Part 2 of 2:
While the eyes of the USA and much of the sane world are focused intently on the elections, the world is blissfully ignorant of the massive Superstorm Goni that has just hit the Philippines.
Goni has maximum sustained winds estimated at 195 mph (170 knots, 315 km/hr) with gusts exceeding 235 mph (295 knots, 380 km/hr).
The minimum central pressure in the eye reached a staggeringly low 876 mbar. Normal atmospheric pressure at the surface is 1013 mbar, so this enormous drop gives rise to a very large pressure gradient which drives the high winds.
Philippine Sea temperatures are in the 31 to 32 C range, representing an anomaly of 2 to 3 C warmer than normal for this time of year, and Ocean Heat Content above 150 means that not only is the surface sauna-like but the heat extends downward into the depths. Basically, rocket fuel like ocean conditions to feed the storm. Driven inexorably worse by climate change.
Also, wind changes in direction with altitude, known as wind shear was minimal, so there was no hope of shear induced chopping off for the storm tops.
Essentially, conditions were ideal for rapid storm intensification over 48 hours from 35 knots to 155 knots.
Damage in the Philippines, including the capital Manila will be extremely severe. The storm had a direct hit on a western Philippine island with a population of 250,000 people, and that will have unbelievable catastrophic damage