Jeff Masters rushed to press that Yolanda had the highest wind speeds ever at landfall, before there was any actual surface data available. It turned out that he exaggerated the wind speeds by more than 30%.
His claimed basis was satellite approximations made at altitude hours earlier over open water. Wind speeds are always going to be higher above the surface -because there is less friction. And of course we don’t have any comparable data for storms like Camille in 1969.
The only apples to apples comparison we can make is that Camille had surface measurements in excess of 190 MPH, and Yolanda was below 150 MPH.
So why did Masters do it? The only way to blame this storm on global warming was to make it a record. Once the legend was created, it propagated and will stay out there for at least a year before the dust settles.