NASA finds power in Tropical Storm Shanshan's center

August 3, 2018 by Rob Gutro, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
On Aug. 3 at 8:00 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC) NASA's Terra satellite found coldest temperatures of strongest thunderstorms (yellow) in Tropical Storm Shanshan were as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 Celsius). Credit: NRL/NASA

An infrared look by NASA's Terra satellite found powerful storms in the center of Tropical Storm Shanshan, the newest tropical storm in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean. Shanshan has triggered warnings in the Marianas Islands.

Tropical Depression 17W formed in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean near the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands. On Aug. 3 it strengthened into a tropical and was renamed Tropical Storm Shanshan.

Today, Aug. 3 EDT, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Tiyan, Guam stated that a Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for Agrihan, Pagan and Alamagan in the Northern Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. At 8:00 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite analyzed Tropical Storm Shanshan s cloud top temperatures in infrared light. MODIS found cloud top temperatures of strongest thunderstorms were as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 Celsius) around the center. Cloud top temperatures that cold indicate strong storms that have the capability to create heavy rain.

The NWS in Guam posted at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC/1 a.m. CHST on Aug. 4 local time) the center of Tropical Storm Shanshan was located near Latitude 18.8 degrees north and Longitude 149.7 degrees east. That's about 260 miles east of Pagan and Agrihan and about 260 miles east-northeast of Alamagan.

Tropical Storm Shanshan is moving toward the northwest at 8 mph. Itis expected to maintain this general course with a slight increase in forward speed over the next 24 hours.

Maximum sustained winds remain at 50 mph. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 130 miles east of the center and up to 85 miles west of the center.

Tropical Storm Shanshan is forecast to slowly intensify over the next few days, possibly becoming a typhoon tonight (Aug. 4 local time) or early Sunday, Aug. 5. Shanshan is forecast to move in a northwesterly direction away from the Marianas Islands and toward the big island of Japan.

Explore further: NASA sees tenth tropical depression form in northwestern Pacific, Guam posts warnings

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