Typhoon Ewiniar formed in the western Pacific on June 29, 2006, a hundred miles south of the Yap Islands in the Federated States of Micronesia. The tropical depression gathered power and size as it traveled in a zigzagging fashion over the next several days, tracking northwest, then east, northwest again, then north. It passed almost directly through the Yap Islands before turning northwest yet again on a projected track towards the southern end of Japan. Fortunately for the island residents, Ewiniar was still a tropical storm during its passage through the island chain. As of July 4, 2006, Typhoon Ewiniar was 880 kilometers (550 miles) northwest of the Yap Islands.
This photo-like image was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on July 4, 2006, at 2:40 p.m. local time (04:40 UTC). The typhoon had a very distinct and clear spiral structure in this image, hinting at its intensity. Most of the islands of the area, including Yap, are hidden under the clouds, though the Philippines are visible well to the storm’s west. Sustained winds in the storm system were estimated to be around 200 kilometers per hour (125 miles per hour) around the time the image was captured, according to the University of Hawaii’s Tropical Storm Information Center.