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Phanfone (Northwestern Pacific Ocean)
October 7, 2014

[image-204]NASA Adds Up Japan's Soaking Rains from Typhoon Phanfone 

Typhoon Phanfone packed heavy rainfall as it brushed over Japan and NASA's TRMM satellite identified where the rain fell. That data was used to make a map of rainfall totals. 

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite has the ability to calculate rainfall rates within storms as it orbits around the Earth's tropics from space. TRMM data can also be used to create rainfall maps that show how much rain has fallen over given areas. 

Phanfone was a powerful super typhoon with sustained wind speed estimated at 130 knots (150 mph) as it approached Japan but had weakened to a category one typhoon with sustained winds of about 70 knots (81 mph) as is passed near Tokyo.

The TRMM- based, near-real time Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) conducted at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland has been measuring the distribution of precipitation over the tropics since TRMM's launch in 1997.

TMPA based rainfall totals were calculated for the period from September 28 to October 6, 2014 during which Phanfone formed east of Guam and traveled to Japan. The typhoon dropped rainfall over much of Japan but rainfall was particularly heavy near Phanfone's track along the southeastern coast of the islands. The analysis indicated that Phanfone dropped the greatest amount of rainfall in central Japan west of Tokyo where rainfall totals greater than 275 mm (10.8 inches) were found. This analysis found some rainfall totals above 300 mm (11.8 inches) over the Pacific Ocean southeast of Japan.

Harold F. Pierce
SSAI/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


Oct. 06, 2014 - NASA Spots Typhoon Phanfone Affecting Japan

Over the weekend of Oct. 5 and 6, Typhoon Phanfone's center made landfall just south of Tokyo and passed over the city before exiting back into the Northwestern Pacific Ocean. NASA's Aqua satellite captured a picture of the typhoon as Tokyo braced for its large eye.

[image-95] n its way to mainland Japan, Phanfone struck Kadena Air Base on the island of Okinawa. According to the website for U.S. Air Force Kadena Air Base (http://www.kadena.af.mil), "One Airman is confirmed deceased and two more are missing after they were washed out to sea from the northwest coast of Okinawa at about 3:45 p.m. Oct. 5. An Airman that was found by the Japanese Coast Guard and pulled from the sea was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. HH-60s from Kadena Air Base and Japanese Coast Guard are continuing to search for the remaining two Airmen. Rough seas are complicating rescue efforts."

Typhoon Phanfone's large eye made landfall near the city of Hamamatsu on Oct. 5 around 8 a.m. local time and then tracked north before turning eastward into the Pacific Ocean north of Tokyo.

The MODIS instrument known as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer captures amazing pictures from its orbit aboard NASA's Aqua satellite. MODIS snapped a picture of Typhoon Phanfone approaching Japan on Oct. 5 at 12:55 a.m. EDT. At that time, the Typhoon had already passed north of Okinawa, and was just south of the large island of Kyushu. The MODIS image revealed a large eye with powerful bands of thunderstorms spiraling into the center.

On Oct. 6 by 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT), Phanfone had weakened from a typhoon to a tropical storm back over open waters of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean. Maximum sustained winds were near 60 knots (69.0 mph/111.1 kph). Phanfone was located near 38.0 north longitude and 145.0 east latitude. That's about 201 nautical miles (271 miles/372 km) south-southeast of Misawa Air Base, Japan. Phanfone was moving to the northeast at 40 knots (46 mph/74 kph).

Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) using animated multispectral satellite imagery noted that Phanfone is being affected by strong wind shear. The wind shear has stretched the tropical storm out, and pushed the bulk of thunderstorms northeast of the center. In addition, Phanfone has transitioned into an extra-tropical storm, which means that its core transitioned from warm to cold.

JTWC called for Phanfone to continue accelerating northeastward and weaken as an extra-tropical cyclone over water.

 

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

 


Oct. 3, 2014 - Two NASA Satellites Stare at Typhoon Phanfone's Large Eye

Two NASA satellites captured data on Typhoon Phanfone as it continues to strengthen as it moves through the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

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The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite flew over Typhoon Phanfone on Oct. 2, 2014 at 0939 UTC (5:39 a.m. EDT). The rainfall pattern observed using TRMM's Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) data showed that Phanfone was much better organized than a day earlier. This precipitation analysis revealed that intensifying typhoon Phanfone had formed a large eye. The heaviest rainfall was shown falling at a rate of over 50 mm (almost 2 inches) per hour in the northern side of the typhoon's eye wall.

On Oct. 3 at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT), Typhoon Phanfone's maximum sustained winds were near 110 knots (126.6 mph/203.7 kph). It was centered near 23.6 north longitude and 134.4 east latitude, about 374 nautical miles west-southwest of the island of Iwo To. Phanfone has tracked northwestward at 12 knots (13.8 mph/22.2 kph).

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) predicts intensifying Phanfone's wind speeds will peak at 125 knots (144 mph) on October 3, 2014. The typhoon is then predicted to gradually weaken and it's track to re-curve toward the northeast and pass to the southeast of Tokyo, Japan on October 5-6, 2014.

Hal Pierce and Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
 


NASA Image Shows Typhoon Phanfone's Pinhole Eye

[image-110]Typhoon Phanfone's eye appeared the size of a pinhole on visible imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite on Oct.3.

The MODIS instrument or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Phanfone moving through the Northwestern Pacific Ocean on Oct. 3 at 4:20 UTC (12:20 a.m. EDT). The tiny open eye of the storm was surrounded by a thick band of thunderstorms. The MODIS image also showed a very thick and large band of thunderstorms south of the center and spiraling into the eye.

On Thursday, Oct. 2, Typhoon Phanfone's maximum sustained winds strengthened to 100 knots (126.6 mph/ 203.7 kph). It was centered at 21.0 north latitude and 137.1 east longitude, about 332 nautical miles (382.1 miles/614.9 km) southwest of the island of Iwo To. Phanfone was moving to the northwest and is expected to continue in that direction before turning to northeast on Oct. 4 south of the Kyushu Province of Japan. Kyushu is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) expects Phanfone to begin weakening on Oct. 4 as it begins a transition to an extra-tropical cyclone.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

 


[image-80][image-96]NASA Sees Intensifying Typhoon Phanfone Heading Toward Japan

An intensifying typhoon called Phanfone that originated east of Guam on September 28, 2014 is headed toward southern Japan. The TRMM satellite crossed above Typhoon Phanfone on October 1, 2014 at 1039 UTC and gathered data about rainfall rates occurring in the storm.

TRMM, or the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite, is a managed by both NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and can peer into a storm and determine how light or heavy rain is falling.  At NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, rainfall data from TRMM's Microwave Imager (TMI) Precipitation Radar (PR) was used to create an image of the storm.

Typhoon Phanfone's winds were estimated to be above 65 knots (about 75 mph/120 kph) at the time TRMM passed over the storm. Winds within the increasingly powerful typhoon are expected to increase to over 100 kts (115 mph/185 kph) in the next few days while moving toward the islands of southern Japan. This rainfall analysis revealed that Phanfone was producing rainfall over a very large area. The TRMM PR instrument indentified some storms in these bands were dropping rain at a rate of over 76 mm (almost 3 inches) per hour. 

On Oct. 1 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT), Typhoon Phanfone had maximum sustained winds near 70 knots (80 mph/129 kph). It was centered near 19.3 north latitude and 140.9 east longitude, about 348 nautical miles (400 miles/644.5 km) south of the island of Iwo To, Japan. Phanfone is moving to the north-northwest at 10 knots (11.5 mph/18.5 kph).

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasts Phanfone to continue moving in a northwesterly direction for the next couple of days before curving to the northeast where a landfall is expected in Japan by Oct. 6.

Hal Pierce
SSAI/NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

 

 


[image-51]Sept. 30, 2014 - NASA's TRMM Satellite Sees Tropical Storm Phanfone Fragmented

The bands of thunderstorms wrapping around Tropical Storm Phanfone in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean appeared fragmented to NASA's TRMM satellite.

On Sept. 30, a typhoon watch remains in effect for the far northern Marianas Islands including Pagan and Alamagan. Tropical storm warnings have been cancelled for Tinian and Saipan, but remain in effect for Pagan, Alamagan and surrounding waters. A flash flood watch remains in effect for the island of Saipan. For updated forecasts for these islands, visit the U.S. National Weather Service Office's Guam website: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/guam/cyclone.php.

On Sept. 30 at 01:51 UTC (Sept. 29 at 9:51 p.m. EDT) from its orbit in space, NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite passed over Tropical Storm Phanfone.  Most of the rainfall in the fragmented bands of thunderstorms was light to moderate, falling at a rate between 10 and 20 mm (0.39 to 0.79 inch) per hour. However, TRMM saw some isolated areas of heavy rain falling at 50 mm (2 inches) per hour.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that animated multi-spectral satellite imagery on Sept. 30 revealed that the tropical storm had slightly unraveled as the bands of thunderstorms had become even more fragmented than they were on Sept. 29.

On Sept. 30 at 1500 UTC  (11 a.m. EDT) Phanfone's maximum sustained winds were near 45 knots (83.3 mph/51.7 kph). It was centered near 17.1 north latitude and 145.0 east longitude, about 103 nautical miles north of Saipan. Phanfone was moving to the west-northwest at 15 knots (17.2 mph/17.7 kph).

Phanfone is forecast to intensify as it moves in a generally northwesterly direction through warm sea surface temperatures, toward the island of Iwo To. Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect Phanfone to reach typhoon strength on Oct. 1 and maintain it as it passes west of the island of Iwo To on Oct. 3, later moving toward Japan.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


[image-36]Sept 29, 2014 - Newborn Tropical Storm Phanfone Triggers Warnings in Northwestern Pacific

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over newborn Tropical Storm Phanfone on Sept. 29 and captured a picture of the storm that showed thunderstorms wrapped tightly around the storm's center, and a large band of thunderstorms spiraling into the center from the east. Phanfone is now a threat to various islands and warnings are in effect.

A tropical storm Warning is in effect for Saipan, Tinian, Pagan and Alamagan. In addition, a typhoon watch is in effect for the northern Marianas Islands, including Pagan and Alamagan.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard Aqua provides visible and infrared images of storms, oceans and land features.  

On Sept. 29 at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) Phanfone had maximum sustained winds near 40 knots (46 mph/74 kph). It was centered near 13.8 north latitude and 149.6 east longitude, about 270 nautical miles east-southeast of Saipan. Phanfone is moving to the west-northwest at 11 knots (12.6 mph/20.3 kph).

The U.S. National Weather Service in Guam issued a statement on Sept. 29 about Phanfone's approach: "Tropical Storm Phanfone will be strengthening into a typhoon as it crosses the Northern Mariana Islands with the center passing near...most likely north of Saipan on Sept. 30, Tuesday night or early Wednesday, Oct. 1. It is important to note that only small changes in the forecast track and intensity will lead to significantly varying Impacts. Expect heavy rain...thunderstorms...dangerous surf...and damaging winds." For forecast updates, visit: http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?map.x=249&map.y=58&site=gum

Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect Phanfone to intensify as it moves to the west-northwest toward the Marianas Islands. After passing through the islands, Phanfone is expected to reach typhoon strength and move west of the island of Iwo To by Oct. 2 or 3.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

MODIS image of Phanfone
The MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite took this visible image of Tropical Storm Phanfone in the Northwestern Pacific, on track for the Northern Marianas Islands.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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Typhoon Phanfone, as seen by Terra satellite
NASA's Terra satellite captured this image of Typhoon Phanfone and its large eye in the western Pacific Ocean on Friday, Oct. 3 at 1:55 UTC.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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satellite image of a tropical storm off shore
NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of Typhoon Phanfone approaching Japan on Oct. 5 at 12:55 a.m. EDT.
Image Credit: 
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
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TRMM image of Phanfone
On Sept. 30, the TRMM satellite passed over Tropical Storm Phanfone and saw fragmented bands of thunderstorms with some isolated areas of heavy rain (red) falling at 2 inches per hour.
Image Credit: 
NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
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TRMM image of Phanfone
NASA’s TRMM satellite saw Phanfone was producing rainfall over a very large area on Oct. 1. Some storms in these bands were dropping rain at a rate of over 76 mm (almost 3 inches) per hour.
Image Credit: 
SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
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NASA’s TRMM satellite saw Phanfone was producing rainfall over a very large area on Oct. 1. Some storms in these bands were dropping rain at a rate of over 76 mm (almost 3 inches) per hour.
Image Credit: 
SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
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NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of Typhoon Phanfone
NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of Typhoon Phanfone moving through the Northwestern Pacific Ocean on Oct. 3 at 4:20 UTC.
Image Credit: 
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
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rainfall map of Typhoon Phanfone
NASA's TRMM satellite passed over Typhoon Phanfone on Oct. 2 and saw that the heaviest rainfall was shown falling at a rate of over 50 mm (almost 2 inches) per hour in the northern side of the typhoon's eye wall.
Image Credit: 
SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
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TRMM image of Phanfone
Typhoon Phanfone dropped rainfall over much of Japan but rainfall was particularly heavy near Phanfone's track along the southeastern coast of the islands. Phanfone's track and locations are shown overlaid in white.
Image Credit: 
SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
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Page Last Updated: October 7th, 2014
Page Editor: Lynn Jenner