NASA's Terra satellite analyzed Tropical Storm Loke in infrared light as it continued strengthening in the Central Pacific.
Loke formed on August 20 at 11 p.m. EDT as Tropical Depression 4C. By August 21 at 5 p.m. EDT the depression strengthened into a tropical storm and was renamed Tropical Storm Loke.
NASA's Terra satellite gathered infrared data on Loke using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument. Terra passed over Loke on August 24 at 09:50 UTC (5:50 a.m. EDT). The data showed that the strongest storms, with the coldest cloud top temperatures were north of the center of circulation. Highest, strongest thunderstorms stretch high into the troposphere (lowest layer of the atmosphere) and the higher the cloud top, the colder it is. Cloud top temperatures were near -63F/-53C indicating these thunderstorms were capable of generating heavy rainfall.
Loke is expected to reach hurricane strength later today, and a hurricane warning is in effect for portions of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, from Pearl and Hermes Atoll to Lisianski Island. In addition, NOAA's Central Pacific Hurricane Center posted a tropical storm warning is in effect for Midway Island, portions of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument from Lisianski Island to Maro Reef.
At 8 a.m. EDT (2 a.m. HST/1200 UTC) the center of Tropical Storm Loke was located near latitude 24.4 north...longitude 178.0 west. Loke is moving toward the northeast near 15 mph...24 km/h. Loke is expected to turn to the north on August 25. CPHC noted "On the forecast track the outer winds of Loke should reach the warned areas within the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument during the afternoon on August 24 with the core of Loke passing through the warned area at night. Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph (105 kph) and is expected to become a hurricane on August 25. The estimated minimum central pressure is 995 millibars.
For the full forecast and local effects, go to the CPHC website: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc.
Loke's center is expected to pass near the Pearl and Hermes Atoll and Midway Island late today, August 24, and early Tuesday, August 25.