Peering Into the Soul of a Storm

If the eye is the window to the soul, then this is one deeply troubled cloud.

The atmospheric disturbance that would ultimately evolve into tropical storm Saola began taking shape in the Pacific ocean, south of Guam, in late September of 2017. It was still continuing to build in strength at the time this image was captured on October 21. Saola achieved typhoon status seven days later, bringing 84 mph winds, torrential rains, churned up seas, and flooding to parts of Japan that had only recently been battered and saturated by the much more severe Typhoon Lan.

The typical structure of a tropical cyclone eye is well defined in this photograph. The relative calm of the eye’s interior permits a view clear down to the sea below, which contrasts sharply with the intensely destructive forces generated by the thunderstorms lining the eye wall.

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