Those satellites began monitoring the storm almost a week ago, when it first began gathering strength east of Guam. The storm intensified rapidly, becoming a Category 5 typhoon (the term for hurricanes in the Pacific Ocean) in less than a day and a half.
Check out the eye of Super Typhoon #Yutu in the western Pacific, seen today from #Himawari-8. The ferocious Category 5 storm is packing 180 mph winds and quickly approaching the U.S. territories of Saipan, Tinian and Rota. More imagery: https://t.co/naIsWtiBev pic.twitter.com/mo7PW10PaP— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) October 24, 2018
Typhoon Yutu has already hit the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands, where the effects were predicted to be catastrophic. According to NASA, it was this year's strongest hurricane upon landfall anywhere in the U.S.
The storm has weakened somewhat since that impact and was a Category 4 storm as of today (Oct. 26). According to NASA, the storm is expected to remain a typhoon until the middle of next week.
At around the same time, Yutu is expected to reach the northern Philippines, Taiwan and southeastern China.
The satellites meteorologists are relying on to track the huge storm include Suomi NPP, which is jointly managed by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Japan's Himawari-8 satellite and the Global Precipitation Measurement satellite that is operated by NASA and its Japanese equivalent.