Infrared satellite data from NASA's Aqua satellite revealed strong convection and a tight circulation center within Typhoon Fanapi as it heads for a landfall in Taiwan this weekend.
At 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EDT) on Sept. 17, Typhoon Fanapi's maximum sustained winds were near 85 knots (97 mph). It was centered about 360 nautical miles east-southeast of Taipei, Taiwan near 23.2 North and 127.4 East. It is churning up high seas up to 22 feet.
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Typhoon Fanapi on September 17 at 04:45 UTC (12:45 a.m. EDT) and captured an infrared image of its cold cloudtop temperatures. The coldest cloud tops were as cold as -60F, and the imagery showed a tight center circulation at that time.
Infrared imagery today continues to show Fanapi consolidating. The typhoon is on the border of becoming a Category 2 typhoon on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane/typhoon scale. Infrared imagery also showed that Fanapi has an 11 mile-wide eye, and that there's a small gap in the eyewall in the northern part of the circulation. Because vertical wind shear is expected to increase over the next 12 to 24 hours, Fanapi is expected to weaken at that time.
Another instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Typhoon Fanapi. To see the image that the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument captured of Typhoon Fanapi on September 17 at 04:45 UTC, go to: http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/?2010260-0917/Fanapi.A2010260.0445.
Fanapi is now moving northwest at 6 mph and is expected to make landfall on Sept. 19 during the morning hours local Asia/Taipei time (late Sept. 18 EDT). Fanapi is forecast to cross Taiwan from east to west and then emerge into the Taiwan Strait as a tropical storm and make a final landfall in eastern China on Sept. 20.
Explore further: New signs of eruption at Iceland volcano