Tropical Storm Neki formed today about 830 miles southeast of Johnston Island in the Central Pacific Ocean. NASA’s QuikScat and Aqua satellites quickly captured and analyzed winds and temperatures in Neki, enabling forecasters to see the storm strengthening.
Today, October 19, at 11 a.m. EDT (5 a.m. HST) Neki had maximum sustained winds near 40 mph, and was moving west-northwest near 14 mph. Estimated minimum central pressure is 1006 millibars. It was 825 miles south of Honolulu, Hawaii and about 830 miles southeast of Johnston Island near latitude 9.5 North and longitude 159.6 West. Neki is expected to shift slowly toward the northwest later tonight or Tuesday, at which time it is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane.
NASA’s QuikScat instrument captured an inside look at Tropical Storm Neki’s surface winds using microwave technology from its vantage point in space on Oct. 19 at 0425 UTC (12:25 a.m. EDT). QuikScat showed highest wind speeds near 40 mph.
NASA’s Aqua satellite also flew above Neki and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument captured a visible, infrared and microwave image of the storm. The visible image showed a storm getting organized and developing the signature tropical storm shape. The infrared and microwave images confirmed some high thunderstorms, indicating some strong convection and a strengthening storm.
Neki is forecast to pass very close to Johnston Island on Wednesday, October 21 as a hurricane.