July 21, 2008
Typhoon Kalmaegi Brings Heavy Flooding to Taiwan
Hurricane Season 2008: Typhoon Kalmaegi (Western Pacific)
Kalmaegi, the 8th named storm in the West Pacific this season, began as a
tropical depression on the 14th of July 2008 in the western Philippine Sea
about 200 miles (~320 km) northeast of the Philippines. After organizing
into a tropical storm on the evening of the 15th (local time), the system
initially settled into a northerly track in the direction of the southern
Ryukyu Islands east of Taiwan. By the morning of the 17th (local time),
Kalmaegi had strengthened into a category 1 typhoon and turned to the
northwest in the direction of northern Taiwan. Kalmaegi, which means "sea
gull" in Korean, intensified into a category 2 typhoon with sustained winds
estimated at 90 knots (104 mph) by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center before
making landfall along the northeast coast of Taiwan on the evening of July
17th (local time). The storm lashed the island with high winds and very
heavy rains, resulting in widespread flooding and landslides.
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite, which has now
been in service for over 10 years, has the primary mission of measuring
rainfall in the Tropics using a combination of passive microwave and active
radar sensors. The TRMM-based, near-real time Multi-satellite Precipitation
Analysis (TMPA) at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center monitors rainfall
over the global Tropics. TMPA rainfall totals are shown here for the period
11 to 18 July 2008 for Taiwan and the surrounding region. The highest
rainfall totals exceed 400 mm (~16 inches, shown in red) and are located
over southwestern Taiwan. At least 100 mm (~4 inches) of rain cover the
entire island, although most of the island had at least 200 mm (~8 inches,
shown in yellow). Locally up to 44 inches of rain were reported. The
interaction between the storm's circulation and the island's topography
are responsible for the high amounts. The solid black line shows the path
of the storm with appropriate storm symbols denoting the 6-hourly positions.
So far up to 14 people are reported to have died as a result of the storm
TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.
Steve Lang, SSAI/NASA GSFC
July 14, 2008
Tropical Depression in Western Pacific Headed to Taiwan
Monday, July 14, 2008 brought the development of yet another tropical depression in the far western Pacific Ocean. It had maximum sustained winds near 25 knots (29 mph).
At 15:00 Zulu Time (11:00 a.m. EDT), Tropical Depression 08W (TD#08W) was located approximately 425 nautical miles south-southeast of Taipei, Taiwan, or near 18.5 degrees north latitude and 124.3 degrees east longitude. It has tracked west-southwest at 9 knots, and is generating 10 foot high waves in the open ocean.
By Thursday, July 17, TD#08W is expected to be very close to Taipei, Taiwan, then skirt the southeast China coast, near Shanghai.
This infrared image of TD#08W was created by data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), an instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite. The image was created on July 14 at 4:59 UTC (12:58 a.m. EDT).
The 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 TD#08W.
TD#08W is the circular blue and purple area on this satellite image, and is located just to the northeast of Luzon, the Philippines in this image. Taiwan is located above and to the left of the center of TD#08W.
The infrared signal of the AIRS instrument does not penetrate through clouds. Where there are no clouds the AIRS instrument reads the infrared signal from the ocean and land surfaces, revealing warmer temperatures in orange and red.
Rob Gutro, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center