Featured Images

Hurricane Season 2010: Tropical Storm Fanapi (Northwest Pacific)
09.20.10
 
September 20, 2010

NASA Captures Very Heavy Rain in Typhoon Fanapi and Two Landfalls

TRMM rainfall data showed heavy rain (red), falling at a rate greater than 2 inches per hour, circling the Fanapi's eye. › View larger image
TRMM rainfall data on Sept. 18 at 2:53 a.m. EDT showed heavy rain (red), falling at a rate greater than 2 inches per hour, circling the Fanapi's eye, except in the north of the circulation. The yellow and green areas indicate moderate rainfall between .78 to 1.57 inches per hour.
Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
The image of Fanapi approaching Taiwan was from NASA's Terra satellite. The image of Fanapi making landfall in China was from NASA's Aqua Satellite. › View larger image
These two images of Typhoon Fanapi from the MODIS instrument on two NASA satellites. The image of Fanapi approaching Taiwan (left) was captured on Sept. 18 at 220 UTC from NASA's Terra satellite. The image of Fanapi making landfall in China from was captured on Sept. 20 at 05:15 UTC from NASA's Aqua Satellite.
Credit: NASA/MODIS Rapid Response Team
The Aqua satellite shows Fanapi's strongest convection and thunderstorms and heaviest rainfall on Sept. 20. › View larger image
This infrared image of Typhoon Fanapi from the AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite shows that the strongest convection, strongest thunderstorms and heaviest rainfall on Sept. 20 at 05:11 UTC (1:11 a.m. EDT) were still over the South China Sea (purple).
Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
Taiwan experienced a landfall and a soaking from Typhoon Fanapi, and NASA and JAXA's TRMM satellite noted a large area of very heavy rain in the system before it made landfall this weekend. NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites also captured impressive visible images of Fanapi just before the Taiwan landfall, and as it was making landfall in eastern China very early today.

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite known as TRMM captured an image of Typhoon Fanapi's rainfall on Sept. 18 at 0653 UTC (2:53 a.m. EDT) after the typhoon had intensified to 105 knots (~121 mph). TRMM rainfall data showed heavy rain, falling at a rate greater than 2 inches per hour, circling the Fanapi's eye, except in the north of the circulation. Most rainfall outside of the center was falling moderately.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument flies on both NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites and provides high resolution images of tropical cyclones, fires, ice and various other areas on Earth. This past weekend, both satellites were flying over the Pacific Northwest Ocean where Typhoon Fanapi was making landfall twice, in Taiwan and China.

On Sept. 18 at 220 UTC NASA's Terra satellite captured Typhoon Fanapi approaching Taiwan. Two days later, today, Sept. 20, the MODIS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured Typhoon Fanapi making landfall in China at 05:15 UTC (1:15 a.m. EDT).

Just before Fanapi made landfall, NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared look at the cold cloud tops of the storm. The infrared image of Typhoon Fanapi from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument aboard Aqua showed that the strongest convection, strongest thunderstorms and heaviest rainfall on Sept. 20 at 05:11 UTC (1:11 a.m. EDT) were still over the South China Sea and had not yet moved inland. Since that time, the heavy rainfall has moved inland.

After Typhoon Fanapi made landfall earlier today it weakened quickly. By 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) Fanapi had already weakened to a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds near 56 mph. Fanapi made landfall more than 100 miles north of Hong Kong and continues to move inland in a westerly direction. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center placed the storm's center about 125 miles northeast of Hong Kong near 23.8 North latitude and 115.2 East longitude. Fanapi is expected to dissipate sometime on Tuesday, Sept. 21.

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























September 17, 2010

NASA Eyes Typhoon Fanapi Approaching Taiwan

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Typhoon Fanapi on September 17 › View larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Typhoon Fanapi on September 17 at 04:45 UTC (12:45 a.m. EDT) and captured this infrared image of its cold cloudtop temperatures. The coldest cloud tops were as cold as -60F, and the imagery showed a tight center circulation.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
Infrared satellite data from NASA's Aqua satellite revealed strong convection and a tight circulation center within Typhoon Fanapi as it heads for a landfall in Taiwan this weekend.

At 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EDT) on Sept. 17, Typhoon Fanapi's maximum sustained winds were near 85 knots (97 mph). It was centered about 360 nautical miles east-southeast of Taipei, Taiwan near 23.2 North and 127.4 East. It is churning up high seas up to 22 feet.

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Typhoon Fanapi on September 17 at 04:45 UTC (12:45 a.m. EDT) and captured an infrared image of its cold cloudtop temperatures. The coldest cloud tops were as cold as -60F, and the imagery showed a tight center circulation at that time.

Infrared imagery today continues to show Fanapi consolidating. The typhoon is on the border of becoming a Category 2 typhoon on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane/typhoon scale. Infrared imagery also showed that Fanapi has an 11 mile-wide eye, and that there's a small gap in the eyewall in the northern part of the circulation. Because vertical wind shear is expected to increase over the next 12 to 24 hours, Fanapi is expected to weaken at that time.

Another instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Typhoon Fanapi. To see the image that the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument captured of Typhoon Fanapi on September 17 at 04:45 UTC, go to: http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/?2010260-0917/Fanapi.A2010260.0445.

Fanapi is now moving northwest at 6 mph and is expected to make landfall on Sept. 19 during the morning hours local Asia/Taipei time (late Sept. 18 EDT). Fanapi is forecast to cross Taiwan from east to west and then emerge into the Taiwan Strait as a tropical storm and make a final landfall in eastern China on Sept. 20.

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



September 16, 2010

Tropical Depression 12W Becomes Tropical Storm Fanapi

Tropical Storm Fanapi › View larger image
The MODIS instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image of Fanapi at 10:30 a.m. Taiwan time (2:30 UTC) on September 16, 2010.
Credit: NASA Goddard/ MODIS Rapid Response Team
Fanapi strengthened from a tropical depression to a tropical storm on September 15, 2010. The following day, Fanapi strengthened into a typhoon. At 11:00 p.m. Taiwan time (15:00 UTC) on September 16, 2010, the U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) reported that Fanapi was located roughly 270 nautical miles (500 kilometers) south of Okinawa, Japan. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 65 knots (120 kilometers per hour) with gusts up to 80 knots (150 kilometers per hour).

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image of Fanapi at 10:30 a.m. Taiwan time (2:30 UTC) on September 16, 2010. Fanapi, not yet a typhoon, spans hundreds of kilometers east of Taiwan and the northern Philippines. The storm sports the comma shape characteristic of tropical storms, although it lacks a distinct eye. The JTWC forecast that Fanapi would continue its general westward track toward Taiwan and China.

Credit: Michon Scott/NASA's Earth Observatory/NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center



September 15, 2010

NASA Sees Twelfth Tropical Depression Form in NW Pacific

12W's cloud temperatures showing some strong convective activity in the eastern and western quadrants of the storm. › View larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite AIRS instrument captured an infrared image of Tropical depression 12W's cloud temperatures on Sept. 15 at 0453 UTC (12:53 a.m. EDT) that showed some strong convective activity in the eastern and western quadrants of the storm as indicated by high thunderstorms (in purple) that were as cold as -63F.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA's infrared imagery watched as the twelfth tropical depression came together early today and captured some strong convection in its center.

Convection is rapidly rising air that forms the thunderstorms that power a tropical cyclone, and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured two areas of strong convection in the eastern and western quadrants of Tropical Depression 12W today. The infrared image was captured at 0453 UTC (12:53 a.m. EDT) and showed the strong convective activity with high, cold thunderstorm cloud tops that were as cold as -63F.

More recent infrared satellite imagery and a microwave image now show tightly curved convective banding (bands of thunderstorms) wrapping in from all quadrants with deep convection building over the system center, indicating strengthening.

At 1200 UTC (8 a.m. EDT) today, Sept. 15, Tropical Depression 12W's (TD12W) maximum sustained winds were near 38 mph, just shy of tropical storm status. It was located about 335 nautical miles south of Okinawa, Japan, near 21.0 North and 127.5 East. TD12W is moving northwestward at 4 mph.

Tropical Depression 12W is currently in a favorable environment for development with low wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures, so it will most likely become a tropical storm by Thursday. The current forecast keeps TD12W at sea until September 20, when it may make landfall in eastern China.

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