NASA spots Tropical Storm Mirinae approaching China's Hainan Island
Tropical Depression 05W strengthened into a tropical storm and was renamed Mirinae as NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the South China Sea and captured a visible image of the storm.
On Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 06:05 a.m. UTC (2:05 a.m. EDT) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard NASA's Aqua satellite looked at the storm in visible light. The image showed a somewhat elongated storm. The strongest thunderstorms around the center appear slightly elongated from southwest to northeast, as a result of moderate vertical wind shear.
In the image, bands of thunderstorms wrap around the storm from the south to west to northwest. Thunderstorms in the northwestern quadrant of the storm had already spread over Hainan Island.
By 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) Mirinae's maximum sustained winds were near 35 knots (40 mph/62 kph). It was centered near 18.7 north latitude and 111.5 east longitude, about 231 nautical miles southeast of Haikou, China. Mirinae was moving to the west-northwest at 12 knots (13.8 mph/22.2 kph).
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast calls for Mirinae to cross Hainan Island, move into the Gulf of Tonkin where it will slightly re-strengthen and make a final landfall in northeastern Vietnam, north of Hanoi on July 27. After landfall, Mirinae is expected to turn to the northwest and move into southern China where it will dissipate.