Tropical Storm Guchol became the first tropical cyclone to hit Japan this year and NASA's TRMM and Aqua satellites have captured radar, infrared and visible imagery of the recently weakened storm.
Yesterday, June 18, 2012, Guchol was a powerful category 4 typhoon on the Simpson Scale with winds of 130 knots (~150 mph). Guchol has been weakening and was a strong tropical storm when it was making landfall near Japan's main island of Honshu on June 19, 2012. The TRMM satellite saw Guchol early on Monday June 18, 2012 at 0154 UTC. A rainfall analysis from TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) was overlaid on a daytime image from TRMM's Visible and InfraRed Scanner (VIRS) instrument at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The image showed concentric bands of rainfall embedded within a large area of rainfall around the weakening typhoon.
At 900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT/U.S.) on June 19, Guchol's maximum sustained winds were near 55 knots (3.2 mph/101.9 kph). The storm is about 360 miles (414 miles/667 km) in diameter. It was centered near 22.5 North and 135.7 East, over Shingu, a city located in Wakayama, Japan. The city of Shingu is the central commercial city of Japan's Kumano region, and one of the largest cities in Wakayama Prefecture.
That's about 160 nautical miles south-southwest of Kyoto, Japan. It is speeding northeastward near 37 knots (42.5 mph/68.5 kph) and creating rough seas as high as 33 feet (10 meters)!
Guchol is expected to continue weakening and become extra-tropical as it passes over Japan in the next day.