A short-lived but intense storm, Super Typhoon Lekima spun over the Pacific Ocean in late October, 2013. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-color image of Lekima in the Northwest Pacific Ocean on October 24 at 0105 UTC (9:05 p.m. EDT) when it was at Super Typhoon status, with one-minute maximum sustained winds hovering at 160 mph (257 km/h). At that time the eye was large but filling with cloud, and the storm was beginning to elongate due to interference from a low pressure system to the west, as well as mid-latitude westerlies and wind shear. The eye measured about 28.7 mi (46.3 km) wide, and the eye wall was very thick, with a layer of powerful thunderstorms embedded within the wall.
At the time this image was captured Super Typhoon Lekima was centered near 23.2 N and 145.4 E, about 315 miles (507 km east-southeast of Iwo To, and was traveling on a collision course with the island of Iwo To at about 16 mph (26 km/h). Fortunately, by October 25 the storm had turned towards the northeast and was on a rapid weakening cycle. By October 26 the Lekima was barely holding onto Typhoon status with sustained winds at 80 mph (129 km/h). But as the storm weakened, it expanded. On the morning of October 26 tropical storm force winds extended 241.7 miles (388.7 km) from the center, making the storm as wide as 483.3 miles (777.7 km) in diameter. By the morning of October 27, Lekima was below typhoon strength, and had become a weakening cold-core low pressure area on October 28.
Date Acquired: 10/24/2013
Resolutions: 1km (1.3 MB), 500m (4.5 MB), 250m (10.6 MB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC