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Hurricane Season 2009: Typhoon Lupit (Western Pacific)
10.26.09
 
October 26, 2009

NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of Lupit's and 23W's (bottom right) cold clouds on October 26. > View larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of Lupit's and 23W's (bottom right) cold clouds on October 26. Lupit's (top, center) center is seen by the green circle, and the precipitation (blue and purple) is off to the northeast. Meanwhile, 23W is getting organized.
Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA's CloudSat satellite captured some high, strong thunderstorm cloud tops almost 9 miles high in 23W. > View larger image
NASA's CloudSat satellite captured a side view of 23W's clouds on Oct. 26 and revealed some high, strong thunderstorm cloud tops almost 9 miles high. The blue area along the top of the clouds indicates cloud ice, while the wavy blue lines on the bottom center of the image indicate intense rainfall (more than 1.18 inches/hour).
Credit: NASA/JPL/Colorado State Univ/NRL
A 2-for-1 for NASA's Aqua Satellite: Lupit and 23W in Western Pacific

It seems like a common occurrence this season that there are two tropical cyclones spinning in the Western Pacific Ocean and this week, Lupit and newly formed 23W are proof. NASA's Aqua satellite flew over the Western Pacific early today and captured both storms in one satellite image.

Tropical Storm Lupit is becoming extra-tropical and is expected to track parallel to Japan while remaining at sea, east of the island. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm 23W is approaching Saipan and Andersen Air Force Base and is moving west.

The U.S. Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) forecasts tropical cyclones in the Western Pacific Ocean. The JWTC issued their final warning for Extra-tropical Storm Lupit today, October 26 at 0300 UTC (12 a.m. local time Tokyo). At that time, Lupit had maximum sustained winds near 52 mph and was stirring up rough surf and high waves along eastern Japan's coastline.

Extra-tropical storm Lupit was located approximately 580 nautical miles southwest of Tokyo, Japan, near 28.4 North and 134.8 East. It was moving northeast at 21 mph, and is expected to continue moving in that direction staying in open ocean. Lupit was completing transition to an extra-tropical storm and is also being adversely affected by wind shear (winds blowing at the storm in different levels of that atmosphere, that tear the storm apart).

NASA's Aqua satellite flew over both Lupit and TD23W on October 26 at 3:41 UTC (October 25 at 11:41 p.m. EDT). The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on Aqua captured both a visible and infrared image of the storms. The infrared satellite image confirmed that all of Lupit's deep convection (developing strong thunderstorms) has dissipated, and the most intense precipitation has shifted all to the northeast of the center of circulation, further exposing the center to wind shear. Meanwhile, the image also showed that 23W appeared to be getting well-organized.

Tropical Storm 23W had maximum sustained winds near 40 mph at 11 a.m. EDT on October 26. The storm's center was about 200 nautical miles east of Guam, near 13.4 North and 147.7 East. It was moving west-northwest near 17 mph.

NASA's CloudSat satellite also flew over 23W earlier this morning. CloudSat captured a side view of 23W's clouds on Oct. 26 between 03:43 – 03:46 UTC. CloudSat revealed sustained winds of 27 mph and a minimum central pressure of 1002 millibars when it was centered near 122 North and 151.3 East. Sustained winds have since increased to 40 mph. CloudSat also showed some high, strong thunderstorm cloud tops over 14 kilometers (almost 9 miles) high.

The forecast track from the JTWC takes Tropical Storm 23W between Andersen Air Force Base (island) and the island of Saipan, located north of Andersen. The storm is then forecast to intensify and move west toward the Philippines.

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



October 23, 2009

Lupit's coldest cloud tops are cold as or colder than minus 63F. The blue areas are around minus 27F. > View larger image
The AIRS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of Typhoon Lupit at 12:47 p.m. local time October 23. Infrared imagery revealed that the deep convection located over the low-level center of circulation has become fragmented and disorganized. The coldest cloud tops are cold as or colder than 220K (Kelvin) or minus 63F. The blue areas are around 240K, or minus 27F.
Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
QuikScat noticed that Lupit's tropical storm-force winds extended as far as 135 miles from center of the storm. > View larger image
NASA's QuikScat measured Typhoon Lupit's rotating winds on October 22 at 0947 UTC (5:47 p.m. Local time Manila) by using microwaves to peer into the clouds. White barbs show direction of wind and point to areas of heavy rain. The highest wind speeds are normally shown in purple, which indicate winds over 46 mph. QuikScat noticed that Lupit's tropical storm-force winds extended as far as 135 miles from center of the storm.
Credit: NASA/JPL, Peter Falcon
Philippines Breathing a Little Easier as Typhoon Lupit Turns North

Typhoon Lupit is giving residents of Luzon a break from facing the storm head on. The Luzon region of the Philippines still experienced rain and gusty winds, but the storm didn't and won't make landfall there.

Lupit, called "Ramil" in the Philippines, turned north on Friday, October 23, and is forecast to move northeast, while staying at sea and tracking to the east of Taiwan over the weekend. While on its northern track, cooler waters and wind shear will continue weakening the storm.

At 11 a.m. EDT or 11 p.m. local Asia/Manila Time, October 23, Lupit had maximum sustained winds near 55 knots (63 mph). It was located 345 miles north-northeast of Manila, near 19.8 North and 123.6 East. It was crawling north-northeast near 4 mph, but still generating 31-foot-high waves.

Despite the storm's turn to the north, warnings still abound in the Philippines for October 23. Public Storm Warning Signal 3 is in force in the following areas of Luzon: Babuyan, Calayan Islands and Batanes Group. Public Storm Warning Signal 2 is in force in the following areas of Luzon: Northern Cagayan, Ilocos Norte and Apayao. Public Storm Warning Signal 1 is in force in the following areas of Luzon: Ilocos Sur, Abra, Kalinga.

NASA's Quick Scatterometer satellite (QuikScat) observed Lupit's winds by using microwaves to peer into the clouds. QuikScat can determine the speed of the rotating winds within the storm at the surface of the ocean.

NASA's QuikScat measured Typhoon Lupit's winds on October 22 at 0947 UTC (5:47 p.m. Local time Manila) by using microwaves to peer into the clouds. QuikScat can determine the speed of the rotating winds. White barbs show direction of wind and point to areas of heavy rain. The highest wind speeds are normally shown in purple, which indicate winds over 40 knots (46 mph). QuikScat noticed that Lupit's tropical storm-force winds extended as far as 135 miles from center of the storm.

Data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), an instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of Typhoon Lupit at 12:47 p.m. local Manila time October 23. Infrared imagery revealed that the deep convection located over the low-level center of circulation has become fragmented and disorganized.

Because AIRS infrared images show the temperature of the cloud tops, scientists can tell how strong the thunderstorms are that make up the tropical cyclone. The highest clouds have the coldest temperatures. In fact, they can be as cold or colder than 220 degrees Kelvin (K) or minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (F). Lower clouds are as cold as 27F (240K). There are still some very high, strong thunderstorms around Lupit's center of circulation. The data from AIRS is also used to create an accurate 3-D map of atmospheric temperature, water vapor and clouds, all of which are also helpful to forecasters.

Forecasters at the U.S. Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center also looked at water vapor imagery, and noticed that an upper level mid-latitude jet stream has been affecting the northwestern quadrant of Typhoon Lupit in a way that's detrimental to the storm. The jet stream is bringing in dry air to the mid-and-upper levels of the storm, which is weakening it as it moves north.

Although Lupit is turning north, it's expected to continue crawling at a slow pace, which means a longer duration of rain over northern Luzon this weekend. Eventually it will pull far enough away so that the fringes of the storm let Luzon start drying out.

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



October 22, 2009

NASA's MODIS instrument on the Terra satellite captured Typhoon Lupit on October 22 indicating weakening. > View larger image
NASA's MODIS instrument on the Terra satellite captured Typhoon Lupit on October 22 at 0240 UTC (10:40 a.m. local time Asia/Manila), and it didn't show an eye, indicating the storm may be weakening as it runs into dry air.
Credit: NASA MODIS Rapid Response Team
The western side of Typhoon Lupit is visible in this satellite image from NASA Aqua's AIRS instrument. > View larger image
The western side of Typhoon Lupit is visible in this satellite image from NASA Aqua's AIRS instrument. Aqua's track took it to the west of the storm on Oct. 22 at 5:41 UTC (1:41 p.m. Asia/Manila Time). Lupit's high thunderstorm cloud temperatures (in purple) were still strong and colder than minus 63F.
Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA Satellites See Typhoon Lupit Now Bringing More Rains to Soggy Philippines

Typhoon Lupit (called Ramil in the Philippines) is already raining over the northern Luzon today, October 22. The storm has unfortunately slowed to 8 mph as it creeps westward, and that's bad news for flood-weary residents, as it means more rainfall for that region.

Tropical cyclones Ketsana and Parma caused flooding, devastation and death in the Philippines over the last 30 days, leaving dams overflowing and drenched soils unable to soak up any more rain. Those storms combined were responsible for more than 1,000 deaths in Manila and other parts of Luzon.

At 11:30 a.m. EDT on October 22, (11:30 p.m. Asia/Manila local time) the cities already experiencing rainfall in northern Luzon include Aparri, Calayan, Tuguegarao City, and south as far as Daet, as Lupit moves closer.

Lupit is a Category One Typhoon, with maximum sustained winds near 74 mph. Its center is located 300 nautical miles north-northeast of Manila, the Philippines, but because the storm is so large, its rains are already being felt in the northeast cities of Luzon. Lupit's center was near 18.9 North and 123.5 East. Lupit is moving west near 8 mph, and generating strong surf and seas as high as 32 feet.

Philippine warnings that remain in effect include: Public Storm Warning Signal 3 is in force in the following areas of Luzon: Batanes Group of Islands, Cagayan, Calayan Island, Babuyan Islands, Apayao, Ilocos Norte. Public Storm Warning Signal 2 is in force in the following areas of Luzon: Kalinga, Isabela, Ilocos Sur, Abra, Mt Province, Ifugao, Benguet, La Union, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and Aurora. Public Storm Warning Signal 1 is in force in the following areas of Luzon: Pangasinan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Northern Quezon, Polillo Islands, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Zambales.

NASA's Aqua satellite again flew just to the west of Typhoon Lupit early this morning Oct. 22 at 5:41 UTC (1:41 p.m. Asia/Manila Time or 1:41 a.m. EDT). Aqua's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument captured the western edge of Lupit, the area of the storm that was already raining on northeast Luzon. The infrared imagery showed that there are still some high thunderstorms, and that means some heavy rainfall coming to the region. Cloud top temperatures were colder than minus 63 Fahrenheit indicating a very strong tropical cyclone.

NASA's Terra satellite passed over Lupit and captured an image of the large storm using the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on October 22 at 0240 UTC (10:40 a.m. local time Asia/Manila) approaching the northern Philippines. The image of Lupit's clouds didn't show an eye, indicating that the storm may be weakening. Dry air crossing over Luzon is beginning to wrap toward Lupit's center, interfering with deep convection ad thunderstorm development, weakening the typhoon. The dry air can't move in quickly enough for residents of Luzon, as the rain is already falling today.

The U.S. Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center has amended the forecast track for Lupit, now keeping the center of circulation at sea and passing just northeast of Luzon over the next day or two before curving northwest.

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



October 21, 2009

MODIS image of Typhoon Lupit on Oct. 21 at 1:05 a.m. EDT › View larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Typhoon Lupit on Oct. 21 at 1:05 a.m. EDT (1:05 p.m. Asia/Manila Time) tracking west through the Philippine Sea toward a landfall in Luzon.
Credit: NASA MODIS Rapid Response Team
The TRMM satellite captured Lupit's rainfall on October 21. › View larger image
The TRMM satellite captured Lupit's rainfall on October 21. There were some large areas of heavy rainfall, except for the northwest quadrant where the precipitation is much less intense.
Credit: NASA/JPL, Peter Falcon
QuikScat image of Typhoon Lupit's winds on Oct. 21 at 10:13 UTC › View larger image
NASA's QuikScat instrument captured an inside look at Typhoon Lupit's winds on Oct. 21 at 10:13 UTC (6:13 a.m. EDT/6:13 p.m. Asia/Manila Time). White barbs point to areas of heavy rain. The highest wind speeds, are shown in purple, which indicate winds over 40 knots (46 mph).
Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
Three NASA Satellites Watch as Lupit Nears Northern Philippines, Warnings Up

The outer fringes of Typhoon Lupit's clouds were spreading over Luzon, in the Philippines today, October 21, as Lupit continues to approach from the east. NASA satellites are hard at work verifying the extent of the storm's cloud cover, rainfall within, and maximum sustained winds.

NASA's Aqua, QuikScat and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite have been collecting valuable data about components of the storm, that forecasters use to make their prognostications.

At 11 a.m. EDT (11 p.m. Asia/Manila Time) today, Typhoon Lupit (known as Ramil in the Philippines) had maximum sustained winds near 92 mph (80 knots) and was about 390 nautical miles northeast of Manila. That puts the center of the storm near 19.4 north and 125.3 East. Despite being that far away, Lupit's fringe clouds are already overspreading northeastern Luzon. Lupit is moving west-southwest near 8 mph, and is generating 33 foot-high swells in the ocean.

Unfortunately, the storm is in an area with low to moderate vertical wind shear (winds blowing at different levels of the atmosphere that can tear a storm apart), so forecasters anticipate little fluctuation in intensity.

Many warnings are in effect in the Philippines. They include: Public Storm Warning Signal 3 is in force in the following areas of Luzon: Batanes Group of Islands, Cagayan, Calayan Island and Babuyan Islands. Public Storm Warning Signal 2 is in force in the following areas of Luzon: Ilocos Norte & Sur, Apayao, Abra, Kalinga, Isabela, Mt Province, Ifugao, Benguet and La Union; and Public Storm Warning Signal 1 is in force in the following areas of Luzon: Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, Northern Quezon, Polillo Islands, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Zambales.

To understand what each Storm Warning means, please visit the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Web site: http://kidlat.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/genmet/psws.html

NASA's Quick Scatterometer satellite (QuikScat) has been watching Lupit's winds by using microwaves to peer into the clouds. QuikScat can determine the speed of the rotating winds. QuikScat showed Lupit QuikScat captured an inside look at Typhoon Lupit's winds on Oct. 21 at 10:13 UTC (6:13 a.m. EDT/6:13 p.m. Asia/Manila Time) and identified the extent of winds up to 46 mph in the outer bands of the storm. QuikScat also revealed areas of heavy rain in the storm.

NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Typhoon Lupit on Oct. 21 at 1:05 a.m. EDT (1:05 p.m. Asia/Manila Time) and the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument onboard captured Lupit tracking west through the Philippine Sea toward a landfall in Luzon.

TRMM's Precipitation Radar and Microwave Imager analysis of Lupit's rainfall on October 21 at 10:24 a.m. EDT (10:24 p.m. Asia/Manila Time) showed very heavy rainfall, as much as 2 inches per hour in the south and southeastern parts of the typhoon, mostly around the eyewall. In the northwest quadrant of the typhoon, however, the precipitation is much less intense. This is in contrast to the precipitation pattern on October 18, 2009 when the then super typhoon Lupit had continuous bands of precipitation circling its eye.

Using all of that satellite data and computer forecast models, the Naval Maritime Forecast Center in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii forecasts that Lupit will continue moving slowly in a west-southwesterly direction toward the northern tip of the Philippines and intensify slightly.

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



October 20, 2009

This microwave image from NASA's Aqua satellite indicates precipitation or ice in the cloud tops. > View larger image
This microwave image from NASA's Aqua satellite shows cold areas (yellow-green) in Lupit, indicating precipitation or ice in the cloud tops. The microwave image suggests cold, high thunderstorms, and Lupit's center is surrounded by the blue inner circle in the image.
Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
Luzon Expecting a Lupit Landfall

Typhoon Lupit is closing in on northern Luzon, the Philippines, and its center is expected to make a short landfall (of about 24 hours) there October 22 before heading into the South China Sea. However, the storm is large and is expected to bring heavy rains and more flooding problems.

Forecasters at the U.S. Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted "As the system moves away from the cooler dry air into a warmer pool of water, it is expected to intensify slightly before making landfall into Luzon." Landfall for the storm's eye is forecast around 8 p.m. local (Asia/Manila) time on October 22, which would be around 8 a.m. EDT.

As of 11 a.m. EDT (11 p.m. Asia/Manila Time) on October 20 Lupit had maximum sustained winds near 85 knots. It was located about 560 miles northeast of Manila, near 20.5 North and 128.9 East. It was moving west near 9 mph. Lupit, called "Ramil" in the Philippines, is generating 33 foot-high waves in the open ocean.

NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Lupit, and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on Aqua captured infrared, visible and microwave imagery of the typhoon. Infrared imagery measures temperatures and not only can it see cold, high cloud tops in tropical cyclones, but also the warm ocean waters that power the cyclones. Cold cloud top temperatures provide clues about the power of the thunderstorms in a tropical cyclone. The colder the clouds are, the higher they are, and the more powerful the thunderstorms. Lupit's cloud temperatures were colder than minus 63 Fahrenheit, indicating very cold, high, strong thunderstorms, especially around its center of circulation.

AIRS data was coupled with data from the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) that flies with AIRS on Aqua to create a microwave image. The AMSU image uses the radiances of the 89 GHz channel, and the cold areas in those images indicate where there is precipitation or ice in the cloud tops.

Warnings have already been posted in the Philippines. Public Storm Warning Signal 2 is in force in the following areas of Luzon: Batanes Group of Islands, Cagayan, Calayan Island, Babuyan Islands and Isabela. Public Storm Warning Signal 1 is in force in the following areas of Luzon: Ilocos Norte & Sur, Apayao, Abra, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Benguet, La Union, Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, Northern Quezon and Polillo Island.

Text credit: Hal Pierce, SSAI/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center



October 19, 2009

Lupit was a category 4 super typhoon with wind speeds of about 132 knots (~152 mph). > View larger image
Lupit was a category 4 super typhoon with wind speeds of about 132 knots (~152 mph). The TRMM satellite revealed that Lupit had a very well defined eye with very heavy rainfall (red, up to 2 inches per hour) in the northeast quadrant of the eye wall.
Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
NASA's TRMM Satellite Sees Two Dangerous Storms in the Pacific Ocean: Lupit and Rick

Powerful tropical cyclones have developed recently on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. In the western Pacific Super Typhoon Lupit is threatening the Northern Philippines within the next three days. This will be the third deadly typhoon to hit the Philippines in less than a month. A combined total of over 800 deaths have already been attributed to Typhoon Ketsana that hit in late September and typhoon Parma that passed over the Philippines on October 3.

At the same time category five hurricane Rick formed on the other side of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico. Rick is predicted by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida to weaken to a category one hurricane and pass over the Baja Peninsula within 48 hours.

NASA and the Japanese Space Agency manage the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite, known as TRMM. TRMM has the capability to measure rainfall from space. The typhoon Lupit image was made from data received by the TRMM satellite on October 18, 2009 at 1535 UTC (11:35 EDT). At that time Lupit was a category 4 super typhoon with wind speeds of about 132 knots (~152 mph). The TRMM satellite revealed that Lupit had a very well defined eye with very heavy rainfall in the northeast quadrant of the eye wall.

The hurricane Rick image was made using data captured when the TRMM satellite flew over hurricane Rick on October 18, 2009 at (3:53 a.m. EDT) 0753 UTC. At that time Rick was a powerful category 5 hurricane with wind speeds of about 155 knots (~178 mph). The TRMM rainfall analysis was derived from the Precipitation Radar (PR) and TRMM's Microwave Imager (TMI) and showed heavy rain falling on its northern and eastern sides at about 2 inches per hour.

By 11 a.m. EDT on October 19, Rick's maximum sustained winds had decreased to 115 mph. Rick's center was located near 17.8 North and 111.6 West, only 80 miles south-southwest of Sorocco Island, and 370 miles south-southwest of Cabo San Lucas. Rick was moving northwest near 9 mph, and had a minimum central pressure near 958 millibars.

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

Text credit: Hal Pierce, SSAI/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center



NASA's MODIS instrument on the Terra satellite captured Super Typhoon Lupit on October 19 > View larger image
NASA's MODIS instrument on the Terra satellite captured Super Typhoon Lupit on October 19 at 0210 UTC (10:10 a.m. local time Asia/Manila), moving through the Philippine Sea.
Credit: NASA, MODIS Rapid Response
Lupit's high thunderstorm cloud temperatures (in purple) were colder than minus 63F. > View larger image
Aqua's AIRS instrument captured Lupit's high thunderstorm cloud temperatures (in purple) were colder than minus 63F. Lupit's eye is clearly visible in this image from October 18. The Philippines are located to Lupit's west.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
Super Typhoon Lupit Heading West in the Philippine Sea

Lupit has joined the ranks of super typhoons in the Western Pacific Ocean, and is currently packing maximum sustained winds near 132 mph, down from a previous peak near 149 mph, but still a Category Four strength typhoon.

On Monday, October 19 at 11 p.m. local time (Asia/Manila), or 11 a.m. EDT, Super Typhoon Lupit was located about 715 miles east-northeast of Manila, the Philippines, near 19.5 North and 132.0 East. It was moving west-northwest near 11 mph. Lupit is forecast to keep moving westward toward northern Luzon because of sub-tropical ridge (area of high pressure) to its north.

There are a lot of things happening with the storm, and forecasters at the U.S. Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) have seen the changes using animated multispectral satellite imagery. Lupit's eye has become cloud-filled and since early this morning, forecasters have watched the Lupit's eye decrease from 30 nautical miles to 10 nautical miles.

In addition, JTWC noted that "a slot of dry cooler air has started to wrap to the south of Lupit in the past 12 hours, with a ribbon of dry air continuing on to the eastern half of the system. The dry air has not (yet) started to interact with the core of deepest convection near the low level circulation center." Both of these things will help weaken Lupit on its westward track.

Forecasters expect a landfall in northern Luzon during the afternoon hours (Asia/Manila Time) on October 22. The U.S. East coast is 12 hours behind local time in Manila.

NASA's Aqua satellite again flew over Super Typhoon Lupit late last night and captured an infrared image of the monster typhoon. Aqua's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument showed high thunderstorm cloud temperatures were colder than minus 63 Fahrenheit indicating a very strong tropical cyclone.

NASA's Terra satellite also passed over Lupit, and captured an image of the storm using the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument, that clearly showed Lupit's eye.

Atmospheric conditions are becoming less favorable as Lupit continues moving west, so the storm is expected to weaken as it crosses the Philippine Sea. Residents of northern Luzon are on alert.

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



October 16, 2009

NASA Satellite Tracking Typhoon Lupit on a March Toward the Northern Philippines

satellite image of Lupit › Larger image
The MODIS instrument captured an image of Typhoon Lupit heading west toward Luzon, at 12:45 a.m. EDT October 16, 2009. Lupit was in the open waters of the Philippine Sea.
Credit: NASA's MODIS Rapid Response Team
satellite image of Lupit › Larger image
Aqua's AIRS instrument captured Lupit's (purple and blue) high thunderstorm cloud temperatures at 12:41 a.m. EDT on October 16. The Philippines are visible to the west (left) of Lupit.
Credit: NASA/JPL
satellite image of Lupit › Larger image
Microwave images are created when data from NASA's Aqua satellite AIRS and AMSU instruments are combined. The cold areas in this image of Lupit from October 16 (yellow-green) indicate where there is precipitation or ice in the cloud tops.
Credit: NASA/JPL
Three instruments on NASA's Aqua satellite captured views of Typhoon Lupit on its western track toward the Philippines and are helping forecasters get an idea of its strength and behavior. Lupit strengthened quickly in 24 hours from a tropical depression to a typhoon, between October 15 and 16.

From 12:41a.m. to 12:45 a.m. EDT (12:45 p.m. Asia/Manila Time) on October 16, NASA's Aqua satellite was capturing important data on Typhoon Lupit, so that forecasters in the U.S. Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center (who forecasts tropical cyclones in the Western Pacific) could make a forecast. In the Philippines, meteorologists are referring to the storm by the name "Ramil."

Aqua's Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument, Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) instrument captured visible, infrared and microwave images of Typhoon Lupit.

Infrared imagery measures temperatures and not only can it see cold, high cloud tops in tropical cyclones, but also the warm ocean waters that power the cyclones (if the sea surface temperatures are over 80F(26.6 C)). Cold cloud top temperatures provide clues about the power of the thunderstorms in a tropical cyclone. The colder the clouds are, the higher they are, and the more powerful the thunderstorms are that make up the cyclone. Lupit's cloud temperatures were colder than minus 63 Fahrenheit (-52.78 C), indicating very cold, high, strong thunderstorms within.

The ocean waters beneath Typhoon Lupit are over 80F (26.6 C), the threshold to maintain tropical cyclones, so they're helping to strengthen the storm.

AIRS data is also coupled with data from AMSU create microwave images of storms. The AMSU image uses the radiances of the 89 GHz channel, and the cold areas in those images indicate where there is precipitation or ice in the cloud tops.

By using both the infrared and microwave satellite imagery, forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) were able to see inside the storm. The JTWC discussion on October 16 said "Typhoon Lupit has developed an impressive convective structure evident in a microwave image, [from 4:59 a.m. EDT] as well as in recent animated infrared imagery which shows a tightly wrapped system with a banding eye. Lupit's intensification to typhoon strength has been enabled by excellent poleward outflow into the mid-latitude westerlies."

At 11 a.m. EDT (11 p.m. Asia/Manila Time) on October 16, Typhoon Lupit's maximum sustained winds were near 74 mph. Lupit's center was 400 nautical miles (643 kilometers) north of Palau, near 14.4 North latitude and 133.8 East longitude. Lupit was moving west at 20 mph (32 km/hr) and generating 17-foot-high waves.

Over the weekend, Typhoon Lupit is expected to continue moving generally in a west-northwest direction. The northern Philippines will likely feel the first effects of Lupit by 8:00 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC, or 8 p.m. Asia/Manila Time) on October 20. Storm-weary residents in Luzon, the Philippines should make preparations over the weekend.

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



October 15, 2009

Northern Philippines May Be Expecting Tropical Storm 22W Next Week

satellite image of 22W › Larger image
NASA's AIRS instrument captured this visible image of Tropical Depression 22W on October 15 at 1:30 p.m. local time.
Credit: NASA/JPL
The northern Philippines can't seem to get a break from the tropical trouble this typhoon season. Even though the country is still reeling from Tropical Depression Parma, which just dissipated over Vietnam, another Tropical Storm in the Western Pacific is now forecast to track in their direction early next week.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Tropical Storm 22W may head towards the Northern Luzon-Taiwan area.

As of Thursday, October 15 at 11 a.m. EDT, 22W was at Tropical Storm status, with maximum sustained winds near 52 mph (45 knots). It was located 220 nautical miles northeast of Yap, and was moving westward near 20 mph. Yap is an island in the Caroline Islands of the western Pacific Ocean. It is a state of the Federated States of Micronesia.

NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Tropical Storm 22W at 1:30 p.m. local time on October 15 and its Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument captured a visible image of the storm, which was still strengthening.

AIRS infrared imagery showed multiple bands of deep convection that are starting to wrap around the low level center of circulation. That's an indication of a strengthening storm, and reflects the storm's change from a tropical depression to a tropical storm over the last 12 hours.

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



Octpber 14, 2009

Parma Makes Landfall in Vietnam While TD22W Born

satellite image of Parma › Larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite AIRS instrument captured an infrared image of Tropical Storm Parma on October 12 at 2:59 p.m. EDT. Parma is the round purple and blue area (thunderstorms) just touching northern Vietnam's coast. AIRS's infrared imagery indicated there were still some strong thunderstorms (purple) with very high, cold cloud tops in the center of the storm.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
satellite image of 22W › Larger image
TRMM captured Tropical Depression 22W's light to moderate rainfall on center on October 14 at 3:52 a.m. EDT. The yellow and green areas indicate moderate rainfall between 0.78 to 1.57 inches per hour.
Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
One tropical cyclone's life has come to an end in the Western Pacific today and one has just started. Tropical Storm Parma made landfall late on October 13 (EDT) south of Hanoi, Vietnam. Tropical Depression 22W (TD22W) formed more than 300 miles northwest of Guam in the open ocean.

Tropical Storm Parma's long life has finally come to an end in Vietnam, after causing misery, destruction and death in the Northern Philippines and Hainan Island, China. More than 375 people were killed in the Philippines and China from Parma's flooding rains and winds.

Parma made landfall in Vietnam late on October 13 (EDT) and more than 30,000 people were evacuated from the country's northern coast. The U.S. Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center, the organization that forecasts tropical cyclones in that part of the world, issued their last advisory on Parma on October 14 at 1200 UTC (8 a.m. EDT). At that time, Parma still had maximum sustained winds near 35 knots (39 mph) and was still a tropical storm over land. Parma's center was 45 miles east-southeast of Hanoi, Vietnam near 20.8 North and 106.5 East. It was moving farther inland in a north-northwesterly direction near 4 mph.

At that time, satellite data indicated that deep convection no longer existed in the storm. Local reports on October 14 at 11 a.m. EDT (10 p.m. Local Time) showed some rainfall occurring in various cities. The airport at Bach Long Vi had a temperature of 76 degrees Fahrenheit and light rain with light southeast winds near 7 mph. Ho Chi Minh city reported light rain with an east wind near 13 mph. The airport at Phan Thiet reported a thunderstorm with 2 mph winds from the northeast. Pharma should dissipate in the next day or two.

NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Tropical Storm Parma and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument onboard captured an infrared image on October 12 at 2:59 p.m. EDT (18:59 UTC). The AIRS image showed Parma as a rounded area of showers and thunderstorms in the Gulf of Tonkin and its western fringes had just begun to affect northern Vietnam's coast. AIRS' infrared imagery indicated there were still some strong thunderstorms with very high, cold cloud tops in the center of the storm.

Meanwhile a new tropical depression was born far to Pharma's location. On October 14 at 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC), Tropical Depression 22W was about 320 miles southeast of Guam, near 10.1 North and 149.1 East. It was moving west near 17 mph and had maximum sustained winds near 34 mph.

NASA and the Japanese Space Agency's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite flew over the center of TD22W's center on October 14 at 3:52 a.m. EDT and captured light to moderate rainfall around the storm's center.

TRMM rainfall images are false-colored with yellow, green areas, which indicate light to moderate rainfall between 20 and 40 millimeters (.78 to 1.57 inches) per hour and that's what scientists at NASA noticed from the data on TD22W.

The forecast track takes TD22W between Andersen Air Force Base and the island of Yap, on a northwesterly course. Andersen Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base on the northern end of the island of Guam. It sits atop a 500 foot plateau on the extreme northeast portion of the island. The base is named for Brigadier General James Roy Andersen.

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