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NASA image shows Typhoon Phanfone's pinhole eye

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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IMAGE: NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of Typhoon Phanfone moving through the Northwestern Pacific Ocean on Oct. 3 at 4:20 UTC. view more

Credit: NASA MODIS Rapid Response Team

yphoon Phanfone's eye appeared the size of a pinhole on visible imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite on Oct.3.

The MODIS instrument or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Phanfone moving through the Northwestern Pacific Ocean on Oct. 3 at 4:20 UTC (12:20 a.m. EDT). The tiny open eye of the storm was surrounded by a thick band of thunderstorms. The MODIS image also showed a very thick and large band of thunderstorms south of the center and spiraling into the eye.

On Thursday, Oct. 2, Typhoon Phanfone's maximum sustained winds strengthened to 100 knots (126.6 mph/ 203.7 kph). It was centered at 21.0 north latitude and 137.1 east longitude, about 332 nautical miles (382.1 miles/614.9 km) southwest of the island of Iwo To. Phanfone was moving to the northwest and is expected to continue in that direction before turning to northeast on Oct. 4 south of the Kyushu Province of Japan. Kyushu is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) expects Phanfone to begin weakening on Oct. 4 as it begins a transition to an extra-tropical cyclone.

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