July 10, 2002
On the visible satellite image above, taken last week (July 3) from the Japanese GMS satellite, Tyhoon Rammasun can be seen bearing down on Taiwan and southeastern China. Winds were estimated at 100 mph (160 km), making Rammasun a category 2 (category 5 is the most powerful) on the Safir-Simpson Hurricane Intensity Scale. Whereas the Atlantic hurricane season is just getting underway, typhoons can occur throughout the year, however, they develop more frequently during the summer and autumn months. Cloud shadows in the eye of Rammasun (a Thai name for the God of Thunder) indicate that the above image was acquired when the Sun was low in the sky. After sweeping past China's southeastern coast, and causing little damage, Rammasun weakened and tracked north toward South Korea, where torrential rains resulted in serious flooding.