Terra and Aqua satellites see two intensifying northwestern Pacific tropical cyclones

Aug 21, 2012
MODIS images from NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites on Aug. 21, 2012, at 04:45 UTC were combined to provide a complete picture of the two tropical troublemakers in the northwestern Pacific: Typhoon Tembin and Tropical Storm Bolaven. Credit: NASA MODIS Rapid Response Team

There's double trouble in the northwestern Pacific Ocean in the form of Typhoon Tembin and Tropical Storm Bolaven. NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites teamed up to provide a look at both storms in one view.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument flies onboard NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites and the MODIS instrument on each captured a when both satellites flew over them on August 21 after midnight (Eastern Daylight Time). The two MODIS images which featured Bolaven and Tembin over the Philippine Sea were combined by NASA's MODIS at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. to paint the entire tropical picture in the northwestern Pacific Ocean on August 21.

Typhoon Tembin Tracking to Taiwan

Typhoon Tembin is also known as Typhoon Igme in the Philippines, where it is still the cause for active warnings on Aug. 21. Public storm warning signal #1 remains in effect for the Batanes group of islands on Aug. 21. At 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) on Aug. 21, Typhoon Tembin had near 110 knots (126.6 mph/203.7 kmh). Typhoon-force winds extended out to 30 nautical miles (34.5 miles/55.5 km) from the center, while tropical-storm-force winds extended out 100 nautical miles (115 miles/185 km) from the center, making Tembin over 200 nautical miles (230 miles/370 km) wide.

Tembin was located about 325 nautical miles (374 miles/602 km) southeast of Taipei, Taiwan, near 21.0 North latitude and 125.4 East longitude. Although Tembin is currently moving to the north-northeast, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasts Tembin to intensify and take a western turn and head across Taiwan on Thursday, Aug. 23. After crossing Taiwan, Tembin is forecast to make a second landfall east of Hong Kong. A Sea Warning and Typhoon Warning is already in effect for Taiwan, as heavy rain and rough seas are expected to affect eastern Taiwan by Wednesday, Aug.22. The Central Weather Bureau indicated that Tembin will likely make landfall in the Yilan, Hualien or Taitung counties on the eastern coast.

Tropical Storm Bolaven Poised to Strengthen

Tropical storm Bolaven's maximum sustained winds were near 55 knots (63.2 mph/102 kmh) and the Joint expects it to strengthen into a typhoon over the next several days. At 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) on Aug. 21, Bolaven was located about 390 nautical miles (449 miles/722 km) south of Iwo To, near 18.4 North latitude and 140.4 West longitude. Bolaven is crawling to the west-northwest at 4 knots (4.6 mph/7.4 kmh).

Bolaven appears on MODIS imagery as a smaller storm than Tembin. While Tembin is over 200 nautical miles (230 miles/370 km) in diameter, Bolaven is just about 100 nautical miles (115 miles/185 km) in diameter.

Bolaven is strengthening and is expected to become a as it heads northwest. It is currently expected to pass to the north of Taiwan around Aug. 25-26, 2012.

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