Featured Images

Text Size

Hurricane Season 2012: Typhoon Sanba (Northwest Pacific Ocean)
09.18.12
 
Flickr Slideshow of Sanba




TRMM image of Sanba› Larger image
Powerful thunderstorms around Sanba's eye wall on September 16, 2012 0349 UTC were revealed to be about 12km (~7.5 miles) high. However, the tallest thunderstorm towers, reaching to 14km (~8.7 miles), were found by TRMM PR in an intense rain band shown circulating south of Sanba's center as it passed over Okinawa. Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce

TRMM image of Sanba› Larger image
On September 16, 2012 at 2339 UTC Sanba was concentrating rain at a rate of over 90 mm/hr (~3.5 inches) in an area near South Korea's southern coast. Rain bands from Sanba are also shown still producing scattered heavy showers as far away as the Japanese island of Shikoku. Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
NASA's TRMM Satellite Measures Drenching Rains from Typhoon Sanba in Japan, South Korea

Heavy rainfall from Typhoon Sanba caused flooding, landslides and at least one death when it hit South Korea on Monday September 17, 2012. NASA's TRMM satellite captured rainfall and thunderstorm cloud height data as Sanba drenched southwestern Japan earlier, and its eye passed to the west of the Japanese island of Kyushu.

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite provided good coverage of Sanba as it passed over Typhoon Sanba on Sept. 16, 2012 at 0349 UTC, after Sanba had passed over Okinawa, Japan. Sanba was moving northward over the East China Sea toward South Korea and its circulation was affecting western Japan.

Later, the TRMM satellite again passed over Sanba on Sept. 16, 2012 at 2339 UTC (7:39 p.m. EDT). Data from TRMM's Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) instruments showed that Sanba was concentrating rain at a rate of over 90 mm (~3.5 inches) per hour in an area near South Korea's southern coast. TRMM saw that rain bands from Sanba were still producing scattered heavy showers as far away as the Japanese island of Shikoku.

TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR) data collected with the September 16, 2012 0349 UTC pass were used to create a 3-D cut-away view of the storm, looking from the northwest. At that time, the typhoon had weakened slightly but was still a strong category two typhoon with wind speeds of about 95 knots (~109 mph). The 3-D image showed powerful thunderstorms around Sanba's eye wall were about 12km (~7.5 miles) high. However, the tallest thunderstorm towers, reaching to 14km (~8.7 miles), were found by TRMM PR in an intense rain band shown circulating south of Sanba center.

On Sept. 17, Typhoon Sanba made landfall in the south Gyeongsang Province, located on the southern coast of South Korea.

Text Credit: Hal Pierce
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.






Sept. 17, 2012
Aqua image of Sanba› Larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Sanba on Sept. 17 at 0430 UTC and the MODIS instrument captured this visible image of the storm when it was over South and North Korea. Some of Sanba's clouds extended north over eastern Siberia. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
NASA Sees Powerful Typhoon Sanba Make Landfall

Typhoon Sanba made landfall in southern South Korea on Monday, Sept. 17 and was moving northeast bringing heavy rainfall, and gusty winds along its path. Sanba downed trees, and caused power outages, canceled flights and canceled ferries. NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Sanba on Sept. 17 after it made landfall and observed the large extent of its cloud cover from South Korea to eastern Siberia.

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Sanba on Sept. 17 at 0430 UTC (12:30 a.m. EDT/1:30 p.m. local time Seoul, South Korea) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument captured this visible image of the storm when it was over South and North Korea. The image revealed that some of Sanba's clouds extended north over northeastern North Korea and eastern Siberia.

According to the Associated Press, Sanba caused about 67,000 homes to lose power in southern Japan, and over 26,000 outages in South Korea. At least one death was reported.

At 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) on Sept. 17, Sanba had maximum sustained winds near 45 knots (52 mph/83 kmh). It was located about 10 nautical miles northwest of Taegu, South Korea, near 37.2 North and 128.9 East. Since making landfall earlier in the day the storm has sped up and is moving to the north-northeast at 20 knots (23 mph/37 kmh). Surface observations from Taegu at that time indicated maximum sustained winds near 24 knots (27.6 mph/44.4 kmh) with gusts to 40 knots (46 mph/74 kmh).

Sanba is expected to experience some big changes over the next day. It is tracking over the rough terrain of the Taebaek Mountain range and is transitioning into an extra-tropical storm. That means that the core of the system will change from warm to cold.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects Sanba to become a cold core low after its remnants emerge back in the Sea of Japan later today, Sept. 17, if it doesn't dissipate over land.

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



Sept. 13, 2012
NASA Examines Very Dangerous Super Typhoon Sanba

NASA's TRMM satellite examined super soaking Super Typhoon Sanba and powerful hot towering thunderstorms around its center and rain falling at a rate as high as three inches per hour.

NASA's TRMM satelilte data was used to create this 3-D view of Typhoon Sanba on September 14, 2012, at 0541 UTC. The inner eye wall and older eye are both shown to extend to heights above 13km (~8.8 miles). (Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce)
› Download Video

Kadena Air Base on Okinawa, Japan is on alert as Super Typhoon Sanba approaches. The center of Super Typhoon Sanba is current forecast to come very close to Okinawa on Sept. 15. Today, Sept. 14 at 12 p.m. EDT, Kadena Air Base was on TCCOR 2 alert, which means sustained winds of 50 knots (58 mph) or greater are anticipated within 24 hours.

representation of Sanba rainfall

NASA's TRMM satellite flew directly over the clear eye of Super Typhoon Sanba in the western Pacific Ocean on Sept. 14, 2012 at 1:14 a.m. EDT. TRMM revealed very heavy rain with intensities of over 80 mm (~3 inches) per hour was located in the bands spiraling around the powerful category four typhoon. (Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce)
› Larger image


Typhoon Sanba

This visible image of Super Typhoon Sanba was captured by the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite on Sept. 13, 2012 at 0450 UTC (12:50 a.m. EDT). (Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team)
› Larger image

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite flew directly over the clear eye of Super Typhoon Sanba in the western Pacific Ocean on Sept. 14, 2012 at 0541 UTC (1:14 a.m. EDT/2:41 p.m. local time). TRMM's Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) rainfall data were overlaid on a combination infrared/visible image from the satellite's Visible and InfraRed Scanner (VIRS) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. to provide a look at the rate rain is falling. The analysis showed that very heavy rain with intensities of over 80 mm (~3 inches) per hour was located in the bands spiraling around the powerful category four typhoon.

TRMM PR data was used to create a 3-D view from the west of Super Typhoon Sanba. The inner eye wall and older eye both extended to heights above 13km (~8.8 miles), that included hot towers.

A "hot tower" is a tall cumulonimbus cloud that reaches at least to the top of the troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere. It extends approximately nine miles (14.5 km) high in the tropics. These towers are called "hot" because they rise to such altitude due to the large amount of latent heat. Water vapor releases this latent heat as it condenses into liquid.

On Sept. 14 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT) Super Typhoon Sanba's maximum sustained winds were near 135 knots (155 mph/250 kmh). It was located approximately 380 nautical miles (437 miles/704 km) south-southeast of Kadena Airbase, Okinawa, Japan near 20.7 north latitude and 129.6 east longitude. Sanba was moving to the north at 11 knots (12.6 mph/20.3 kmh), and generating extremely rough seas with wave heights up to 53 feet (16.1 meters).

Satellite imagery on Sept. 14 showed Sanba was tightly wrapped and still has an eye about 13 nautical miles wide. Both TRMM and infrared data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite shows that most of the showers and thunderstorms associated with Sanba are over the southern semi-circle, and has weakened.

The forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that wind shear is expected to continue strengthening as Sanba travels into the higher latitudes, which will help weaken the storm. Forecasters expect Sanba to make landfall on the south coast of South Korea on Sept. 17, Monday.

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



Sept. 13, 2012

AIRS image of Sanba› Larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Super Typhoon Sanba on Sept. 13 at 12:47 a.m. EDT. AIRS infrared data found an eye (the yellow dot in the middle of the purple area) about 20 nautical miles wide, surrounded by a thick area of strong thunderstorms (purple) with very cold cloud temperatures. Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA Sees Sanba Become a Super Typhoon

Tropical Storm Sanba exploded in intensity between Sept. 12 and 13, becoming a major Category 4 Typhoon on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. NASA's Aqua satellite captured infrared data that showed a large area of powerful thunderstorms around the center of circulation, dropping heavy rain over the western North Pacific Ocean.

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Super Typhoon Sanba on Sept. 13 at 0447 UTC (12:47 a.m. EDT). The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument captured an infrared image of Sanba and found an eye about 20 nautical miles (23 miles/37 km) wide, surrounded by a thick area of strong convection (rising air that forms the thunderstorms that make up the storm) and strong thunderstorms. Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning center noted that the AIRS imagery showed that there was "no banding outside of this ring, consistent with an annular typhoon."

On Sept. 13 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT), Sanba's maximum sustained winds were near 135 knots (155 mph/250 kmh). Sanba had higher gusts into the Category 5 typhoon category. The Saffir-Simpson scale was slightly revised earlier in 2012, so a Category 4 typhoon/hurricane has maximum sustained winds from 113 to 136 knots (130 to 156 mph /209 to 251 kmh). A Category 5 typhoon's maximum sustained winds begin at 137 knots (157 mph /252 kmh).

Sanba was located about 600 nautical miles (690 miles/1,111 km) south of Kadena Air Base, near 16.8 North latitude and 129.5 East longitude. It was moving to the north at 9 knots (10.3 mph/16.6 kmh) and generating wave heights of 40 feet.

Sanba is expected to continue on a north-northwesterly track through the western North Pacific and move through the East China Sea, passing close to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan on Sept. 15.

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



Sept. 12, 2012

Infrared Data Shows Typhoon Sanba Tightening Up

infrared image of Typhoon Samba, purple blob NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of Typhoon Sanba on Sept. 11 at 1:11 p.m. EDT showing a very large area of strong thunderstorms (purple) surrounding the center of circulation. In the middle of that large area of strong thunderstorms, a tiny eye is forming. Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
› Larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Typhoon Sanba and captured an infrared image that showed the storm "tightening up," or consolidating and strengthening. Satellite imagery also indicated that an eye is forming.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument onboard Aqua captured an infrared image of the storm on Sept. 11 at 1711 UTC (1:11 p.m. EDT). The image revealed that Sanba had a much more circular shape than it did 12 hours previous. Sanba also had a very large area of strong thunderstorms surrounding the center of circulation, where cloud top temperatures exceeded the -63 Fahrenheit/-52 Celsius threshold that indicates strong thunderstorms with heavy rainfall. That consolidation corresponds with Sanba's winds increasing from 40 knots (46 mph/74 kmh) on Sept. 11 at 11 a.m. to 70 knots (80.5 mph/129.6 kmh) on Sept. 12 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT). In the middle of that large area of strong thunderstorms, a tiny eye is forming.

Sanba's center was located approximately 545 nautical miles (627 miles/1,009 km) east of Manila, the Philippines near 14.0 North latitude and 130.1 East longitude. Sanba was moving to the northwest at 9 knots (10 mph/16.6 kmh).

Sanba is tracking along the southwestern edge of a strong near-equatorial ridge (elongated area) of high pressure to the east, and will continue to intensify over the next several days on its journey northwest.

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



Sept. 11, 2012

NASA Sees Strong Bands of Thunderstorms Wrapping Tropical Storm Sanba

infrared image of Sanba

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Sanba on Sept. 11 at 0453 UTC and captured an infrared image of the cloud top temperatures in the storm. Those high, strong thunderstorms had cloud-top temperatures of -63 Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius). Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
› View larger image

The 17th tropical depression of the western North Pacific Ocean typhoon season has developed into a tropical storm named Sanba. NASA captured infrared imagery of Sanba that revealed a tight banding of strong thunderstorms around the center.

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Sanba on Sept. 11 at 0453 UTC (12:53 a.m. EDT) and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument captured an infrared image of the cloud top temperatures in the storm. Infrared satellite imagery revealed that Sanba became more organized, as banding of thunderstorms strengthened and wrapped more tightly into the low level circulation center. Those high, strong thunderstorms had cloud-top temperatures of -63 Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius).

On Sept. 11, at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT), newborn Tropical Storm Sanba had maximum sustained winds near 40 knots (46 mph/74 kmh). It was located about 725 nautical miles (834 miles/1,343 km) east of Manila, Philippines, near 12.6 North latitude and 133.0 East longitude. It is moving to the north-northwest at 12 knots (13.8 mph/22.2 kmh).

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects Sanba to continue tracking north-northwest through open ocean over the next five days as it heads toward Okinawa and continuing through the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea.

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