Typhoon Chanchu
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Typhoon Chanchu

April 30, 2013
Tropical Storm Chanchu formed in the western Pacific on May 8, 2006, roughly 500 miles east of the Philippines. The storm gradually built strength and size, reaching typhoon strength by May 11. It lost some strength as it crossed the Philippines, but once clear of the islands, it regained power and became a typhoon once again as it continued northwest across the South China Sea. This photo-like image was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on May 16, 2006, at 1:50 p.m. local time (05:40 UTC). The typhoon has a huge spiral-arm structure in this image and a well-defined cyclone shape, with a distinct, but cloud-covered eye (sometimes known as a “closed eye”) in the center. The closed eye is slightly less cloudy than it appeared to MODIS two days earlier, indicating that the typhoon has continued to gain power: only the most powerful storms typically develop cloud-free “open eyes”. 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. The high-resolution image above is provided at the full MODIS spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response System provides this image at additional resolutions. Credit: NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center.

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