Typhoon Phanfone heading towards Japan: NASA

Washington, Oct 2: An intensifying typhoon called Phanfone that originated east of Guam island in the Pacific last Friday is heading towards southern Japan, NASA said in a statement.

NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite crossed above Typhoon Phanfone Wednesday at 1039 UTC (around 0410 IST Thursday) and gathered data about rainfall rates occurring in the storm.

The TRMM satellite, managed by both NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, can peer into a storm and determine how light or heavy the rain is, the statement added.

At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, rainfall data from TRMM's Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) was used to create an image of the storm.

Typhoon Phanfone's winds were estimated to be above 65 knots (about 120 kph) at the time TRMM passed over the storm.

Winds within the increasingly powerful typhoon are expected to increase to over 100 knots (185 kph) in the next few days while moving toward the islands of southern Japan, cautioned NASA.

This rainfall analysis revealed that Phanfone was producing rainfall over a very large area.

Phanfone is likely to intensify as it moves in a northwesterly direction, through warm sea surface temperatures, towards the island of Iwo To.


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