As Typhoon Jelawat slams into the main islands of Japan today, the tropical cyclone season passes its peak. Tropical cyclones begin as low pressure builds beneath a storm over warm ocean water. Known as Hurricanes in the west, and typhoons in Asia, they grow as they move, sucking more warm air into the low pressure of the center. What results is a fierce giant capable of unleashing nature’s full fury, with sustained winds of at least 74 mph for category 1 storms. While only one major Hurricane, Isaac, struck the US this season so far, several powerful storms have ravaged Asia, with the east coast of China absorbing blows from three typhoons in one week. Gathered here are images of storms from the current cyclone season. — Lane Turner (34 photos total)

Pieces of polystyrene blow over a coastal road as typhoon Sanba hits Yeosu, South Korea on September 17, 2012. (Yonhap/AFP/GettyImages)

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