Super Typhoon Melor hovered over the Pacific Ocean west of the Philippines on October 5, 2009, as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite passed overhead. This image shows the storm spanning several hundred kilometers, but it was not yet close to any landmasses.
At 15:00 UTC on October 5 (midnight on October 6 Tokyo time), the Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued a bulletin characterizing Melor as a super typhoon with maximum sustained winds speeds of 135 knots (250 kilometers per hour) and gusts up to 165 knots (305 kilometers per hour). The storm was located some 500 nautical miles (925 kilometers) southeast of Okinawa. The storm was forecast to head not for the Philippines but the southern tip of Japan, where Melor was expected to change direction from northwest to northeast, consequently remaining close to the Japanese coast.
The high-resolution image provided above is at MODIS’ full spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response System provides this image at additional resolutions.
- Joint Typhoon Warning Center. (2009, October 5). Super Typhoon 20W (Melor) Warning. U.S. Naval Marine Forecast Center. Accessed October 5, 2009.
NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Michon Scott.
- Terra - MODIS