Typhoon Phanfone, known locally in the Philippines as Ursula, was making landfall in the central part of the country when NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed overhead on Dec. 24.
Suomi NPP's VIIRS instrument provided a visible image of Phanfone that showed its center had made landfall in the eastern Visayas region of the Philippines. The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) is one of 5 instruments aboard Suomi NPP. VIIRS and other satellite imagery has shown an intermittent eye feature peeking out within a compact area of sustained deep central convection.
At 4 a.m. EST (0900 UTC) on Dec. 24, there were many warning signals in effect for the country. Philippines tropical cyclone Signal #3 was in effect for Luzon (northern Philippines) that included Masbate including Ticao Island. In Visayas (central Philippines), the warning covered Northern Samar, eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran, Leyte and extreme northern Cebu.
Signal #2 was in effect in Luzon for the southern part of Cebu, Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Romblon, Albay, Sorsogon, Burias Island and Calamian and Cuyo Islands.
Also in the Visayas region, Signal #2 included the central part of northern Cebu, northern Antique, Capiz, Aklan, southern Leyte and northern Negros Occidental Mindanao and the Dinagat islands.
Signal #1 was also posted for parts of Luzon that included Bulacan, Bataan, Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, rest of Quezon, Laguna, Batangas, Camarines Norte & Sur, Catanduanes, and northern Palawan. In Visayas the signal covered the rest of Cebu, Bohol, Aklan, rest of Antique, rest of Iloilo, Guimaras, rest of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental. Signal #1 was also posted for Mindanao's Surigao del Northe including Siargao and Bucas Grande Islands.
At 4 a.m. EST (0900 UTC) Phanfone (Philippines designation Ursula) was located near latitude 11.1 degrees north and longitude 126.5 degrees east, about 384 nautical miles east-southeast of Manila, Philippines. Phanfone was moving to the west-northwest with maximum sustained winds 65 knots (75 mph/120 kph).
Phanfone is forecast to strengthen to 80 knots as it moves over the Sulu Sea, and strengthen further once it moves into the South China Sea.