Featured Images

Hurricane Season 2010: Mindulle (Northwestern Pacific Ocean)
08.24.10
 
August 24, 2010

This image of Mindulle shows a tightly compact cyclone close to making landfall in Vietnam. > View larger image
This infrared image of Mindulle's clouds from NASA's Aqua satellite was captured on August 23 at 18:35 UTC (2:23 p.m. EDT) and shows a tightly compact cyclone close to making landfall in Vietnam. The strongest convection (and thunderstorms) are colored in purple and appear as a large circle in the inside of the storm. The purple coloration indicates highest cloud tops as cold as or colder than -63 Fahrenheit.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA Satellite Sees Tropical Storm Mindulle Make Landfall in Vietnam

Tropical Storm Mindulle came ashore in central Vietnam today, August 24 and brought heavy rainfall and gusty winds with it. NASA's Aqua satellite captured strong convection and thunderstorms in Mindulle's center before it made landfall close to the city of Vinh, south of the capital. Now, Mindulle is encountering rugged, mountainous terrain as it continues to move inland.

On August 23 at 18:35 UTC (2:23 p.m. EDT) NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument captured an infrared image of Mindulle's cloud temperatures. The image showed a rounded, compact cyclone, whose center was close to the Vietnam coast. The strongest convection (and thunderstorms) appeared as a large circle in the inside of the storm and indicated highest cloud tops as cold as or colder than -63 Fahrenheit.

At 1200 UTC (8 a.m. EDT) on August 24, Mindulle's center came ashore. Mindulle had maximum sustained winds near 46 mph (40 knots) and higher gusts. It was located near 19.2 North and 105.2 East, just south of the city of Vinh, and about 115 miles south-southwest of Hanoi, Vietnam. Mindulle continues to track west-northwestward at about 9 mph (8 knots), and is expected to dissipate sometime on Wednesday, August 25.

At the Vinh Airport at 9:30 a.m. EDT on August 24 weather conditions included heavy rain, temperature near 75 degrees Fahrenheit, winds at 18 mph from the south-southwest, and air pressure at 29.31 inches and rising, which indicates that the low-level center of Mindulle was already moving west of Vinh at that time. Although Mindulle's rains may cause flooding, they can be beneficial to various reservoirs in Vietnam that are deficient in water.

Mindulle's rainfall was covering most of Vietnam stretching from the city of Hai Phong in the north, all the way south to the city of Tua Hoa. Mindulle's rainfall also extended west into Laos, Thailiand and Cambodia, and was moving toward those countries today.

Text credit: Rob Gutro, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center



August 23, 2010

AIRS image taken on August 23 at 06:23 UTC (2:23 a.m. EDT) showed a lot of strong thunderstorms (purple) with high, cold clouds over Vietnam and the South China Sea. > View larger image
AIRS image taken on August 23 at 06:23 UTC (2:23 a.m. EDT) showed a lot of strong thunderstorms (purple) with high, cold clouds over Vietnam and the South China Sea.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA Sees Tropical Storm Mindulle's Powerful Thunderstorms Over Vietnam

Infrared NASA satellite imagery today noticed strong thunderstorms, and strong convection from the latest tropical storm to develop in the South China Sea, raining on Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Hainan Island, China.

Tropical depression 06W formed in the South China Sea on August 22 strengthened into Tropical Storm Mindulle early on August 23. High, strong, cold thunderstorm cloud tops from Mindulle appear on infrared satellite imagery captured on August 23 at 06:23 UTC (2:23 a.m. EDT). Those thunderstorms are bringing heavy rainfall to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Hainan Island as the eastern half of Tropical Storm Mindulle is over those areas, while the western half of the storm remains over the South China Sea.

Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) forecasters noted that "Microwave satellite imagery should strong convection near Mindulle's center with tightly curved convective banding wrapping into a well defined low level circulation center from all quadrants."

At 09:00 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) on August 23, Tropical Storm Mindulle had maximum sustained winds near 40 knots (46 mph) with higher gusts. Tropical storm-force winds extend out to 60 miles from the center, making the storm about 120 miles in diameter. Mindulle's center was located 165 miles south of Hainan Island near 16.1 North and 109.8 East, so at 5 a.m. EDT today, the island was experiencing winds less than tropical storm-force (39 mph), but the winds are expected to increase over the day today as Mindulle continues moving westward at 13 mph.

Mindulle is also stirring up the waters in the South China Sea and north into the Gulf of Tonkin. JWTC forecasters noted that the maximum significant wave height created today is as high as 13 feet in the area of the storm.

Mindulle is currently in a favorable environment to maintain its strength, as the easterly vertical wind shear is light and the sea surface temperatures are warmer than 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit). Considering that it takes sea surface temperatures of at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain a tropical cyclone, the warmer temperatures coupled with the light wind shear may even allow for more strengthening before it makes landfall.

Mindulle and is moving across the South China Sea. The storm will approach the Vietnamese coastline eventually making landfall on Tuesday in central Vietnam near the city of Vinh as a tropical storm, and continue on a northwesterly track into northeastern Thailand. The mountainous areas of Vietnam will help weaken the system as it moves into Thailand, but may also create isolated areas of very heavy rainfall and mudslides. All residents in the path of this storm should prepare for heavy rainfall and inland flooding in addition to rough surf in coastal areas.

Text credit: Rob Gutro, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center



August 20, 2010

The AIRS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of System 93W's cold clouds on August 20 at 0530 UTC (1:30 a.m.EDT). > View larger image
The AIRS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of System 93W's cold clouds on August 20 at 0530 UTC (1:30 a.m.EDT). It showed some high, cold thunderstorm tops (blue) extending over Vietnam.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA Satellites Seeing Tropical Disturbance Coming Together Near Vietnam

Satellites are watching System 93W, a low pressure area in the South China Sea, for tropical development over the weekend. A NASA satellite indicated a consolidation in the center of the low's circulation. The low is currently sitting offshore from central Vietnam.

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite, also known as TRMM, is acts like a rain gauge in space as it orbits the Earth. TRMM is managed by both NASA and the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA). It captured imagery of System 93W, a developing low pressure area, on August 19 at 2137 UTC (5:37 p.m. EDT) and noticed that the low level circulation center had consolidated and deepened while it was still off-shore over the South China Sea.

On August 20 at 0600 UTC (2 a.m. EDT) System 93W's maximum sustained winds were between 18 and 23 knots (20-26 mph) and the low was moving west at 13 knots (15 mph). It was located just 100 miles southeast of Hue, Vietnam, near 15.1 North latitude and 109.0 East longitude.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument the flies onboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of System 93W's cold clouds. The image was captured on August 20 at 0530 UTC (1:30 a.m. EDT), and showed some high, cold thunderstorm tops extending over Vietnam. Some of the thunderstorm cloud tops were as cold as or colder than -63 Fahrenheit, indicating strong convection is occurring within the storm.

The low's center may remain over water for a longer period, which will enable it to strengthen into a tropical depression or tropical storm. Observations from nearby surface weather stations and ships indicated that the circulation has developed in all quadrants (there are four) of the storm, and the air pressure has continued to fall, which hints at development of a tropical cyclone. As such, the forecasters at the U.S. Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii have noted that there is a good chance the system will become a tropical depression in the next 48 hours.

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