Typhoon Maysak strengthened into a super typhoon on March 31, reaching Category 5 hurricane status on the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale. ESA Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti captured this image while flying over the weather system on board the International Space Station.
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellites, both co-managed by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, captured rainfall and cloud data that revealed heavy rainfall and high thunderstorms in the strengthening storm.
The TRMM satellite has been collecting valuable scientific data since November 1997. Early on March 30, the satellite collected rainfall data as it flew directly above Maysak at 04:14 UTC (12:14 a.m. EDT) when maximum sustained winds were near 85 knots (98 mph). Rainfall data was collected by TRMM’s Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) instruments and showed heaviest rainfall southwest of the center, and in fragmented bands of thunderstorms northeast of the center. In both of those places rainfall was in excess of 50 mm/2 inches per hour.