Tropical thunderstorms cause significant damage to property and lives, and a strong research interest exists in the advances and improvement of thunderstorm predictability by satellite observations. Using high-resolution (2 km and 10 min) imagery from the geostationary satellite, Himawari- 8, recently launched over Southeast Asia, we examined the earliest possible time for the prediction of thunderstorms as compared to the potential of low-resolution (4 km and 30 min) imagery of the former satellite. We compared the lead times of high- and low-resolution imageries of 60 tropical thunderstorms that occurred in August 2017. These thunderstorms were identified by the decreasing trend in the 10.45 μm brightness temperature (BT11) by over 5K per 10 min for the high-resolution imagery and 15K per 30 min for the low-resolution imagery. The lead time was then calculated over the time from the initial state to the mature state of the thunderstorm, based on the time series of a minimum BT11 of thunderstorm pixels. The lead time was found to be 90-180 min for the high-resolution imagery, whereas it was only 60 min (if detectable) for the low-resolution imagery. These results indicate that high-resolution imagery is essential for substantial disaster mitigation owing to its ability to raise an alarm more than 2 h ahead of the mature state of a tropical thunderstorm.