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Hurricane Season 2007: Sidr (Indian)
11.13.07
 
Powerful Tropical Cyclone Sidr Makes Landfall in Bangladesh

Tropical Cyclone Sidr's poweful category 4 winds lashed Bangladesh on Nov. 14 and 15 as one of the strongest storms to hit that region since records began. Officially, Sidr made landfall at 14:30 UTC (11:30 a.m. EDT) on Nov. 15 with 150 mph winds on the west coast of Bangladesh.

The area of landfall was on the western coast of Bangladesh. It is the least populated area of the country, as it is home to the Sundarbans Forest, the world's largest forest of mangrove trees. At the point of landfall, storm surges of up to 25 feet are possible. Meanwhile, storm surges of between 10 to 20 feet are also likely to affect populated areas, east of the forest and inland from the forest.

Bangladesh's Meteorology Office reported that Sidr brought winds of 160 to 180 kph (100 to 11 mph) to Hiron Point, Khepupara and Dublarchar coastlines in Sundarbans at about 5:00 p.m. local time. The Meteorology Office warned that the coastal areas may face tidal surge 20-25 feet high above normal astronomical tide.

The Daily Star, a Bangladesh newspaper, reported on Nov. 15, "Over 1,000 fishermen went missing after 300 fishing trawlers sank in the Bay during the storms." The latest Meteorology Office bulletin required all fishing boats and trawlers in the north Bay to remain in port until further notice.

Satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Sidr
Click image for enlargement.

NASA's Aqua satellite has been watching the progress of this monster storm. This infrared image from Nov. 15 at 6:47 UTC (1:47 a.m. EST) was created by data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA's Aqua satellite and shows Sidr's clouds and rains in the blue and purple areas. Unfortunately, while passing overhead in space, the Aqua satellite's swath was only able to capture one half of the storm (the purple and blue circular area) approaching the western coast of Bangladesh. Looking closely at the image, however, the Sidr's eye is visible as the little circle of blue in the larger purple area.

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 storm. 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).

Sidr Pounding Bangladesh With Heavy Rainfall

Satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Sidr
Click image for enlargement.

This image from NASA and the Japanese Space Agency's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite peers into the storm from space and sees the heavy rains that are falling from the storm.

This image, from Nov. 15 at 13:59 UTC (8:59 a.m. EST) shows the heaviest rainfall in the northwest quadrant of the storm at between 35 and 40 millimeters (1.37 to 1.60 inches) of rain per hour (located in the top right area of circulation)!

Since records began in that part of the world in 1877, Sidr obtained the title of the second strongest cyclone to make landfall in Bangladesh. The strongest storm made landfall there in 1991 as a Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, killed 100,000 and displaced about 10 million. In 1999, the Orissa cyclone, also Category 5 storm killed 10,000. Cyclones in the North Indian Ocean basin have been some of the costliest in human lives.

Rob Gutro and Ed Olsen
Goddard Space Flight Center/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Images credit: (1) NASA/JPL; (2) SSAI/NASA GSFC




Dangerous Tropical Cyclone Sidr Heads North Through Bay of Bengal

Tropical Cyclone Sidr in the Bay of Bengal
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NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder on its Aqua satellite captured this impressive image of Tropical Cyclone Sidr in the Bay of Bengal on November 14. The equivalent of a strong Category Four hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 130 knots (150 miles per hour) and gusts of up to 160 knots (184 miles per hour), Sidr is currently moving north and is expected to further intensify and make landfall the morning of November 16 in the region of India's state of West Bengal and Bangladesh. Thousands of people in the storm's path are being evacuated. Much of the area threatened by the storm is low-lying and is vulnerable to storm surges.

The infrared 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 Tropical Cyclone Sidr. 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).

Alan Buis
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Image credit: NASA/JPL




Many NASA Satellites See Typhoon Sidr a Big Threat to Bangladesh

Monster Typhoon Sidr, formerly known as Tropical Storm 06B is heading straight toward low-lying Bangladesh and is a Category Four on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

NASA's Aqua Satellite Peers at Temperatures in Sidr's Cloud Tops

Satellite image of Typhoon Sidr
Click image for enlargement.

On Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 1:30 p.m. local time, the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of the temperatures in Sidr's clouds. At that time, Sidr was located near 12.5 degrees north latitude and 89.8 degrees east longitude, or 605 nautical miles south of Calcutta, India. It has tracked north at 5 knots (6 mph). Sidr had maximum sustained winds of 115 knots (132 mph) and according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), it continues to intensify. JTWC also notes that maximum wave height is currently 32 feet.

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 storm. 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 an area of strong convection (rapidly rising air) in purple.

NASA'S MODIS Instrument Watching Tropical Cyclone Sidr

Satellite image of Typhoon Sidr
Click image for enlargement.

Tropical Cyclone Sidr was gathering strength when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this photo-like image on November 12, 2007. The storm’s swirling clouds straddle the center of the Bay of Bengal with the eastern shores of Sri Lanka and India forming the left edge of the image. At the time that this image was taken, Sidr was relatively small, with sustained winds estimated at 100 kilometers per hour (60 miles per hour or 55 knots), the equivalent of an Atlantic tropical storm. Despite its small size, Sidr is well-formed with a dark spot near the center where an eye may be developing surrounded by tight bands of clouds.

QuikSCAT Peers from Space a Sidr's Winds

Satellite image of Typhoon Sidr
Click image for enlargement.

Tropical Cyclone Sidr crept steadily north and west over the warm waters of the Bay of Bengal after forming on Nov. 11, 2007. This image shows the storm as observed by NASA’s QuikSCAT satellite on Nov. 11, 2007. At the time, the center of the developing storm sat west of the southern edge of the Andaman Islands. The colors chart out the storm’s wind speed, and not surprisingly, the strongest winds are in the center of the storm. Small barbs show wind direction, and white barbs point to heavy rainfall. On Nov. 12, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast that Sidr would grow to the equivalent of a Category 2 storm, with sustained winds of 170 km/hr (100 mph or 90 knots) by November 14.

CloudSat Provides a Sideways Look at Sidr's Clouds

Rain data from Typhoon Sidr
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NASA's CloudSat satellite's Cloud Profiling Radar captured a sideways look across Typhoon Sidr on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 7:17 UTC (2:17 p.m. EDT).

The colors indicate the intensity of the reflected radar energy. The top of Sidr's clouds reach as high as 15 kilometers, or approximately 9.3 miles high. These high cloud tops indicate a strong storm.

The blue areas along the top of the clouds indicates cloud ice, while the wavy blue lines on the bottom center of the image indicate intense rainfall. Notice that the solid line along the bottom of the panel, which is the ground, disappears in this area of intense precipitation. It is likely that in the area the precipitation rate exceeds 30mm/hr (1.18 inches/hour) based on previous studies.

Rob Gutro
Goddard Space Flight Center
QuikSCAT and MODIS Summaries from NASA's Earth Observatory
Images credit: (1) NASA JPL; (2) NASA/Jesse Allen/MODIS Rapid Response Team; (3) David Long/Brigham Young University/NASA JPL; (4) NASA/JPL/Colorado State University/Naval Research Laboratory-Monterey