Francisco – Northwestern Pacific Ocean

Aug. 05, 2019 – NASA Catches Tropical Storm Francisco’s Approach to Landfall in Southern Japan

Infrared imagery from NASA’s Aqua satellite shows that Tropical Storm Francisco had powerful thunderstorms with heavy rain capabilities around the center of circulation as it moves toward landfall in southern Japan.

Terra image of Francisco
On Aug. 5 at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 UTC) the MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite showed strongest storms (red) in Tropical Storm Francisco circled the center. There, cloud top temperatures were as cold as minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 Celsius). Credit: NASA/NRL

On Aug. 5, 2019, the Japan Meteorological Agency has issued warnings for the Amami, Kyushu and Shikoku. Advisories are in effect for Chugoku, Kinki Ogasawara, Okinawa and Tokai.

NASA’s Aqua satellite used infrared light to analyze the strength of storms in Tropical Storm Francisco and found strongest storms circling the center. Infrared data provides temperature information, and the strongest thunderstorms that reach high into the atmosphere have the coldest cloud top temperatures.

On Aug. 5 at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 UTC), the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite  found strongest thunderstorms had cloud top temperatures as cold as minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 Celsius). Cloud top temperatures that cold indicate strong storms with the potential to generate heavy rainfall.

Microwave satellite imagery revealed an eye had formed in the center of those powerful thunderstorms.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center or JTWC noted at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) that Francisco had maximum sustained winds near 60 knots (60 mph/111kph). Francisco was centered near 31.6 degrees north latitude and 132.4 degrees east longitude. Tropical storm Francisco was located approximately 203 nautical miles east-southeast of Sasebo, Japan. Francisco has tracked westward.

After the storm makes landfall in Kyushu, Japan, it is forecast to pass into the south of the Korean peninsula, and turn to the northeast as it becomes extra-tropical over the Sea of Japan.

For updated warnings from the Japan Meteorological Agency, visit:

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center