Philippines on alert with Typhoon Lekima


Credit: NASA/NRL

Lekima is now a typhoon and has triggered warnings in the Philippines. NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and provided a visible image of the storm that shows a clear eye.

On Aug. 7, the Philippines’ PAGASA service issued Tropical cyclone warning signal #1 for the Luzon provinces of Batanes and Babuyan group of islands.

On Aug. 7, 2019 at 12:55 a.m. EDT (0455 UTC), the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible image of Lekima that revealed a clear eye surrounded by a tight, circular band of powerful thunderstorms. Lekima also has a large band of thunderstorms that are feeding into the center from the south and east.

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), Typhoon Lekima had maximum sustained winds near 85 knots (98 MPH/157 KPH). It was centered near 20.9 degrees north latitude and 127.7 degrees east longitude. That is 421 nautical miles south of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa island, Japan. Lekima was moving to the northwest and generating 25-foot high waves.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects Lekima to continue moving northwest and strengthen to 125 knots (144 mph/232 kph), making it a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. Lekima is expected to pass just north of northern Taiwan around August 9 and make landfall near Shanghai around August 12.


Rob Gutro

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

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