Typhoon Fitow in the Northwestern Pacific [image-51]
Typhoon Fitow formed from the twenty-second tropical depression of the northwestern Pacific Ocean typhoon season in early October, 2013.
Tropical Depression 22W formed in the northwestern Pacific Ocean on Oct. 1. The next day, Oct. 2, Tropical Depression 22W strengthened into Tropical Storm Fitow when it was about 463 nautical miles south-southeast of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan. Its center was near 19.0 north and 129.8 east. It was moving to the north-northwest. At that time, Fitow was a small storm with tropical-storm-force winds extending 105 miles from the center.
Fitow strengthened over the next two days because it was in an area of warm sea surface temperatures and low wind shear. By Oct. 4, Fitow's maximum sustained winds had increased to near 85 knots/97.8 mph/157.4 kph and it achieved typhoon strength. At that time is had cut its distance to Okinawa in half and was about 212 nautical miles south-southeast of the island.
By Oct. 6, Fitow had reached typhoon status with maximum sustained winds near 70 knots/80.5 mph/129.6 kph. It was about 102 nautical miles east-northeast of Taipei, Taiwan, near 26.0 north and 123.1 east. It was moving to the northwest. Fitow had grown in size as well as strength. Tropical-Storm-force winds extended as far as 180 nautical miles from the center by Oct. 6. Fitow passed Taiwan and made landfall in eastern China on Oct. 7.
According to BBC News, hundreds of thousands of people in eastern China were evacuated before Typhoon Fitow made landfall. Fitow made landfall at 17:15 UTC/1:15 local time (China) on Oct. 7 in the city of Fuding, Fujan Provice, with maximum sustained winds near 93 mph/151 kph. Flooding, power outages, damaged structures and some fatalities resulted from Typhoon Fitow's landfall.
Text credit: Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center