Super Typhoon Haitang is shown here bearing down on Taiwan on the afternoon of July 17, 2005. This image was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite at 04:40 UTC (12:40 p.m. Taipei time). At this time, the typhoon had built into a Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale, sufficient for it to be dubbed a super typhoon. Sustained winds were around 230 kilometers per hour (125 knots) with peak gusts as high as 280 km/hr (150 knots).
The super typhoon by this time was projected to change course and come ashore in Taiwan. As it crosses the island, the storm will lose some of its strength, but may then rebuild as it crosses the Taiwan Straits and comes ashore again in eastern China. Projections call for it to land in Taiwan early on July 18, and then make landfall in mainland China on July 19.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data obtained from the MODIS Rapid Response team.