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Faxai (Northwestern Pacific Ocean)
March 5, 2014

[image-138]NASA Sees Tropical Cyclone Faxai Stretching Out

When a tropical cyclone becomes elongated it is a sign the storm is weakening. Imagery from NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite today revealed that wind shear was stretching out Tropical Cyclone Faxai and the storm was waning. 

On March 5 at 1500 UTC/10 a.m. EST, Tropical Cyclone Faxai's center was located near 22.5 south and 155.2 east, about 699 nautical miles/804.4 miles/ 1,295 km west-northwest of Wake Island. According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center or JTWC, Faxai's maximum sustained surface winds dropped to 50 knots/57.5 mph/92.6 kph. Faxai was moving to the northeast at 14 knots/16.1 mph/25.9 kph and quickly weakening.

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Faxai on Mar. 5 at 03:35 UTC and the VIIRS instrument or Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite aboard captured a high-resolution visible image of the storm. VIIRS is a scanning radiometer that collects visible and infrared imagery and radiometric measurements. VIIRS data is used to measure cloud and aerosol properties, ocean color, sea and land surface temperature, ice motion and temperature, fires, and Earth's albedo.

The VIIRS image showed that Faxai had become elongated as a result of increasing vertical wind shear. The VIIRS image also showed cold air stratocumulus clouds were moving into the western quadrant of the storm.

The JTWC noted that all strong convection (rising air that forms thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone) has dissipated. Satellite imagery also showed that Faxai was taking on frontal characteristics.

The JTWC issued their final bulletin on Faxai and noted that the storm was expected to become extra-tropical by the end of the day on March 5 as it becomes embedded into a westerly flow.

Text credit:  Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


[image-122]Mar. 04, 2014 - NASA Satellite Sees Faxai Hit Typhoon Strength

NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of the tropical cyclone called Faxai as it reached typhoon strength in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean today, March 4.

On March 4 at 1500 UTC/10 a.m. EST, Tropical cyclone Faxai reached typhoon strength with maximum sustained winds near 65 knots/74.8 mph/120.4 kph. It was centered near 18.2 north and 151.6 east, about 429 nautical miles east-northeast of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Faxai was moving to the north-northeast at 16 knots/18.4 mph/29.6 kph.

On March 4 at 03:05 UTC, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of Typhoon Faxai in the North Pacific Ocean. The MODIS image showed tightly wrapped bands of thunderstorms around the center of circulation.

Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center or JTWC noted that animated infrared satellite imagery revealed an 8 nautical-mile-wide (9.2 mile/14.8 km) eye feature has developed while the system has become more compact and symmetric. Thunderstorms around the edge of the system, however, appeared to be weakening.

The JTWC expects Faxai to maintain typhoon strength for a day before weakening.

Text credit:  Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


[image-92][image-108]Mar. 03, 2014 - NASA's TRMM Satellite Sees Some Towering Thunderstorms Around Faxai's Center

Towering thunderstorms and heavy rainfall were occurring around the center of Tropical Storm Faxai in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean, and were seen by the TRMM satellite.

Tropical storm Faxai meandered in an area southeast of Guam for the past few days and is now predicted to move toward the north passing well to the east of Guam.

NASA and JAXA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite known as TRMM had a good daytime view of the tropical storm on March 2, 2247 UTC/5:47 p.m. EST. TRMM's Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) data revealed that Faxai had heavy rain falling at a rate of over 89 mm/~3.5 inches per hour). The TRMM image showed a few rain showers from Faxai were affecting Guam at the time.

At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, the TRMM satellite team used the data to create an image of the rate in which rain was falling.

On March 3, 2014 at 1500 UTC/10 a.m. EST, Faxai's maximum sustained winds were near 45 knots/51.7 mph/83.3 kph. Faxai was centered near 13.6 north and 149.9 east, about 294 nautical miles/338.3 miles/544.5 km east of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

MetOp-A microwave satellite imagery from today, March 3, confirms strong convection and developing thunderstorms persist around the center of circulation.  MetOp-A is one in a series of three polar orbiting meteorological satellites that are managed by the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects Faxai to move north, later northeast while it intensifies.  In a couple of days, the storm is expected to become extra-tropical.

Text credit:  Hal Pierce/Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


[image-51][image-78]Feb. 28, 2014 - NASA Saw Rainfall Rates Increase Before Birth of Tropical Storm Faxai

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite passed over System 93W in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and saw rainfall rates increasing on February 27 in the developing tropical low pressure area. On February 28, the low organized and consolidated resulting in the birth of Tropical Storm Faxai.

The TRMM satellite, managed by both NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency passed over System 93W on February 27, 2014 at 1404 UTC/9:04 a.m. EST. Tropical cyclone development southeast of the island of Guam looked more likely with this pass. An analysis of rainfall derived from TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) data was created at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. when the data was overlaid on an enhanced infrared image from TRMM's Visible and InfraRed Scanner (VIRS) instrument. The analysis revealed that the rates in which rain was falling had increase to 107 mm/~4.2 inches per hour in some convective storms.

TRMM PR data was used to create a 3-D perspective of the developing tropical low pressure area. The 3-D image showed that convective activity had increased and some towering thunderstorms in the area were reaching altitudes of up to 15.5km/~9.6 miles.

System 93W formed into Tropical Depression 03W early on February 28. By 1500 UTC/10 a.m. EST, the depression strengthened into a tropical storm and was renamed Faxai. At that time, Faxai's maximum sustained winds were near 35 knots/40 mph/62 kph. It was located near 9.0 north latitude and 149.0 east longitude, about 372 nautical miles/428.1 miles/688.9 km southeast of Andersen Air Force Base. Faxai is moving to the north-northeast at 3 knots/3.4 mph/5.5 kph.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast calls for Faxai to meander in the same area for a day before taking a northerly track. By March 3, Faxai is expected to intensify to hurricane- force over open waters of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

Text credit:  Hal Pierce / Rob Gutro
SSAI/NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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Tropical Storm Faxai
The TRMM satellite data showed rainfall rates increased to 107 mm/~4.2 inches per hour (red) in some convective storms within System 93W on Feb. 27. Some thunderstorms reached altitudes of up to 15.5km/~9.6 miles.
Image Credit: 
SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
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NASA/JAXA's TRMM Satellite provided data of developing Tropical Storm Faxai to make this 3-D image that showed some towering thunderstorms in the area were reaching altitudes of up to 15.5km/~9.6 miles.
Image Credit: 
SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
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TRMM sees Faxai in March 2
The TRMM satellite saw that Faxai had heavy rain falling at a rate of over 89 mm/~3.5 inches per hour around its center on March 2.
Image Credit: 
SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
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This animation shows Tropical Storm Faxai's rainfall rates on March 2 from a TRMM TMI/PR rainfall analysis being faded in over infrared cloud data from the TRMM VIRS instrument.
Image Credit: 
SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
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Typhoon Faxai
The MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of Typhoon Faxai in the North Pacific Ocean on March 4 at 03:05 UTC.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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Tropical Cyclone Faxai
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Faxai and the VIIRS instrument captured this visible image on Mar. 5 at 03:35 UTC.
Image Credit: 
NRL/NASA/NOAA
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Page Last Updated: March 6th, 2014
Page Editor: Lynn Jenner