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NASA looks at water vapor in Typhoon Soulik

August 22, 2018

NASA's Aqua satellite provided a look at water vapor in Typhoon Soulik as it passed just south of Japan.

Water vapor releases latent heat as it condenses into liquid. That liquid becomes clouds and thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone. NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Soulik on Aug. 22 at 12:50 a.m. EDT (0450 UTC), and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard analyzed the water vapor content in the storm. MODIS found highest concentrations and strongest storms north of the eye, ranging from northwest to northeast of the center.

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Aug. 21, the center of Typhoon Soulik was located near 27.7 degrees north latitude and 137.0 degrees east longitude. That's about 245 nautical miles west-northwest of Iwo To Island, Japan. Soulik is moving toward the northwest and maximum sustained winds are near 115mph (100 knots/185 kph) with higher gusts.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center or JTWC expects Soulik to turn to the north and northeast and make landfall in southeastern South Korea on Aug. 23.

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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