Spectacular satellite images of powerful Typhoon Soudelor

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
How Much Impact Will Typhoon Soudelor Have in Asia?


(WEATHER.COM) -- Typhoon Soudelor rapidly intensified at the beginning of this week into a super typhoon with maximum sustained winds estimated to be 180 mph by the U.S. military's Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). Given the tropical cyclone's extreme intensity, satellite images of it near peak intensity were fascinating for many meteorologists sharing them on social media and elsewhere. Unfortunately, the beginning stages of Soudelor's rapid intensification occurred when it was passing near the island of Saipan, where high winds caused serious damage. Although Soudelor is no longer a super typhoon, it remains a serious threat to Taiwan late this week.

(MORE: Soudelor's Forecast)

This first image in our collection shows Soudelor in incredible detail when it was a super typhoon Monday at 12:33 p.m. EDT. The image is from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor aboard NASA's Suomi NPP satellite. Soudelor's maximum sustained winds topped out at 180 mph on Monday afternoon.



NASA's Modis Aqua satellite snapped this unique view of Soudelor on Tuesday which uses the brightness temperature overlay (Band 31-Day).



Below is another version of the first image from the VIIRS sensor aboard NASA's Suomi NPP satellite taken on Monday.



Shown in this image is the eyewall of Soudelor on Monday when it was near peak intensity. Although no earth-based radar sites were available at that time, microwave imagery from satellites can give you a good idea of what the eyewall looks like.



An up close 250 meter resolution view of Soudelor's eye on Tuesday from NASA Modis Terra satellite.



This spectacular shot of Soudelor was sent in a tweet on Tuesday by Kimiya Yui who is aboard the International Space Station.



Here's another view of Soudelor from the International Space Station (ISS).



Wednesday morning, NASA's GPM core observatory satellite captured this three dimensional image showing the vertical structure of rainfall in Soudelor. NASA said that some storms within Soudelor reached a height of about eight miles with rainfall rates over three inches per hour.

See more photos of typhoon Soudelor on the ground:

38 PHOTOS
Typhoon Soudelor
See Gallery
Spectacular satellite images of powerful Typhoon Soudelor
A motorcyclist makes his way through a flooded street in Wenling, in eastern China's Zhejiang province on August 10, 2015 after strong storms hit the area during Typhoon Soudelor's landfall. The number of people killed by Typhoon Soudelor in China rose to 21 on August 10, authorities said, with five more missing. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
FUZHOU, CHINA - AUGUST 09: (CHINA OUT) People walk in the flood caused by Typhoon Soudelor on August 9, 2015 in Fuzhou, Fujian Province of China. Typhoon No. 13 Soudelor hit Fujian on August 8-9 which has affected about 1,397,200 people and caused a direct economic losses of 1,483 million RMB (238.9 million USD) until 16 o'clock on August 9, according to local media. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
Trees torn down by strong wind collapse on the road in Jinjiang, east China's Fujian province on August 8, 2015 as typhoon Soudelor draws near the mainland of China. Typhoon Soudelor battered Taiwan with fierce winds and rain, leaving four people dead and a trail of debris in its wake as it takes aim at mainland China. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Rescuers carry an elderly lady (C) out of her flooded home as Typhoon Soudelor brought heavy rain to Ningde, eastern China's Fujian province on August 9, 2015. A weakened Typhoon Soudelor made landfall in China and was set to be downgraded on August 9, according to the National Meteorological Center, after the storm killed five people in Taiwan. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Vehicles and residents make their way through a flooded street in Wenling, in eastern China's Zhejiang province on August 10, 2015 after strong storms hit the area during Typhoon Soudelor's landfall. The number of people killed by Typhoon Soudelor in China rose to 21 on August 10, authorities said, with five more missing. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Rescuers distribute drinking water to residents along a flooded street in Wenling, in eastern China's Zhejiang province on August 10, 2015 after strong storms hit the area during Typhoon Soudelor's landfall. The number of people killed by Typhoon Soudelor in China rose to 21 on August 10, authorities said, with five more missing. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Residents walk down a flooded street in Wenling, in eastern China's Zhejiang province on August 10, 2015 as strong storms hit the area in the aftermath of Typhoon Soudelor's landfall. The number of people killed by Typhoon Soudelor in China rose to 21 on August 10, authorities said, with five more missing. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
A man is caught in strong gusts from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015. At least four people were killed and four were missing when powerful Typhoon Soudelor slammed into Taiwan, authorities said Saturday. The storm approached the island late Friday, bringing heavy rains and strong gusts. Trees, traffic lights and power lines were down in many parts of the island.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
A street corner is filled with a mangled rooftop brought down by strong winds from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015. Soudelor brought heavy rains and strong winds to the island Saturday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
A man takes a photo of a damaged tree after typhoon Soudelor hit Taipei, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, in Taipei, Taiwan. At least four people were killed and four were missing when powerful Typhoon Soudelor slammed into Taiwan, authorities said Saturday. The storm approached the island late Friday, bringing heavy rains and strong gusts. Trees, traffic lights and power lines were down in many parts of the island.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
A man passes a damaged structure from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015. Soudelor brought heavy rains and strong winds to the island Saturday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
A man is caught in strong gusts from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015. At least four people were killed and four were missing when powerful Typhoon Soudelor slammed into Taiwan, authorities said Saturday. The storm approached the island late Friday, bringing heavy rains and strong gusts. Trees, traffic lights and power lines were down in many parts of the island.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
A woman walks down a back alley filled with debris from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015. Soudelor brought heavy rains and strong winds to the island Saturday with wind speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
A man walks past a damaged signboard as typhoon Soudelor hits Taipei, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, in Taipei, Taiwan. At least four people were killed and four were missing when powerful Typhoon Soudelor slammed into Taiwan, authorities said Saturday. The storm approached the island late Friday, bringing heavy rains and strong gusts. Trees, traffic lights and power lines were down in many parts of the island.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
A man carrying an umbrella passes a mangled rooftop brought down by strong winds from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015. Soudelor brought heavy rains and strong winds to the island Saturday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
WENLING, CHINA - AUGUST 07: (CHINA OUT) Large waves break on the coastline at Shitang Town as Typhoon 'Soudelor' approaches on August 7, 2015 in Wenling, Zhejiang Province of China. Typhoon 'Soudelor' will land on southeastern China's coastal areas this weekend, according to meteorological departments. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
WENLING, CHINA - AUGUST 07: (CHINA OUT) Large waves break on the coastline at Shitang Town as Typhoon 'Soudelor' approaches on August 7, 2015 in Wenling, Zhejiang Province of China. Typhoon 'Soudelor' will land on southeastern China's coastal areas this weekend, according to meteorological departments. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
A woman and children brave the strong winds from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island late Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
HANGZHOU, CHINA - AUGUST 07: People use umbrellas as they walk in strong wind and heavy rain near West Lake as Typhoon 'Soudelor' approaches on August 7, 2015 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China. Typhoon 'Soudelor' will land on southeastern China's coastal areas this weekend, according to meteorological departments. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
WENLING, CHINA - AUGUST 07: (CHINA OUT) Large waves break on the coastline at Shitang Town as Typhoon 'Soudelor' approaches on August 7, 2015 in Wenling, Zhejiang Province of China. Typhoon 'Soudelor' will land on southeastern China's coastal areas this weekend, according to meteorological departments. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
An elderly woman is escorted in the strong winds from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island late Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
A mother holds her children in strong gusts from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island late Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
HANGZHOU, CHINA - AUGUST 07: (CHINA OUT) Paople use umbrellas as they walk in strong wind and heavy rain near West Lake as Typhoon 'Soudelor' approaches on August 7, 2015 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China. Typhoon 'Soudelor' will land on southeastern China's coastal areas this weekend, according to meteorological departments. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)
Two women brave the winds from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island late Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Two women brave the winds from Typhoon Soudelor in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island late Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
WENLING, CHINA - AUGUST 07: (CHINA OUT) Large waves break on the coastline at Shitang Town as Typhoon 'Soudelor' approaches on August 7, 2015 in Wenling, Zhejiang Province of China. Typhoon 'Soudelor' will land on southeastern China's coastal areas this weekend, according to meteorological departments. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)
WENLING, CHINA - AUGUST 07: (CHINA OUT) Tourists watch large waves break on the coastline at Shitang Town as Typhoon 'Soudelor' approaches on August 7, 2015 in Wenling, Zhejiang Province of China. Typhoon 'Soudelor' will land on southeastern China's coastal areas this weekend, according to meteorological departments. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
HANGZHOU, CHINA - AUGUST 07: (CHINA OUT) A girl attempts to take a selfie in strong wind near West Lake as Typhoon 'Soudelor' approaches on August 7, 2015 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China. Typhoon 'Soudelor' will land on southeastern China's coastal areas this weekend, according to meteorological departments. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
HANGZHOU, CHINA - AUGUST 07: (CHINA OUT) Dark clouds cover the Hangzhou City as Typhoon 'Soudelor' approaches on August 7, 2015 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China. Typhoon 'Soudelor' will land on southeastern China's coastal areas this weekend, according to meteorological departments. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
A woman braves the winds as she watches waves from approaching Typhoon Soudelor in Keelung, northeastern Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island late Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Huge waves from approaching Typhoon Soudelor crash into breakwaters off of Keelung, northeastern Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island late Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
A visitor to a coastal park photographs waves from approaching Typhoon Soudelor in Keelung, northeastern Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island late Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Visitors to a coastal park watch waves from approaching Typhoon Soudelor in Keelung, northeastern Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island late Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Huge waves from approaching Typhoon Soudelor break against the shoreline in Keelung, northeastern Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island late Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Workers ride past fishing boats moored in a shelter at Nanfangao harbour in Yilan on August 6, 2015 as typhoon Soudelor approaches eastern Taiwan. The strongest typhoon of the year was bearing down on Taiwan's east coast on August 6, forcing the evacuation of more than 2,000 from outlying islands popular with tourists. AFP PHOTO / Sam Yeh (Photo credit should read SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images)
Workers rest on fishing boats moored in a shelter at Nanfangao harbour in Yilan on August 6, 2015 as typhoon Soudelor approaches eastern Taiwan. The strongest typhoon of the year was bearing down on Taiwan's east coast on August 6, forcing the evacuation of more than 2,000 from outlying islands popular with tourists. AFP PHOTO / Sam Yeh (Photo credit should read SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images)
As Typhoon Soudelor approaches, fishing boats are secured in a port in Yilan County, northeastern Taiwan, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. Soudelor is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the island Friday with winds speeds over 170 km per hour (100 mph) and gusts over 200 km per hour (120 mph) according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Read Full Story

From Our Partners