NASA sees Typhoon Halong approaching Japan

August 7, 2014 by Rob Gutro
The MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured this visible image of Typhoon Halong on August 7 at 02:35 UTC, as it continued approaching southern Japan. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

NASA's Terra satellite grabbed a look at Typhoon Halong as it was nearing the Japanese islands of Minamidaito and Kitadaito and headed for a landfall in the main islands of southern Japan.

The MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a of Typhoon Halong on August 7 at 02:35 UTC, as it continued approaching southern Japan. The image showed thunderstorms tightly wrapped around the center of circulation. In addition there was a large, thick band of thunderstorms that wrapped into the center from the eastern side of the storm. The image showed that Halong's 30 nautical-mile wide eye had become cloud-filled.

On August 7 at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT), Typhoon Halong had maximum sustained winds near 75 knots (86.3 mph/138.9 kph). It was centered near 26.1 north latitude and 131.7 east longitude, about 510 nautical miles (586.9 miles/944.5 km) south of Iwakuni, Japan. Halong has tracked northward at 8 knots (9.2 mph/14.8 kph) and is expected to continue in that general direction. Halong is a powerful storm that is generating large and dangerous swells that will affect the Japanese islands. Maximum significant wave height was near 38 feet (11.5 meters).

At 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) Halong was passing about 25 nautical miles (28.7 miles/46.3 km) east of Minamidaito and Kitadaito Islands, which reported maximum sustained surface winds of hurricane strength, near 65 knots (74.8 mph/120.4 kph). The islands also reported a minimum central pressure of 954.3 millibars.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects Halong to make landfall in southern Japan with near 85 knots on August 9.

Halong is expected to affect the main of Japan on August 9, crossing over southern Japan and moving into the Sea of Japan by August 10 as a tropical storm.

Explore further: NASA sees Typhoon Halong's eye wink

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