A GPM satellite 'bullseye' in Typhoon Soudelor

August 6, 2015, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
On August 6 at 0006 UTC, GPM saw Typhoon Soudelor's heaviest rain a rate of close to 70 mm (2.4 inches) per hour in a strong thunderstorm band southwest of the center. Credit: NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce

The Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM core satellite passed directly over Typhoon Soudelor as it tracks through the Northwestern Pacific Ocean. GPM data was used to make a spectacular 3-D image of the storm showing the structure and rainfall rates.

Typhoon Soudelor's winds had dropped to 95 knots (109 mph) when the GPM core observatory satellite had another excellent daytime view on August 6, 2015 at 0006 UTC (Aug. 5 at 8:06 p.m. EDT). GPM is managed by both NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

GPM's Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) data showed that Soudelor had heavy rainfall in an inner eye wall and also in a much larger replacement outer eye wall. The heaviest rain found by GPM was dropping at a rate of close to 70 mm (2.4 inches) per hour in a strong feeder band spiraling in on the southwestern side of the .

Radar reflectivity data from GPM's Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) data were also used to create a 3-D image that shows the vertical structure of rainfall within typhoon Soudelor. GPM found that the highest storm tops with Soudelor reaching heights of over 14.7 km (9.1 miles) were located in the powerful storms in the thunderstorm "feeder" bands southwest of the typhoon's eye.

At 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT) on August 6, 2015, Typhoon Soudelor had maximum sustained winds near 90 knots (103.6 mph/166.7 kph). It was centered near 21.3 North latitude and 127.5 East longitude, about 324 nautical miles (372.9 miles/600 km) south of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan. It was moving to the west at 10 knots (11.5 mph/18.5 kph).

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) predicts that typhoon Soudelor will intensify again and have winds of over 105 knots (121 mph) after an eye-wall replacement cycle. Soudelor will be traveling over warmer ocean waters that are expected to add heat that boosts the wind speeds of the typhoon to 115 knots (132 mph) before making landfall in central Taiwan tomorrow, August 7 and land falling again in China later

For warnings and watches for Taiwan, visit the Central Weather Bureau website: http://www.cwb.gov.tw/eng/. For warnings in China, visit the China Meteorological Administration website: http://www.cma.gov.cn/en.

Explore further: NASA satellites analyze Typhoon Soudelor moving toward Taiwan

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