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Hurricane Season 2008: Typhoon Fengshen (Northwestern Pacific Ocean)
06.19.08
 
June 27, 2008

Fengshen Devastates the Phillipines and Hits China

TRMM image of Fengshen taken on June 21, 2008Credit: NASA/TRMM
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Typhoon Fengshen has proven to be very deadly. In the Philippines it caused the deaths of over 1000 people. Close to 800 of these lives were lost when Fenghsen caused the sinking of a ferry. Also, tens of thousands were reported to be marooned on the roofs of their houses during massive flooding. Typhoon Fengshen, known as Frank in the Philippines, formed in the Pacific Ocean East of the Philippine Islands on 19 June. It intensified to typhoon intensity on 20 June 2008. The image to the right was made using data captured by the TRMM satellite on 21 June 2008 at 1258 UTC. At that time typhoon Fengshen had wind speeds estimated at 85 knots (~98 mile per hour) making it a category two tropical cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson scale.




Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis of the rainfall from Fengshen from June 16 to June 23, 2008 Credit: NASA/TRMM
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Typhoon Fengshen dropped very heavy rainfall over the Philippines before moving into the South China Sea. This resulted in many mudslides and massive flooding. The TRMM-based, near-real time Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center monitors rainfall over the global Tropics. MPA rainfall totals are shown here for the period from 16 to 23 June 2008 for the the Philippines. Rainfall amounts exceeding 150 mm (~5.9 inches, shown in yellow) cover most of the southern Philippines. Higher amounts of over 300 mm (~12 inches, shown in dark red) cover a large area of the islands affected by the typhoon. The path of the typhoon is shown with a thick black line. Tropical storm and hurricane symbols were drawn at the approximate 0000Z and 1200Z positions of Fengshen.



TRMM image of Fengshen taken on June 24, 2008 Credit: NASA/TRMM
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After a devastating blow to the Philippines, Fengshen moved through the South China Sea as a tropical storm. The image on the right shows Fengshen when the TRMM satellite passed overhead on 24 June 2008 at 2000 UTC. The storm was still well organized with wind speeds estimated at 45-50 knots (52-58 miles per hour). This was before the storm came ashore in China and shows that Fengshen had an area of very heavy rainfall of over 50mm/hr (~2 inches per hour) when it was just south of Hong Kong.





The intensity of rainfall with Fengshen decreased after coming ashore in China as shown by the next image from TRMM satellite data captured on 25 June 2004 at 1229 UTC. By this time Fengshen had lost intensity and was classified as a tropical depression with wind speeds of about 30 knots (34.5 miles per hour).





TRMM image of Fengshen taken on June 25, 2008 Credit: NASA/TRMM
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Heavy rain amounts (from satellites) and flood inundation calculations (from a hydrological model) are updated every three hours globally with the results shown on the "Global Flood and Landslide Monitoring" TRMM web site pages. Credit: Images and caption by Hal Pierce (SSAI/NASA GSFC)










June 25, 2008

Fengshen Makes Landfall Again and Batters Hong Kong With Heavy Rains

AIRS image of Fengshen from June 25, 2008Credit: NASA/JPL
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Late Tuesday, June 24, Tropical Storm Fengshen made landfall north of Hong Kong, China and brought heavy rains and gusty winds with it. Fengshen's tropical storm force winds of 39 mph (63 km/hr) closed schools, courts and financial markets, according to reports from the Associated Press. Over the weekend of June 21, Fengshen made landfall in the Philippines before moving back out to sea.

By Wednesday, June 25 at 1500 Zulu Time (11:00 a.m. EDT), Fengshen was downgraded to a tropical depression and still on a northwesterly track over land. At that time, Fengshen was centered near 23.4 degrees north latitude and 113.4 degrees east longitude, or 70 miles north-northwest of Hong Kong. Its sustained winds were down to 30 knots (34 mph). By Thursday June 26, Fengshen is expected to weaken into a remnant low pressure system.

The satellite image of Fengshen was created by data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA's Aqua satellite.

Cloudsat image of Fengshen from June 22, 2008 Image credit: NASA/JPL/Colorado State University/Naval Research Laboratory-Monterey
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It shows the temperature of Fengshen's cloud tops on June 25, 6:05 UTC (2:05 a.m. EDT) as it continues making landfall into China, north of Hong Kong. The lowest temperatures (in purple) are associated with high, cold cloud tops that make up Fengshen's center. There are large areas of strong convection (rising air and rainfall) shown here in purple. Where there are no clouds the AIRS instrument reads the infrared signal from the surface of the Earth (over both land and water), revealing warmer temperatures (red).

NASA's CloudSat satellite's Cloud Profiling Radar captured a sideways look across Fengshen on June 22 as it was wreaking havoc in the Philippines.

The top image is from the MTSAT satellite, supplied through the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and shows the top of Fengshen at the same time as the CloudSat image below it, shows what Fengshen looked like sideways.

The red line through the MTSAT satellite image shows the vertical cross section of radar, basically what Fengshen's clouds looked like sideways. The colors indicate the intensity of the reflected radar energy. The top of Fengshen's clouds reach more than16 kilometers, almost 10 miles high!

The blue areas along the top of the clouds indicate 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. Text credit: Rob Gutro/ Goddard Space Flight Center


June 24, 2008

Fengshen Changes Track Again - Targeting North of Hong Kong

Typhoon Fengshen changes courseCredit: NASA
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Tropical Storm Fenghshen is keeping forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center on their toes. On June 23, the forecast track looked as if it would take Fengshen northeast toward Japan. Now, computer forecast models are calling for a landfall just to the north of Hong Kong late on June 24th.

Why the change in track to the west? It's because of an "extension" of a steering ridge of high pressure to the northeast. High pressure once fixed in a location can block low pressure systems.

On Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 1500 Zulu Time (11:00 a.m. EDT), Fengshen was located near 21.8 degrees north, and 114.9 degrees east, or 70 nautical miles southeast of Hong Kong. Fengshen has sustained winds near 50 knots (57 mph) and is moving north-northwestward near 10 knots (10 mph). Fenghsen is generating waves up to 17 feet high

This satellite image of Fengshen was created by data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA's Aqua satellite.

It shows the temperature of Fengshen's cloud tops on June 24, 5:23 UTC (1:23 a.m. EDT). The lowest temperatures (in purple) are associated with high, cold cloud tops that make up Fengshen's center. There are large areas of strong convection (rising air and rainfall) shown here in purple. Where there are no clouds the AIRS instrument reads the infrared signal from the surface of the Earth (over both land and water), revealing warmer temperatures (red).

Text credit: Rob Gutro, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center



June 23, 2008

Typhoon Fengshen Unleashes Deadly Wrath in the Philippines

Over the weekend of June 21-22, Typhoon Fengshen turned deadly to the people of the Philippines, and especially to passengers on a cruise ship.

According to AsiaNews.it, on Saturday, June 21, Fengshen's waves had capsized a 23 ton ship called "Princess of Stars" a few miles from Sibuyan in the province of Romblon. Waves were over 14 feet high from Fengshen at that time. On board were 800 people, many of them children. Reports indicate that only 38 people on board safely made it to shore, the others are unaccounted for.

On the mainland in the Philippines, Fengshen is also responsible for 229 confirmed deaths. Hundreds on land are still missing.

AIRS image of Typhoon FengshenImage Credit: NASA JPL
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At 9:00 Zulu Time (5:00 a.m. EDT) June 23, Fengshen was located near 18.1 degrees north latitude and 116.7 degrees east longitude, approximately 360 nautical miles south-southwest of Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Fengshen's winds had decreased to 55 knots (62 mph) dropping it back to tropical storm status, and it was moving west near 9 knots (9 mph).

This satellite image of Fengshen was created by data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA's Aqua satellite.

It shows the temperature of Fengshen's cloud tops on June 22, 17:47 UTC (1:47 p.m. EDT). e lowest temperatures (in purple) are associated with high, cold cloud tops that make up Fengshen's center. There are large areas of strong convection (rising air and rainfall) shown here in purple. Where there are no clouds the AIRS instrument reads the infrared signal from the surface of the Earth (over both land and water), revealing warmer temperatures (red).

Where May Fengshen Go Next?

After killing many in the Philippines, Fengshen now draws a bead on Taiwan and possibly southeastern China. Forecast tracks take Fengshen between the island of Taiwan and southeast China, then making direct landfall on the southwestern tip of Japan by June 28th. The forecast has been difficult for Fengshen's track because of a number of meteorological factors, so it will have to be watched very closely.

Text credit: Rob Gutro/Goddard Space Flight Center



June 20, 2008

Typhoon Fengshen Raining on the Philippines

Fengshen AIRSCredit: NASA
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On Friday, June 20, 2008, Tropical Storm Fengshen had not only grown into a typhoon with maximum sustained winds of 75 knots (86 mph), but it had also veered west of where forecasters initially thought it would go, and its southwestern edge was raining over Mindanao, The Philippines.

At 9:00 Zulu Time (5:00 a.m. EDT), Fengshen was located near 11.7 degrees north latitude and 124.9 degrees east longitude, approximately 310 nautical miles east of Manila, Philippines. Fengshen was moving west-northwest near 12 knots (13 mph).

Mindanao is the second largest and easternmost island in the Philippines. It is also one of the three island groups in the country, along with Luzon and Visayas.

Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect Fengshen to maintain most of it's strength between June 19 and 20, as it tracks over very warm waters between the central Philippine islands while also interacting with the land (that tends to weaken a storm) and an increasing vertical wind shear (that tends to weaken storms). By Sunday, June 21, Fengshen is expected to weaken over the mountainous terrain of Central Luzon, and by Monday, when it returns to open waters, it may re-intensify and turn northeast.

This satellite image of Fengshen was created by data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA's Aqua satellite.

It shows the temperature of Fengshen's cloud tops on June 19 at 17:17 UTC (1:17 p.m. EDT). The lowest temperatures (in purple) are associated with high, cold cloud tops that make up Fengshen's center. There are large areas of strong convection (rising air and rainfall) shown here in purple. Where there are no clouds the AIRS instrument reads the infrared signal from the surface of the Earth (over both land and water), revealing warmer temperatures (red).

Text credit: Rob Gutro, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center



June 19, 2008

Tropical Storm Fengshen in Northwestern Pacific Ocean

AIRS image of Tropical Storm FengshenCredit: NASA
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Tropical storm 07w, also named Fengshen, was located approximately 980 nautical miles South of Naha, Okinawa Japan in the open waters of the northwestern Pacific Ocean on June 19.

At 6:00 Zulu Time (2:00 a.m. EDT) Fengshen has maximum sustained winds of 45 knots (52 mph), and is moving west-northwestward at 10 knots (11 mph). Fengshen is generating waves as high as 16 feet in the open waters of the Northwestern Pacific.

According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, the organization that monitors tropical cyclones in that area of the world, Fengshen is "in an environment conducive for further strengthening and development." It's located in an area with high ocean heat content (sea surface temperatures 80 degrees Fahrenheit or greater power tropical cyclones) and low vertical wind shear aloft. Wind shear means winds that blow in different directions at different heights in the atmosphere, and can tear storms apart. Because these winds are low or light, they won't interfere with the storm as it strengthens.

This satellite image of Fengshen was created by data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA's Aqua satellite.

It shows the temperature of Fengshen's cloud tops on June 18 at 16:35 UTC (12:35 p.m. EDT). The lowest temperatures (in purple) are associated with high, cold cloud tops that make up Fengshen's center. There are large areas of strong convection (rising air and rainfall) shown here in purple. Where there are no clouds the AIRS instrument reads the infrared signal from the surface of the Earth (over both land and water), revealing warmer temperatures (red).

Text credit: Rob Gutro, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center