NASA finds strong storms circling Typhoon Lekima's center as it nears Taiwan

NASA satellite finds strong storms circling around Typhoon Lekima's center as it heads toward Taiwan

NOAA animated GIF.

NOAA animated GIF.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A NASA satellite on Tuesday (Aug. 6) spotted a ring of strong thunderstorms around the center of Typhoon Lekima's circulation.

As NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean on Tuesday, it captured an image of Lekima's circulation. A Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured images of storms around the typhoon's center.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center predicts that Lekima will pass over Taiwan within the next two days before turning northeast off the coast of China, and eventually dissipating near the Korean peninsula. Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau (CWB) originally had planned to issue a sea warning at 2:30 p.m. today, but as Lekima has slowed down in its track, the CWB estimates that it will issue a sea warning for the typhoon at 5:30 p.m. today (Aug. 7).

NOAA satellite image of Typhoon Lekima.

According to the latest observation data by the Japan Meteorological Agency, the center of Lekima is located about 754 kilometers east-southeast of Taiwan's southernmost tip of Eluanbi. According to the latest CWB data, the storm has a radius of 220 kilometers, is moving northwest at 15 kilometers per hour (kph), and is packing maximum sustained winds of 126 kph with gusts of up to 162 kph.

Weather Risk pointed out that because the Pacific high-pressure ridge is stretching less westward than expected, weather agencies in several countries now predict the storm will take a more northerly path and its center is less likely to directly make landfall in Taiwan. Nevertheless, as the periphery of the typhoon begins to extend toward Taiwan, scattered showers are likely in northern and northeastern Taiwan this afternoon.

On Thursday, the wind and rain will gradually intensify as the day wears on. The CWB predicts that Taiwan will feel the strongest effects of Lekima on Friday (Aug. 9).

NASA satellite image.