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Hurricane Season 2012: Typhoon Pakhar (Western North Pacific Ocean)
04.03.12
 
An animation of the TRMM satellite's rainfall data › View animation
An animation of the TRMM satellite's rainfall data shows a visible/infrared image of Tropical Storm Pakhar's cloud cover being blended with the TRMM rainfall analysis on April 1, 2012. The heaviest rainfall (red) was occurring in the northeastern quadrant of the storm just after it made landfall. Sunlight in this early evening view casts shadows that emphasize the heights of thunderstorms near Pakhar's center of circulation.
Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
Rainfall rates were captured from NASA/JAXA's TRMM satellite on April 1, 2012. › View larger image
This image of rainfall rates was captured from NASA/JAXA's TRMM satellite on April 1, 2012 shortly after the center of Tropical Storm Pakhar made landfall. It showed that on the coast of southeastern Vietnam, an isolated area of rain was falling at a rate of 2 inches/50 mm per hour. Most of the rainfall over the region was light to moderate, falling at a rate between .78 inches and 1.57 inches (20 to 40 mm).
SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
NASA's TRMM Satellite Measured Rainfall as Tropical Storm Pakhar Hit Vietnam

Tropical Storm Pakhar's remnants have faded over the Gulf of Thailand, but not before damaging over 700 homes and causing flooding, two deaths and damages in Vietnam where it made landfall on April 1. NASA's TRMM satellite had flown over Pakhar on April 1 and measured that flooding rainfall from space, finding heaviest rainfall rates in its northeastern quadrant.

Tropical storm Pakhar had weakened to tropical storm intensity with wind speeds of less than 40 knots (46 mph) when it hit southeastern Vietnam over the weekend. For a short time, when it was located well off shore in the South China Sea, Pakhar was a minimal typhoon with wind speeds of 65 knots (75 mph).

TRMM passed over Pakhar on 1 April 2012 at 1012 UTC (6:12 a.m. EDT). That was about an hour after the storm made landfall. The rainfall analysis from TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) rainfall data were overlaid on a visible/infrared image from TRMM's Visible and InfraRed Scanner (VIRS) instrument by Hal Pierce of the TRMM team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. It showed that on the coast of southeastern Vietnam, an isolated area of rain was falling at a rate of 2 inches/50 mm per hour. Most of the rainfall over the region was light to moderate, falling at a rate between .78 inches and 1.57 inches (20 to 40 mm).

Pierce also made an animation that shows a visible/infrared image of Pakhar's cloud cover being blended with the TMI and PR rainfall analysis. It showed that the heaviest area of rainfall was in the northeastern quadrant of the storm, after the center had made landfall. Sunlight in the early evening view cast shadows that emphasized the heights of thunderstorms near Pakhar's center of circulation which were around 9 miles (14.48 km) high.

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















Apr. 2, 2012

These two images were captured from the AIRS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite on April 1 and April 2, after Typhoon Pakhar made landfall in southeastern Vietnam. › View larger image
These two images were captured from the AIRS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite on April 1 and April 2, after Typhoon Pakhar made landfall in southeastern Vietnam. The purple color indicates the coldest cloud top temperatures, and strongest thunderstorms with the heaviest rainfall. The images were from April 1 at 1823 UTC when Pakhar had moved into Cambodia and April 2 at 0647 UTC when the remnants moved into the Gulf of Thailand.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen

The MODIS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Storm Pakhar after it made landfall in Vietnam. › View larger ImageThe MODIS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Storm Pakhar after it made landfall in Vietnam. The image was taken on April 1, 2012 at 0610 UTC (2:10 a.m. EDT).
NASA Satellites Track Remnants of Typhoon Pakhar into Gulf of Thailand

Typhoon Pakhar made landfall on April 1 at 1200 UTC (8 a.m. EDT) in southeastern Vietnam and NASA satellites tracked its progress across Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and into the Gulf of Thailand.

A NASA satellite captured two infrared images of the clouds and thunderstorms that Pakhar brought when it made landfall. The two images were captured from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite on April 1 and April 2, after Typhoon Pakhar made landfall in southeastern Vietnam. The coldest cloud top temperatures were as cold as -63F (~-52C) and indicated the strongest thunderstorms with the heaviest rainfall. The images were from April 1 at 1823 UTC (2:23 p.m. EDT) when Pakhar had moved into Cambodia and April 2 at 0647 UTC (2:47 a.m. EDT) when the remnants moved into the Gulf of Thailand.

According to Vietnam News.com, as Pakhar made landfall it affected seven provinces including Ho Chi Minh City, with heavy rains and gusty winds. Two deaths and 10 injuries were reported. The province of Dong Nai, Bien Hoa City reported more than 700 damaged homes. Flooded streets, damaged structures and downed trees were reported throughout.

On April 2, Pakhar's remnants were dissipating over the Gulf of Thailand.

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


















Mar. 30, 2012

NASA Sees Typhoon Pakhar Headed for Vietnam Landfall

TRMM image of Pakhar› Larger image
TRMM's PR was used to create a 3-D image of Pakhar's structure and showed that some of the storms were reaching heights of about 13 kilometers (~8 miles) above the ocean surface.
Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce

TRMM image of Pakhar› Larger image
The MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite captured a true-color image of Typhoon Pakhar on March 30, 2012 at 03:20 UTC (March 29 at 11:20 p.m. EDT) moving through the South China Sea toward Vietnam.
Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
The first typhoon of the northern hemisphere 2012 typhoon season is headed for landfall in Vietnam. NASA's Aqua and TRMM satellites have been providing forecasters with valuable data on Typhoon Pakhar, that includes rainfall rates, cloud extent and temperature.

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite flew almost directly over Pakhar when it was a newly formed tropical storm in the South China Sea on March 29, 2012 at 1122 UTC/4:22 p.m. Asia local time (or 7:22 a.m. EDT). The intensifying storm had wind speeds of about 45 knots (~52 mph/~83 kph) and was moving toward the west-northwest when viewed by this TRMM pass. A rainfall analysis used data from TRMM's Microwave Imager and Precipitation Radar (PR) instruments. It showed that moderate to heavy rainfall of about 35 mm/hr (~1.4 inches) was located in an area around Pakhar's southwestern side.

"TRMM's PR was used to create a 3-D image of Pakhar's structure and showed that some of the storms were reaching heights of about 13 kilometers (~8 miles) above the ocean surface," Hal Pierce of the TRMM satellite team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. where the images were created.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite captured a true-color image of Typhoon Pakhar on March 30, 2012 at 03:20 UTC/10:20 a.m. Asia local time (March 29 at 11:20 p.m. EDT) moving through the South China Sea toward Vietnam. Bands of thunderstorms are tightly wrapped around the center of Pakhar's center, and there may be an eye forming, but it is covered by dense overcast in MODIS visible imagery.

On March 30 at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) Pakhar's maximum sustained winds were at Typhoon strength, near 65 knots (~75 mph/120.4 kph). Pakhar is expected to intensify to 80 knots (90 mph/148 kph). Tropical-storm-force winds are occurring about 90 nautical miles (166.7 km) out from the center. Pakhar was located near 9.7 North and 111.0 East, about 260 nautical miles (481.5 km) east-southeast of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Pakhar continues to move slowly at 3 knots (3.4 mph/5.5 kph), which will allow more time for the typhoon to build up strength in the warm waters of the South China Sea.

As Pakhar continues to intensify while moving slowly west towards Vietnam, forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect the storm to peak near 80 knots (90 mph/148 kph) before landfall. Landfall is forecast to occur near Phan Thiet, Vietnam around 1 a.m. Asia/Ho Chi Minh local time on Sunday, April 1 (1800 UTC / 2 p.m. EDT on Saturday, March 31).

For updates from the National Hydro-meteorological service in English or Vietnamese, visit: http://www.nchmf.gov.vn/web/en-US/104/102/12017/Default.aspx; and for a map of warning areas, visit: http://www.nchmf.gov.vn/web/en-US/43/Default.aspx.

Conditions continue to deteriorate in Vietnam as Pakhar moves toward the coast. On March 30, 2012 at 10:26 a.m. EDT (1426 UTC), Phan Theit, Vietnam was experiencing light rain and light easterly winds of 4 mph (6.4 kph).

Typhoon-force winds, heavy rainfall, and very rough coastal conditions are expected as Pakhar nears the coast later today, Saturday and Sunday. After landfall, Pakhar is forecast to move inland and dissipate quickly.

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



Mar. 29, 2012

NASA's TRMM satellite measured rainfall rates in Tropical Storm Pakhar on March 29 at 1123 UTC › View larger image
NASA's TRMM satellite measured rainfall rates in Tropical Storm Pakhar on March 29 at 1123 UTC (7:23 a.m. EDT).Light to moderate rainfall is depicted in blue and green, falling at a rate between .78 to 1.57 inches (20 to 40 mm) per hour. Heavy rainfall is seen in red, and is falling at 2 inches/50 mm per hour.
Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
NASA's TRMM Satellite Sees Newborn Tropical Storm Pakhar's Heavy Rain

System 96W intensified overnight and became Tropical Storm Pakhar during the morning hours on March 29. NASA's TRMM satellite measured rainfall rates within the storm, and noticed areas of heavy rain west of the center as the storm continued to strengthen.

NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite passed over Pakhar on March 29, and saw that it was generating mostly light to moderate rainfall around the entire system, with areas of heavy rain in the southwestern and northeastern quadrants. Light to moderate rainfall rates were between .78 to 1.57 inches (20 to 40 mm) per hour and heavy rain was falling at a rate of 2 inches/50 mm per hour. The banding of thunderstorms has continued to consolidate and strengthen since March 28, which accounts for the cyclone's increase in strength.

On March 29 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT) Pakhar's maximum sustained winds virtually exploded from 35 knots (40.2 mph/64.8 kph) to 60 knots (69 mph/111 kph) within 12 hours because it is in an environment with lower wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures. Pakhar is centered near 10.0 North and 111.6 East, about 300 nautical miles east of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It is moving to the west-northwest near 3 knots (3.4 mph/5.5 kph).

Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect Pakhar to make landfall in central Vietnam, north of Ho Chi Minh City on March 31. Residents should prepare for rough surf along beaches, gusty winds and heavy rainfall.

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



Mar. 28, 2012

This visible image of System 96P was captured by MODIS on March 27 at 0250 UTC. › View larger image
This visible image of System 96P was captured from the MODIS instrument onboard NASA's Terra satellite on March 27 at 0250 UTC (March 26 at 10:50 p.m. EDT), before outer thunderstorm bands began affecting Brunei and Malaysia.
Credit: NASA MODIS Rapid Response Team
AIRS captured this infrared image of System 96W on March 27 at 1759 UTC (1:59 p.m. EDT). › View larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over System 96W on March 27 at 1759 UTC (1:59 p.m. EDT) and it captured this infrared image of the low pressure area. Aqua captured an infrared image of the storm's cloud top temperatures using the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument. AIRS data showed that the strongest thunderstorms with coldest cloud top temperatures in purple. Those storms were in bands southeast and northwest of the center.
Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA Sees System 96W Consolidating - Depression May Form

A new tropical depression may be forming in the South China Sea as NASA satellite data revealed System 96W continues to consolidate and show banding of thunderstorms around its center.

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over System 96W on March 27 at 1759 UTC (1:59 p.m. EDT) and it captured an infrared of the storm's cloud top temperatures using the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument. AIRS data showed that the strongest thunderstorms with coldest cloud top temperatures were in bands southeast and northwest of the center.

Since then the strongest thunderstorms have exploded in the eastern quadrant over the Spratly Islands. The Spratly Islands are located several hundred miles north of Brunei and consist of more than 750 reefs, atolls, cays, islets, and islands in the South China Sea.

On March 28, 2012 at 0600 UTC (2 a.m. EDT), the low pressure system called System 96W was located about 290 miles north-northwest of Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, in the South China Sea. The sea is part of the western North Pacific Ocean basin. System 96W was centered near 9.7 North latitude and 113.7 East longitude. Sustained winds are estimated to be as high as 22 knots (25.3 mph/40.7 kph). System 96W is moving east-northeastward at 6 knots (7 mph/11.1 kph).

AIRS data shows that thunderstorms within System 96W are consolidating over the low level circulation center. Bands of thunderstorms are also wrapping around the center, which is another indication the storm is getting organized and strengthening.

The forecast for Bandar Seri Begawan calls for some of System 96W's showers and thunderstorms. According to Weather underground, there's a high chance of shower s and thunderstorms on Thursday, March 30 from the low pressure area. Thunderstorms are forecast for Malaysia as well (Malaysia surrounds Brunei on three sides).

Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center give System 96W a high chance for development in the next 24 hours. Residents in the South China Sea, including the Spratly Islands, Malaysia, Brunei, northern Indonesia and Vietnam should closely monitor the progress of this low pressure area.

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



Mar. 27, 2012

NASA's Aqua satellite captured this infrared image of the low pressure area 96W on March 27 › View larger image
When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over System 96W on March 27 it captured this infrared image of the low pressure area. Aqua captured an infrared image of the storm's cloud top temperatures using the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument. AIRS data showed that the strongest thunderstorms (purple) have cloud top temperatures colder than 230 degrees Kelvin (-45.6 F/-43.1C), indicating they're high in the troposphere and strong storms. Those storms were in bands east and west of the center.
Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA's Aqua satellite captured this visible image of 96W over the Western North Pacific Ocean on March 27. › View larger image
When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over System 96W on March 27 it captured this visible image of System 96W over the Western North Pacific Ocean.
Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA Satellite Sees Thunderstorms Banding Around Developing System 96W

A low pressure system that has been lingering in the western North Pacific Ocean for several days appears to be coming together today in infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite.

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the low pressure area called "System 96W" on March 27 at 0547 UTC (1:47 a.m. EDT) and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument captured an infrared and visible look at the storm.

On March 27, 2012 at 0600 UTC (2 a.m. EDT), System 96W was located in the western North Pacific Ocean about 205 miles north-northwest of Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, near 7.9 North and 113.4 East. Brunei is located north of the island of Borneo in southeastern Asia. It has a shoreline on the South China Sea, and surrounded by the state of Sarawak, Malaysia.

System 96W's maximum sustained winds are currently estimated as high as only 15 knots (17.2 mph/27.7 kph) with stronger gusts in the northwestern quadrant.

The NASA AIRS infrared imagery showed that the center of circulation is consolidating, and there are bands of thunderstorms wrapping along the eastern and western halves of the storm. The AIRS infrared data shows two large areas of convection (rising air that forms thunderstorms that make up the tropical cyclone) east and west of the center. Some of those storms have cloud top temperatures colder than 230 degrees Kelvin (-45.6 F/-43.1C), indicating they're high in the troposphere and strong storms. Storms with cloud heights that cold usually have heavy rainfall.

Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center have upped the chance to "medium" for System 96W to strengthen into a tropical depression, based on wind shear remaining week, warm sea surface temperatures.

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