Typhoon Wutip strengthened into the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale on Monday. At 5:00 a.m. EST on Monday the center of Typhoon Wutip was located at latitude 14.0°N and longitude 140.1°E which put it about 300 miles (480 km) west-northwest of Guam. Wutip was moving toward the north-northwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 160 m.p.h. (260 km.h) and there were wind gusts to 195 m.p.h. (315 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 929 mb.
Typhoon Wutip completed an eyewall replacement cycle on Sunday and then it rapidly intensified into the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane. The inner eyewall dissipated completely and the outer eyewall contracted around a circular, symmetrical eye. A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the new eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Storms near the core of Typhoon Wutip were generating strong upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the typhoon. Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Wutip.
Winds to typhoon force extended out about 45 miles (75 km) from the center of Typhoon Wutip. Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 160 miles (260 km) from the center. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Typhoon Wutip was 35.0. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 16.6 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 51.6.
Typhoon Wutip will remain in an environment capable of supporting a strong typhoon for another 12 to 24 hours. Wutip will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C. It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear. A band of stronger westerly winds north of the Philippines will approach Typhoon Wutip in another day or so. Those winds will cause the vertical wind shear to increase and the increased shear will cause Wutip to weaken.
Typhoon Wutip will move southwest of a subtropical ridge over the Western North Pacific Ocean. The ridge is forecast to steer Wutip in a west-northwesterly direction. On its forecast track Typhoon Wutip will gradually move farther away from the Northern Marianas.