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Soulik (Northwestern Pacific)
July 15, 2013

NASA Caught Soulik’s Visible Eye Before Making Deadly Landfall[image-204]

Typhoon Soulik still maintained an eye just before making landfall in southeastern China on July 13, and NASA’s Terra satellite captured the eye in an image. Soulik’s heavy rainfall in southern China is responsible for hundreds missing or dead. 

On July 11, when Typhoon Soulik was approaching Taiwan, NASA and the Japanese Space Agency’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite known as TRMM passed overhead in space. TRMM’s Precipitation Radar instrument captured data on rainfall rates, and that data was used to create a 3-D view of the typhoon looking from the northwest. That 3-D view clearly showed Typhoon Soulik’s eye when it was east of Taiwan. The 3-D image also revealed the ring of thunderstorms surrounding the eye had rainfall rates of 2 inches/50 mm per hour.   [image-220]

Two days later on July 13, Typhoon Soulik was a category one typhoon when NASA’s Terra satellite flew over the storm. Terra’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument captured another image of its eye. On July 13 at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT), Soulik’s maximum sustained winds were near 70 knots (80.5/129.6 kph). Those typhoon-strength winds extended 45 nautical miles (51.7 miles/83.3 km) from the center. At that time, Soulik’s center had passed Taiwan and was 87 nautical miles (100 miles/161 km) west-northwest of Taipei, Taiwan, near 26.8 north and 120.1 east.

By 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT) on July 13, Soulik had made landfall near Fuzhou in southeastern China and was centered near 26.8 north and 119.1 east. After interacting with land, Soulik’s maximum sustained winds fell to 60 knots (69 mph/111 kph).[image-236]

According to the South China Morning Post, Soulik’s flooding and landslides have left at least 300 people missing or dead. The southwestern province of Sichuan reported 68 deaths and 179 people missing. Two people died in the Guangdong province, and other parts of China reported 41 deaths and two missing.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


July 11, 2013 - NASA Sees Soulik’s Eye Reopen on Taiwan Approach[image-188]

Typhoon Soulik’s eyewall appears to have rebuilt as evidenced in NASA satellite imagery. Soulik is approaching Taiwan and is forecast to make landfall in southeastern China over the weekend of July 13 and 14.

On July 12 at 05:05 UTC (1:05 a.m. EDT) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Typhoon Soulik approaching Taiwan. The image clearly showed a tight, powerful ring of thunderstorms around Soulik’s center with a small eye in the center. Soulik underwent eyewall reconstruction on July 12.

The MODIS imagery also revealed that the clouds and thunderstorms in the northern quadrant were less dense than in the southern quadrant. Multispectral and microwave satellite imagery confirm the visible imagery.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that multispectral satellite imagery showed Soulik remains organized and has large bands of thunderstorms wrapping around the southern semicircle, and into the storm’s center. Microwave satellite imagery however, shows subsidence in the northwestern quadrant of the tropical cyclone. Subsidence is the sinking of air that prevents the development of thunderstorms that make up the tropical cyclone. The combination of these data suggests that the strongest part of the storm is the southern quadrant and the weakest part is the northeast quadrant.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that Soulik’s expected track has shifted slightly to the south, which is not good news for Taiwan. On the projected JTWC track, Soulik’s center will cross the top third of the island, south of Taipei on July 12 and 13 before crossing the Taiwan Strait.

According to China’s National Meteorological Center (NMC), Soulik will move to the coastal areas of Zhejiang and Fujian. Then it will land in the coastal areas of northern Fujian Province to southern Zhejiang from 12:00 p.m. local time, to the evening of July 13.

On July 12 at 1200 UTC (8 a.m. EDT), Typhoon Soulik’s maximum sustained winds were near 90 knots (103 mph/166.7 kph). At that time, Soulik was centered near 23.4 north and 124.3 east, about 253 nautical miles southwest of Kadena Air Base, Japan. Soulik is moving to the west-northwest at 10 knots (11.5 mph/18.5 kph) and generating very rough seas with wave heights to 43 feet (13.1 meters).

The China NMC has issued an orange alert for Taiwan, and northern Fujian Province to southern Zhejiang.

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


July 11, 2013 - NASA Sees Typhoon Soulik’s Eye Closed for “Renovations”  [image-142]

When a hurricane or typhoon’s eye becomes filled with clouds, it can be a sign the storm is weakening, or that high clouds have moved over it, or its eyewall is being replaced. When NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Typhoon Soulik on July 11 an instrument aboard noticed clouds filled the eye and additional data showed the eyewall was being replaced. 

On July 11 at 04:20 UTC (12:20 a.m. EDT), NASA’s Aqua satellite flew over Typhoon Soulik in the western Pacific Ocean. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument saw that Soulik’s eye had become cloud-filled and the storm’s maximum sustained winds had dropped since the previous day. However, satellite data indicates the eye is reforming.[image-174]

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasters use multi-spectral satellite imagery when assessing a tropical cyclone and noted that imagery showed multiple bands of thunderstorms wrapping around Soulik’s center, and the ragged cloud-filled eye was still 20 nautical miles (23 miles/37 km) in diameter. Microwave satellite imagery confirmed the reforming eye, and showed that those strong bands of thunderstorms were wrapping around the southern side of the storm. 

Eyewall Replacement

Whenever a super typhoon or major hurricane has sustained winds over 100 knots (115 mph/185 kph), eyewall replacement occurs naturally.  That happens because the eyewall is small, or it contracts and some of the outer bands of thunderstorms can strengthen and form a ring or outer eyewall. That outer ring moves inward and takes energy from the inner eyewall. During the replacement, a typhoon or hurricane weakens, as Soulik has done. Eventually the inner eyewall is replaced by the outer eyewall. Once the replacement is completed, the storm may re-intensify.[image-158]

Soulik Reached Super Typhoon Status

It was just yesterday, July 10 at 0000 UTC (July 9 at 8 p.m. EDT) that Typhoon Soulik became the first super typhoon of the year when the Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimated that it's sustained winds had increased to 125 knots (~144 mph), which is equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane on the U.S. Saffir-Simpson scale.

NASA’s TRMM Satellite 

NASA and the Japanese Space Agency’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite flew over Soulik on July 10 at 14:06 UTC (10:06 a.m. EDT) and measured rainfall rates occurring within the storm. TRMM data showed that Soulik had all of the features of a powerful, mature tropical cyclone, including a well-defined eye and multiple intense rain bands (red, green and blue areas indicating intense, moderate and weak rain intensity, respectively) that wrap tightly around the eye, which reflect the storm's strong cyclonic circulation.

Soulik’s Status

On July 11 at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT), Typhoon Soulik’s maximum sustained winds dropped to near 90 knots (103.6 mph/166.7 kph). On July 10 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT) Soulik’s maximum sustained winds were blowing at 120 knots (138 mph/222 kph) and NASA’s Terra satellite captured a clear image of the storm’s eye.

Soulik is still moving in a westerly direction through the northwestern Pacific Ocean and at a speed of 12 knots. Typhoon Soulik was located near latitude 22.4 north and longitude 129.1 east, about 273 nautical miles (314 miles/505 km) south-southeast of Kadena Air Base. Soulik’s powerful winds were stirring up maximum wave heights near 38 feet (11.5 meters).

According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Typhoon Soulik is forecast to move just south of Japan’s Ishigaki-jima Island early on July 12, and brush the northern end of Taiwan later in the day as it heads to China for landfall on July 13.

Text credit:  Rob Gutro with Steve Lang
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center


July 10, 2013 - NASA Gets an Eye-Opening Look at Typhoon Soulik

NASA satellite imagery from July 10 revealed a very clear and cloudless eye in the Northwestern Pacific’s Typhoon Soulik as it moves toward a landfall in China by the end of the week.[image-126]

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured a visible image of Typhoon Soulik and its clear eye on July 10, 2013 at 2:10 UTC as it continues to move through the northwestern Pacific Ocean. Soulik’s round eye is about 25 nautical miles (28.7 miles/46.3 km) wide.

Typhoon Soulik’s maximum sustained winds have increased dramatically over the last 24 hours and at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT) on July 10, were blowing at 120 knots (138 mph/222 kph). According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Soulik’s powerful winds are creating seas over 40 feet (12.2 meters) high in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. Soulik’s center was near 21.9 north latitude and 132.9 east longitude, about 420 nautical miles (483.3 miles/777.7 km) southeast of Kadena Air Base, Japan. Soulik is moving to the west-northwest at 13 knots (15 mph/24 kph).

Soulik is tracking west-northwest along the southern edge of a subtropical ridge (elongated area) of high pressure. The ridge of high pressure stretches from east to west and westward over the Ryukyu Islands and into the East China Sea along about 30 north latitude. 

Soulik is still expected to make a landfall in southeastern China on July 12 or 13 after passing north of Taiwan.

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

 


 

[image-94]NASA Satellites See Strong Thunderstorms Surround Typhoon Soulik’s Center

Visible and infrared satellite data show strong thunderstorms surrounding the low-level center of the tropical storm turned Typhoon Soulik. NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Typhoon Soulik in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean on July 9 and two instruments showed the power in the typhoon’s center.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Soulik on July 9 at 1:25 UTC (July 8 at 9:25 p.m. EDT).  The image shows a tight concentration of thunderstorms around the typhoon’s center and feeder bands of thunderstorms wrapping into the center from the northeast and southwest.

An infrared image captured on July 9 at 4:29 UTC (12:29 a.m. EDT) captured the cloud top temperatures of the eastern two-thirds of the typhoon. The infrared data, captured by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument showed that same tight concentration of storms around the center with cloud top temperatures colder than -63F/-52C. That means the thunderstorm cloud tops are high into the troposphere and are likely dropping heavy rainfall. Infrared data shows that Soulik’s eye is about 30 nautical miles (34.5 miles/55.5 km) in diameter.[image-110]

Soulik is also a large typhoon. The AIRS data showed that the storm spans from about 15 degrees north latitude to 23 degrees north latitude. Tropical-storm-force winds extend out 140 miles from the center (or 280 miles in diameter). The typhoon-force winds extend out nautical 40 miles (46 miles/74 km) from the center, or about 80 nautical miles (92 miles/148 km) in diameter.

According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, on July 9 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT), Typhoon Soulik had maximum sustained winds near 95 knots (109 mph/176 kph) and is still strengthening.

Soulik’s center was located near 20.3 north latitude and 138.1 east longitude, about 678 nautical miles (780 miles/1,256 km) east-southeast of Kadena Air Base, Japan. Soulik is moving to the west-southwest at 12 knots (13.8 mph/22.2 kph) and generating very rough seas with wave heights to 32 feet (9.7 meters). 

Soulik is intensifying as it moves west across the open Pacific and is expected to make a landfall in southeastern China sometime over the weekend of July 13 and 14.

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


July 08, 2013 - NASA Satellite Sees 2 Views of Tropical Storm Soulik Over Marianas Islands

When NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Soulik in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean, the MODIS and AIRS instruments captured images that showed the storm’s eastern quadrant covered the Marianas Islands and that the storm has become more organized in the last day.[image-51]

The MODIS or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a brilliant visible image of Storm Soulik over the Mariana Islands on July 8 at 3:50 UTC (July 7 at 11:50 p.m. EDT). In the image, Soulik’s center could be seen near the northern islands, just west of the long band of thunderstorms covering the island chain.

Around the same time, another instrument aboard Aqua called “AIRS,” or Atmospheric Infrared Sounder captured an infrared look at Soulik. The AIRS infrared data measured cloud top temperatures. AIRS data showed that strong thunderstorms with cloud tops extending high into the troposphere had temperatures as cold as -63F/-52C, and packed the potential for heavy rainfall.[image-78]

Infrared satellite imagery also showed that Soulik continues to consolidate quickly and it has tightly curved bands of thunderstorms that are wrapping around an eye-like feature near the center of the storm. Satellite microwave imagery showed the eye feature clearly. 

On July 8, at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT) Soulik had maximum sustained winds near 55 knots (63 mph/102 kph). Soulik’s center was located near 9.2 north latitude and 142.0 east longitude, about 350 nautical miles south-southeast of Iwo Jima. Soulik is moving to the west at 10 knots (11.5 mph//18.5 kph).

Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning center noted that the storm is expected to intensify, and may intensify rapidly. It could reach typhoon strength by tomorrow, July 9.

Soulik is moving away from the Marianas Islands and is expected to continue in a west, then west-northwesterly direction over the next several days. Soulik is currently forecast to track north of the Philippines, and affect northern Taiwan before making landfall in southeastern China (in the Zhejiang Province) later in the week.

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

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MODIS image of Soulik
This visible image from July 8 at 3:50 UTC was taken by the MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite shows Tropical Storm Soulik over the Mariana Islands.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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[image-51]
TRMM image of Soulik
This infrared image from July 8 at 3:41 UTC was taken by the AIRS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite shows Tropical Storm Soulik over the Mariana Islands. The strongest thunderstorms with coldest cloud tops appear in purple.
Image Credit: 
NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
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[image-78]
MODIS image of Soulik
This visible image from July 9 at 1:25 UTC was taken by the MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite shows strong thunderstorms around Tropical Storm Soulik’s center.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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[image-94]
NASA’s AIRS instrument showed the concentration of strong thunderstorms around Soulik’s center with cloud top temperatures colder than -63F/-52C (purple) and an eye about 30 nautical miles in diameter.
Image Credit: 
NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
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[image-110]
Tropical Storm Soulik
The MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this visible image of Typhoon Soulik and its clear eye on July 10, 2013 at 2:10 UTC as it moves through the northwestern Pacific Ocean.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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[image-126]
Soulik
On July 11 at 04:20 UTC (12:20 a.m. EDT), NASA’s Aqua satellite flew over Typhoon Soulik in the western Pacific Ocean and saw that its eye had become cloud-filled. Soulik is undergoing eyewall replacement.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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[image-142]
TRMM image of Soulik
The TRMM satellite flew over Soulik on July 10 at 14:06 UTC and saw a well-defined eye and multiple intense (red) and moderate and weak (green, blue) that wrapped tightly around the eye.
Image Credit: 
NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
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[image-158]
Youtube Override: 
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The TRMM satellite flew over Soulik on July 10 at 14:06 UTC and saw a well-defined eye and multiple intense (red) and moderate and weak (green, blue).
Image Credit: 
NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
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[image-174]
MODIS image of Soulik
On July 12 at 05:05 UTC (1:05 a.m. EDT) the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this stunning visible image of Tropical Typhoon Soulik approaching Taiwan.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response
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[image-188]
MODIS image of Soulik
NASA’s Terra satellite captured this visible image of Typhoon Soulik on July 13 at 02:40 UTC when it was in the Taiwan Strait, just before making a final landfall in southeastern China.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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[image-204]
TRMM 3D image of Soulik
This TRMM Precipitation Radar 3-D view (from the northwest) shows Typhoon Soulik east of Taiwan. The structure of Soulik's large eye is clearly shown by this TRMM PR slice.
Image Credit: 
NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
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[image-220]
Youtube Override: 
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This is a simulated 3-D flyby over Typhoon Soulik from NASA’s TRMM Satellite on July 11, 2013 at 2119 UTC.
Image Credit: 
NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
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[image-236]
Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: Lynn Jenner