typhoon when winds reach 150 mph, the equivalent of a Category 4 or 5 hurricane. Vongfong is expected to turn and head north by Thursday and weaken before it gets to Japan.

This is the fifth super typhoon of the year in the Pacific. There were also five super typhoons in 2012 and 2013, including the intense Super Typhoon Haiyan, which killed more than 6,000 people and is one of the strongest tropical cyclones on record.