Hurricane Season 2006: Utor (Western Pacific)
Typhoon Utor struck the Philippines on December 9, 2006. Coming just a week after Super Typhoon Durian passed through the island chain on a parallel path just to the north, Utor brought heavy rain and strong winds to sodden ground and swollen rivers. Typhoons Xangsane, Cimaron, and Chebi earlier in the year had also followed very similar tracks to Utor. The National Diaster Coordinating Council reported exavuations over over 60,000 people from provinces on or near the storm’s track, particularly in areas where rain from Durian had caused mudslides. As of December 10, the Associated Press was reporting that no deaths in the mudslide areas had been recorded, though Typhoon Utor was responsible for some loss of life elsewhere as tree fell on houses. Like Durian before it, Utor was expected to cross the South China Sea and come ashore in mainland Asia along the Vietnam coast.
This photo-like image was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on December 9, 2006, at 12:55 p.m. local time (4:55 UTC), just hours before the storm’s center crossed the shoreline. The storm system did not have the well-defined shape of a powerful typhoon, with no clear eye, though powerful thunderstorm clouds can be discerned in the heart of the storm, and the spiral arms also show towering thunderheads reaching above the clouds around them, and casting shadows. Sustained winds were around 160 kilometers per hour (100 miles per hour), according to the University of Hawaii’s Tropical Storm Information Center.
Credit: NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center.