Typhoon Higos was on a strengthening trend when NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed overhead and captured infrared data on the storm, showing powerful thunderstorms circling its center.
Tropical depression Higos or 02W formed on February 7, about 400 nautical miles (460 miles/740 km) east-northeast of Chuuk, near 10.9 north and 157.6 east.
On Feb. 9 at 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST), Typhoon Higos had maximum sustained winds near 85 knots (7.8 mph/ 157.4 kph). Higos is expected to intensify up to 90 knots later today before starting on a weakening trend. Higos was centered near 12.7 north latitude and 155.8 east longitude, about 639 nautical miles (735.8 miles/1,184 km) east of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Higos was crawling at 4 knots (4.6 mph/78.5 kph) to the northwest. There are no watches or warnings in effect for any land areas.
The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi satellite captured an infrared image of Higos at 14:34 UTC (9:34 a.m. EST) on Feb. 9 that provided temperature data on the typhoon's cloud tops. Higher thunderstorms within a tropical cyclone are stronger storms with heavier rainfall. The highest, coldest cloud tops were in thunderstorms surrounding the center of circulation.
Suomi NPP's job is to collect environmental observations of atmosphere, ocean and land for both NOAA's weather and oceanography operational missions and NASA's research mission to continue the long-term climate record to better understand the Earth's climate and long-term trends.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast takes Higos to the northwest over the open waters of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean through Feb. 12 before the storm curves to the northeast where it will weaken as vertical wind shear becomes stronger.