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Hurricane Season 2007: Fitow (Western Pacific)
09.06.07
 
Typhoon Fitow Kills 2 in Japan

Typhoon Fitow made landfall before sunrise early Friday morning, Sept. 7, 2007, and brought heavy downpours and strong winds with it. Fitow was a Category 1 typhoon when it made landfall.

Flooding was reported in the Tamagawa river in Tokyo, and rescues were being conducted after Fitow's heavy rains. Early reports indicate two deaths related to the storm.

At 6:00 UTC (2:00 a.m. EDT) on Sept. 7, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued its final advisory on Fitow. At that time, Fitow was located near 40.7 degrees north latitude and 141.5 degrees east longitude, or approximately 50 nautical miles south-southeast of Misawa, Japan. Fitow was still a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 40 knots (46 mph) and gusts to 50 knots (57mph). The storm was moving north-northeast at 26 knots (29 mph).

A Look at the Coldest and Highest Cloud Tops

AIRS image of Typhoon Fitow
Click image for enlargement.

In this infrared image from September 6 at 16:17 UTC (12:17 p.m. EDT), created by data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA's Aqua satellite, the center of Typhoon Fitow's circulation can be seen making landfall in Japan. This AIRS image shows the temperature of the cloud tops or the surface of the Earth in cloud-free regions. The lowest temperatures (in purple) are associated with high, cold cloud tops that make up the top of the typhoon. The infrared signal does not penetrate through clouds. Where there are no clouds the AIRS instrument reads the infrared signal from the surface of the Earth, revealing warmer temperatures (red). This infrared image shows large areas of strong convection surrounding the core of the storm (in purple). The eye is visible as the yellow area in the center of the purple region.

Rob Gutro (From JTWC reports)
Goddard Space Flight Center
Image credit: NASA/JPL

NASA's TRMM Satellite Sees Heavy Rain in Fitow

Satellite image of Typhoon Fitow
Click image for enlargement.

This dramatic image shows Typhoon Fitow as it was nearing Japan. The image was taken by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (or TRMM) satellite at 20:55 UTC (4:55 p.m. EDT) on Sept. 5 and shows the horizontal pattern of rain intensity within the storm. Rain rates in the center of the swath are from the TRMM PR, and those in the outer swath come from the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI). The rain rates are overlaid on infrared (IR) data from the TRMM Visible Infrared Scanner (VIRS).

Fitow has a large, ragged eye (dark center). This is surrounded by a partial eyewall of moderate rain intensity (green areas) on the north and south and heavy rain (darker reds) on the east. The eyewall is broken to the west as evidenced by the lack of rain. At the time this image was taken, Fitow was a Category 1 typhoon moving north towards Japan with sustained winds estimated at 80 knots (92 mph) by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Fitow made landfall less than 24 hours later southwest of Tokyo on the night of Sept. 6 (local Japan time) as a Category 1 storm with sustained winds of 75 knots (86 mph). This next image shows the storm just after it made landfall in central Japan. The image was taken at 18:23 UTC (2:23 p.m. EDT) Sept. 6. The eye is no longer visible in the IR image. The center is barely visible (small break in the rain just onshore) as the circulation becomes disrupted over land. Some large rain bands containing moderate to heavy rain lie just offshore. Fitow is expected to weaken steadily as it continues to travel northward over the main island of Honshu.

TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.

Image credit: Hal Pierce, Goddard Space Flight Center; SSAI
Caption credit: Steve Lang, Goddard Space Flight Center; SSAI




Tropical Cyclone Fitow Gives Japan Fits

Tropical Cyclone Fitow

This CloudSat overpass near the eye of Tropical Cyclone Fitow occurred on Sept. 4, 2007, at approximately 1634 UTC, at a time when Fitow had maximum wind speeds of 75 knots (86 miles per hour) with gusts up to 90 knots (104 miles per hour).

After briefly strengthening to a Category 2 storm, Fitow, which means "beautiful fragrant flower", made landfall on the coast of Japan around 12:00 UTC on Sept. 6, and rapidly weakened to a Category 1 storm. As of 18:00 UTC Sept. 6, Fitow had maximum sustained wind speeds of 65 knots (75 miles per hour). The image in the upper panel (Credit: Naval Research Laboratory http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/tc_pages/tc_home.html ) represents the "brightness temperature," with the coldest clouds (yellow and red) being the deepest and highest. This data was obtained from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR) instrument on the Aqua spacecraft, with the red line representing the CloudSat orbit overpass.

The CloudSat satellite, carrying the cloud radar, is in formation with the Aqua satellite, and passes over the same location approximately one minute later. The lower panel is the CloudSat 94 gigahertz cloud radar data corresponding to the overpass, and it represents a vertical (slice) through the clouds very near the eye (Credit: CloudSat Data Processing Center http://www.cloudsat.cira.colostate.edu/dpcstatusQL.php ). The vertical axis represents the altitude from the ground to the top of the atmosphere, and the variations of color intensity are an indication of the differing amounts of water and ice in the storm clouds. The radar penetrated to the ground most of the time, even through heavy rainfall. Where the ground return disappears is an indication that the radar was attenuated by heavy precipitation, likely exceeding 30 millimeters (1.2 inches) per hour, based on previous studies.

CloudSat data provide analysts and forecasters with a view of storms and hurricanes never before available. Cross-sections like these provide a view of the internal structure of these storms, giving information about the intensity, rainfall rates and cloud organization.

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Typhoon Fitow Headed to Tokyo

Satellite image of Typhoon Fitow
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Category One Typhoon Fitow is headed to Tokyo Japan late Thursday and early Friday. "Fitow" is a flower in Micronesia.

At 8:00 a.m. EDT (12:00 UTC) on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2007, Typhoon Fitow had maximum sustained winds of 75 knots (86 mph) and gusts to 90 knots (103 mph), as it headed to Toyko. Fitow was located near 34.2 degrees north latitude and 138.8 east longitude. Forecasters from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that "the storm has accelerated from a 10 knot (11 mph) six-hourly speed to a 12 knot (13 mph) six-hourly speed." In the six hours prior, Fitow weakened slightly as satellite images depicted a ragged eye.

NASA Measures Fitow's Winds by Satellite

The above image, from NASA's QuikSCAT satellite, was taken on Sept. 6, 2007 at 9:17 UTC (5:17 a.m. EDT) and depicts the wind speeds in Typhoon Fitow. The center of Fitow is indicated by the purple color. This image depicts wind speed in color and wind direction with small barbs. White barbs point to areas of heavy rain. The highest wind speeds, around the eye, are shown in purple.

Infrared image of Typhoon Fitow
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A Look at the Coldest and Highest Cloud Tops

In this infrared image from September 6 at 4:11 UTC (12:11 a.m. EDT), created by data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA's Aqua satellite, Typhoon Fitow can be seen to the east of Japan. The blue areas show that Fitow's clouds and rains were already affecting the southeastern areas of the island. This AIRS image shows the temperature of the cloud tops or the surface of the Earth in cloud-free regions. The lowest temperatures (in purple) are associated with high, cold cloud tops that make up the top of the typhoon. The infrared signal does not penetrate through clouds. Where there are no clouds the AIRS instrument reads the infrared signal from the surface of the Earth, revealing warmer temperatures (red). This infrared image shows large areas of strong convection surrounding the core of the storm (in purple). The eye is visible as the yellow area in the center of the purple region.

On Wednesday, September 5, Fitow had already inundated parts of Japan's main island of Honshu, and Toyko can expect the same Thursday and early Friday.

Rob Gutro (From JTWC reports)
Goddard Space Flight Center
Images credit: NASA/JPL




Typhoon Fitow Approaches Japan

Typhoon Fitow

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this photo-like image of Typhoon Fitow approaching Japan at 1:15 p.m. local time (4:15 UTC) on September 6, 2007. Roughly an hour later, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimated Fitow’s sustained winds to be over 160 kilometers per hour (100 miles per hour), putting the storm at Category Two strength. The satellite image shows Fitow to have tightly wound bands of clouds around a well-defined, though cloud-filled eye, and towering thunderstorms characteristic of powerful tropical storm systems (the generic name for typhoon, hurricanes, and tropical cyclones). At the time MODIS observed Typhoon Fitow, the storm’s outer edges were bringing winds and rain to Tokyo and strong storm surge to coastal areas on the islands of Honshu, Kyushu, and Skikoku.

Typhoon Fitow became a named storm on August 29, 2007. The storm system gradually built in power as it drew towards the main islands of Japan, briefly reaching Category Two strength, then weakening to Category One, before rebuilding again. It was forecast to reach Honshu, the largest island in Japan on September 6, then track over the island and lose power. “Fitow” is a Micronesian word for a flower found on the island of Yap. The list of names of western Pacific storms, provided by the Hong Kong Observatory, draws on Asian languages.

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Image credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center




Early Image of Typhoon Fitow

Satellite image of Typhoon Fitow
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This QuikSCAT image captured Typhoon Fitow's winds on Sept. 1 at 19:20 UTC (12:20 p.m. PDT)

Image credit: NASA/JPL