Iwo To and Chichi Jima are in the projected path of the newest tropical storm that formed in the western North Pacific Ocean, and infrared NASA satellite data revealed some strong, high thunderstorms around the center of Tropical Storm Talas.
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Talas early today, August 25, 2011. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument captured an image at 4:00 UTC (12:00 a.m. EDT). The image showed a very large area of strong thunderstorms south of the center of circulation that marked its intensification into a tropical storm. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that the expansive thunderstorm banding from the east to the south side of circulation are characteristic of a monsoon depression.
Tropical Storm Talas strengthened quickly this morning and is currently located about 280 nautical miles south of Iwo Jima near 20.2 North and 140.6 East. It had maximum sustained winds near 40 knots (46 mph). It was moving to the north at 10 knots.
The strong thunderstorms and convection (rapidly rising air that forms the thunderstorms that make up the tropical storm) are indications that Talas is steadily intensifying. Although Talas may interact somewhat with nearby Tropical Storm Nanmadol (which is located east near Luzon, Philippines), it is still expected to continue north.
Text Credit: Rob Gutro, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.