NASA's Aqua satellite passed over two tropical cyclones in the Pacific Ocean on different sides of the equator today, July 2. South of the equator, Tropical Cyclone Raquel was exiting the Solomon Islands, while north of the equator Tropical Storm Chan-Hom was less than 400 miles east of Guam and moving in that direction.
When Aqua made a satellite overpass around the globe on July 2 at 03:25 UTC (July 1 at 11:25 p.m. EDT), the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument captured a picture of both tropical cyclones in one image.
Chan-Hom's Strong Storms Concentrated Around Center
The MODIS image showed that Tropical Storm Chan-Hom, in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean, appeared to have a greater concentration of thunderstorms around the center and have a more organized circulation.
At 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) Tropical Storm Chan-Hom had maximum sustained winds near 55 knots. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) expects Chan-Hom to become a typhoon in the next day. It was centered near 10.7 North latitude and 150.5 East longitude. That's about 374 nautical miles east-southeast of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Chan-Hom was moving to the west-southwest at 10 knots, and is expected to change course and move northwest.
Chan-Hom was moving west through Micronesia and is expected to track to the northwest. The JTWC expects Chan-Hom to intensify to at least 130 knots after 5 days, and pass closely to Guam on July 4.
Tropical Cyclone Raquel Appears Less Organized
The MODIS image showed that Tropical Cyclone Raquel, in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean, looked more disorganized than Chan-Hom. Multi-spectral satellite imagery showed that the low-level circulation center is northeast of the thunderstorms, clouds and showers. That's because vertical wind shear from the Northeast is pushing the clouds and showers to the southwest.
At 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) on July 2, Tropical cyclone Raquel's maximum sustained winds were near 35 knots (40 mph/64.8 kph). Raquel was located near 6.4 South latitude and 160.1 East longitude, just 78 nautical miles northeast of Isabel Island of the Solomon Islands. It was moving to the northeast at 5 knots.
The moderate to strong vertical wind shear is expected to continue battering Raquel. The Joint Typhoon Warning center forecast calls for Raquel to dissipate in the next couple of days.
So, while Tropical Cyclone Chan-Hom continues to strengthen above the equator, Tropical Cyclone Raquel weakens below the equator.