NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed overhead and captured an image of Typhoon Lan in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and saw a well-organized storm with a clear eye that was 50 nautical miles in diameter.
The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite took a visible light picture of Lan on Oct. 20 at 12:30 a.m. EDT (0430 UTC). From space, Suomi NPP showed a well-formed, circular eye with some high clouds. The eye was surrounded by powerful thunderstorms spiraling into the center of circulation.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted "Infrared satellite imagery shows expansive and deep convective bands circling a central dense overcast feature that is tightly wrapping into a large 50-nautical-mile wide symmetrical eye."
At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Oct. 20, Lan's maximum sustained winds were near 100 knots (115 mph/185 kph). The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects the storm's winds to peak near 120 knots (138 mph/222 kph) on Oct. 21 and then begin weakening as it approaches landfall in eastern Japan. Lan was located near 20.9 degrees north latitude and 130.3 degrees east longitude, about 389 nautical miles south-southeast of Okinawa, Japan. Lan was moving to the north at 7 knots (8 mph/13 kph).
On Oct. 20, the Japan Meteorological Agency placed all prefectures along Japan's east coast under advisory status for gale force winds and high waves. Some areas were also under an advisory for storm surge.
Lan is forecast to continue turning to the northwest over the next couple of days. By Oct. 22, Lan is forecast to make landfall south of Tokyo as a typhoon. Updated forecasts can be found at the Japan Meteorological Agency's website: http://www.