(CNN) -- The strongest storm on the planet so far this year is rumbling across the Western Pacific near Taiwan and the Philippines, prompting authorities to issue warnings to residents in vulnerable areas.
Packing winds as strong as 260 kilometers per hour (162 mph) on Friday, Super Typhoon Usagi is forecast to plow through the Luzon Strait that lies between Taiwan and the Philippines on Saturday.
The storm is then expected to weaken to become a severe typhoon as it heads northwest toward the South China coast, where it is predicted to make landfall near the densely populated city of Hong Kong on Sunday.
Usagi's current wind strength makes it equivalent in power to a Category 5 hurricane. The overall storm system measures more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) across.
"It's an incredible storm system," said Pedram Javaheri, a meteorologist for CNN International. As the typhoon moves across the sea, it is estimated to be generating waves as high as about 15 meters (50 feet).
(Note that the Weather Channel graphics that I placed in my opening post appear to be updating a few times a day.)