Typhoon Haiyan Bears Down on Philippines, Forecasters Warn Storm Could Be Largest Ever Recorded

The biggest storms of this year and one of the most powerful storms ever to be recorded is bearing down on the Philippines and is expected to make landfall sometime Friday.

Typhoon Haiyan was last recorded Thursday with sustained winds of 160 mph and gusts as strong as 190 mph making it one of the strongest storms ever recorded. The typhoon is equivalent to an extremely powerful category 5 hurricane.

"Based on satellite imagery, [Haiyan's] the strongest storm I've seen since Bopha (2012)," said Ryan Maue, a meteorologist with WeatherBell Analytics.

The storm is known as Yolanda in the Philippines and is expected to still be an extremely powerful storm with sustained winds of 149 mph when it comes ashore sometime Friday morning in the region of Eastern Visayas.

The region in the storm's path is still reeling from an earthquake that killed more than 150 people a few weeks ago. Residents are still recovering from heavy rain fall from a previous tropical depression earlier this week.

"Rain totals along the path of Haiyan could top 200 mm (8 inches)," according to reports from AccuWeather. "Mudslides are a serious concern in the higher terrain, where localized totals of 250 to 300 mm (10 to 12 inches) are not out of the question."

Residents in the central region of the country are not the only ones in danger. The storm is expected to produce a tremendous surge of around 10 feet just north of the eye, along the eastern coast of southern Luzon and Samar islands.

It is possible that Haiyan will surpass typhoon Bopha, whose peak winds reached 175 mph and led to hundreds of deaths in December 2012.

Maue also added that it is entirely possible that Haiyan's maximum sustained winds have or will reach 180 mph.

"[The] system has developed to almost max intensity for a cyclone," read a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency bulletin.