Former Super Typhoon Noul (known as Dodong in the Philippines) made a direct hit on the far northern Philippines on Sunday with strong, damaging winds, heavy rainfall and large, battering waves. The system has since weakened and is no longer a super typhoon, but it’s still packing a punch as it heads through the northernmost islands of the Philippines en route to Okinawa.

Maximum sustained winds were estimated to be 160 mph at the height of Noul’s strength as the center moved near the far northern tip of Luzon Island Sunday, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

The Philippine weather bureau, PAGASA, says that the eye of Noul made landfall late Sunday local time to the east of Santa Ana, Cagayan, near Pananapan Point on the northeastern tip of Luzon. (The Philippines are 12 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Daylight Time.) About 30,000 people live in Santa Ana, which is about 275 miles northeast of the Philippines capital, Manila.

PAGASA issued its highest-possible alert, “Storm Signal No. 4,” for winds in excess of 106 mph (171 kph) in northern Cagayan province, Batanes province, and the Bubuyan and Calayan island groups in the far northern part of Luzon.

The typhoon moved north of mainland Luzon and into the small northernmost islands of the Philippines Sunday night local time. The Basco Radar Site recorded a sustained east wind of 112 mph (180 kph) at 5 a.m. local time Monday as the eye approached from the south.

Satellite imagery late Sunday showed that land interaction had weakened Noul, and that the powerful typhoon was moving away from the main islands of the Philippines. As of Sunday night U.S. time, Noul is the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane.

After moving away from the Philippines, the center of Noul will move east of Taiwan on a path that will take it near Okinawa early in the new week. Noul is forecast to be the equivalent of a Category 1 or Category 2 hurricane as it passes near or over Okinawa early Tuesday local time. By early Wednesday, it may brush the Tokyo area as a tropical storm with blustery winds and heavy rainfall.

Typhoon Noul brought strong winds and heavy rain to Yap Island this past Tuesday and Wednesday, local time. Winds gusted up to 68 mph at Yap International Airport, and more than 10 inches of rain was reported.

Western Pacific tropical cyclones, known as typhoons when they reach hurricane-equivalent status, can form any time of year.

Owing partially to this year-round calendar of potential development, roughly one-third of all the Earth’s tropical cyclones form in the western Pacific Basin. On average, 25 tropical cyclones form each year in the western Pacific Basin, with 15-16 of those strengthening to Category 1 equivalent typhoons.

Check back with us at and The Weather Channel for the latest on this dangerous Western Pacific tropical cyclone.