On Tuesday, June 17, 2003 the MODIS instrument onboard the Aqua spacecraft captured this true-color image of Tropical Cyclone Soudelor in the Philippine Sea. At the time of the image, Soudelor (07W) was centered near 22.0 degrees north and 123.5 degrees east, and had sustained winds near 105 mph and gusts to 125 mph. The typhoon was moving to the north-northeast at 12 mph and this track was expected to continue over the next 24-36 hours, so Soudelor will pass to the west of the Ryukyu Islands and move near Kyushu. Rain and thunderstorms will cause locally heavy rainfall from Taiwan through the Ryukyu Islands and into southern Japan.
The Philippine Sea is a marginal sea east and northeast of the Philippines occupying an estimated surface area of 5 million square kilometres (2 million square miles). The Philippine Sea Plate forms the floor of the sea, which forms a portion of the western North Pacific Ocean. It is bordered by the Philippine archipelago (Luzon, Catanduanes, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao) on the southwest; Halmahera, Morotai, Palau, Yap, and Ulithi (of the Carolines) on the southeast; the Marianas, including Guam, Saipan, and Tinian, on the east; the Bonin and Iwo Jima on the northeast; the Japanese islands of Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyūshū on the north; the Ryukyu Islands on the northwest; and Taiwan in the west