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Mekkhala (Northwestern Pacific Ocean)
January 21, 2015

[image-222][image-240]NASA Adds Up Tropical Storm Mekkhala's Drenching Rainfall in the Philippines

NASA/JAXA's Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission can measure rainfall rates from space and its data combined with other satellite data provides are used to calculate rainfall totals. After Tropical Storm Mekkhala drenched the eastern Philippines, a rainfall map was created showing almost two feet of rainfall in an isolated area.

On January 16, 2015 Tropical Storm Mekkhala became the first western Pacific typhoon of the year just before hitting the eastern Philippines. The Microwave Imager (GMI) aboard the GPM mission's core satellite found rain falling at a rate of over 70.7 mm (about 2.8 inches) per hour in storms southwest of the Mekkhala's eye on Jan. 16 at 2200 UTC. That measurement was made only about four hours after Mekkhala was upgraded to a typhoon. 

Typhoon Mekkhala added to rainfall already received from other storms over the eastern Philippines during the week of January 13-20, 2015. All of that rainfall was analyzed using near real time merged satellite data. The analysis found an area of maximum rainfall centered just west of Samar where extreme rainfall totals were greater than 600 mm (23.6 inches).The analysis was conducted at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Much of the heavy rainfall from Mekkhala fell over the same area where Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines in October 2013. The same area was also more recently soaked by deadly typhoon Hagupit and Tropical Storm Jangmi in December 2014.

Mekkhala moved into the Philippine Sea east of Luzon and dissipated on January 21.

Harold F. Pierce
SSAI/NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center






 


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Jan. 20, 2015 - NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP Sees Remnants of Mekkhala 

After Tropical Storm Mekkhala made landfall in the central Philippines and tracked north, it weakened to a depression. By January 20, NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite saw that it was a remnant circulation northeast of the Philippines, over the northwestern Pacific Ocean. 

On January 18, Tropical Depression Mekkhala was rapidly losing strength. The depression's maximum sustained winds had dropped to near 25 knots. Infrared satellite imagery showed that the center of the storm made a second landfall in Luzon near Casiguran in the Aurora Province.

Satellite data on Jan. 18 also showed the strongest thunderstorms had disappeared because of strong vertical wind shear and because of friction created by moving over the rugged land of the Sierra Madre Mountains.

On January 19, the remnant circulation moved east of Luzon and over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean. On January 20, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi satellite captured a visible picture of the swirl associated with the remnant low. The image showed an open circulation center with some clouds north of the center, and devoid of precipitation.  The remnants are expected to dissipate later on Jan. 20.

Suomi NPP's job is to collect environmental observations of atmosphere, ocean and land for both NOAA's weather and oceanography operational missions and NASA's research mission to continue the long-term climate record to better understand the Earth's climate and long-term trends.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


[image-95][image-168][image-186]Jan. 16, 2015 - Satellite Sees Heavy Rain in Tropical Storm Mekkhala on its Approach to Philippines

The Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM core satellite analyzed Tropical Storm Mekkhala and identified areas of heavy rainfall as the storm drew closer to the Philippines.

The GPM (core satellite) had an excellent view of Tropical Storm Mekkhala on January 14, 2015 at 2211 UTC (5:11 p.m. EST) as it flew almost directly above the center of the tropical cyclone. The GPM satellite is managed by both NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency known as JAXA.

GPM's Microwave Imager (GMI) instrument found that the heaviest precipitation was then occurring on the western side of the circulation center. Powerful convective thunderstorms in that area were dropping rain at a rate of over 71.3 mm (2.8 inches) per hour. This rainfall analysis also revealed that this area was the most continuous area of rainfall while most of the remainder of the storm containing only scattered bands of precipitation.

GPM's Radar (Ku Band) data were used to make a 3-D view of the storm that showed thunderstorm cloud-top heights in that area were reaching heights above 13 km (8 miles).

On January 16 at 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST), Mekkhala's maximum sustained winds were near 50 knots (57.4 mph/92.6 kph). The center of the storm was located near 11.3 north latitude and 128.7 east longitude, about 470 nautical miles (540.9 miles/8970.4 kph) east-southeast of Manila, Philippines. Mekkhala was moving to the west at 14 knots (16.1 mph/25.9 kph). 

Public Storm Warning Signals have been raised in the Luzon and Visayas regions. In Luzon, the warning is in effect for Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Burias Island ,Sorsogon and Masbate including Ticao Island. In the Mindanao region, warnings are in effect for Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran and Leyte. For updated warnings from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, visit: http://pagasa.dost.gov.ph/index.php/tropical-cyclone

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) predicts that Mekkhala's sustained wind speeds will increase before making landfall in the eastern Visayas region of the Philippines on January 17. JTWC's forecast calls for Mekkhala to move to the northwest and exit the country just south of Manila on January 19 where it is currently expected to degrade into a remnant low pressure area and move into the South China Sea. 

Hal Pierce/Rob Gutro
SSAI/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


[image-77][image-114]Jan. 15, 2015 - NASA's GPM Satellite Sees Tropical Storm Mekkhala Organizing

Tropical Depression Mekkhala strengthened and organized on Jan. 14 and overnight into Jan. 15 when it reached tropical storm status. As the storm was consolidating, NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission core satellite captured rainfall data of the storm.

The GPM core satellite flew above Mekkhala on January 14, 2015 at 1043 UTC (5:43 a.m. EST). GPM's Microwave Imager (GMI) instrument observed rain falling at a rate of over 71.63 mm (about 2.8 inches) per hour in intense convective storms near the tropical cyclone's center.

At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland a 3-D view was created using data collected by GPM's Radar (Ku Band). The data showed that thunderstorm tops in rain bands east of Mekkhala's center reached heights of over 13 km (8 miles).

On January 15 at 0900 UTC (4 a.m. EST), Mekkhala's maximum sustained winds were near 35 knots (40 mph/62 kph). The center of the storm was located near 11.6 north latitude and 132.2 east longitude, about 277 nautical miles (318.8 miles/513 kph) north-northwest of Koror, Palau. Mekkhala was moving to the west at 8 knots (9.2 mph/14.8 kph).  Satellite data showed that the bulk of convection and thunderstorms were over the western quadrant of the storm on January 15, indicating moderate vertical wind shear.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast calls for Mekkhala to slowly intensify over the next day and a half reaching a peak intensity of 50 knots (57.5 mph/92.6 kph) prior to making landfall. Mekkhala is expected to approach the central of Visayas region of the Philippines on January 17.

After landfall, interaction with the land, increased friction from moving over land and more stable air are expected to weaken the storm as it moves through the central and northern Philippines in a northwesterly direction, passing Manila in Luzon on January 19 and emerging into the South China Sea.

Harold F. Pierce /Rob Gutro
SSAI/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


[image-69][image-96]Jan. 14, 2015 - Two Satellites Measured Rainfall in Tropical Depression Mekkhala 

The first tropical depression of the 2015 western Pacific season formed southwest of Guam on January 13 and is predicted to intensify into a tropical storm while headed toward the Philippines. NASA's TRMM and GPM satellites provided a look at Tropical Depression Mekkhala's rainfall data that showed the area of moderate rainfall had expanded as the storm strengthened on January 13.

Mekkhala was previously known as Tropical Depression 01W until January 14 when it was renamed.

Both the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) core satellite and the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite recently had good views of the developing tropical cyclone. Both GPM and TRMM are joint missions with NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

GPM saw Mekkhala on January 12, 2015 at 2221 UTC (5:21 a.m. EST). An analysis of rainfall from the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) instrument found rain falling at a rate of over 43.5 mm (about 1.7 inches) per hour in a rain band southwest of Guam.

A rainfall analysis from the TRMM satellite's Microwave Imager (TMI) is shown using data collected when the satellite flew above on January 13, 2015 at 0556 UTC (12:56 a.m. EST). TMI data showed the circulation around Mekkhala had become slightly better defined since the earlier GPM pass.

At 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST) on January 14, Mekkhala was still a depression with maximum sustained winds near 30 knots (34.5 mph/55.5 kph). Mekkhala was centered near 11.1 north latitude and 136.6 east longitude, about 105 nautical miles (120.8 miles/194.5 km) north-northwest of Yap or about 1,500 km (932 miles) east of northern Mindanao. Mekkhala has tracked west-northwestward at 14 knots (16.1 mph/25.9 kph).

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center currently forecasts Mekkhala to approach Visayas, the central Philippines, and then curve north toward Luzon on January 19, while the center skirts the eastern coast of that region.

For current warnings and watches from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), visit: http://pagasa.dost.gov.ph/tropical-cyclone or http://pagasa.dost.gov.ph/.

Hal Pierce / Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


[image-50]Jan. 13, 2015 - First Northwestern Pacific Tropical Depression Has Moderate Rainfall

NASA/JAXA's TRMM Satellite passed over newborn Tropical Depression 1W after it came together in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean on January 13 and saw bands of moderate to heavy rainfall wrapping around the northern quadrant of the storm.

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite is managed by both NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency called JAXA. TRMM can measure the rate in which rain is falling from its orbit over the Earth's tropics. When it passed over Tropical Depression 1W (TD1W) on January 13 at 0556 UTC (12:56 a.m. EST) data showed two large broken bands of thunderstorms north of the center of circulation that contained moderate to heavy rainfall where rain was falling at a rate of 1 inch to 1.2 inches (25 to 20 mm) per hour.  The bulk of rainfall was occurring over the west-northwestern quadrant.

On Jan. 13 at 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST) TD1W had maximum sustained winds near 25 knots (28.7 mph/46.3 kph). It was located about 222 nautical miles (255.5 miles/411.1 km) east of Yap, near 8.9 north latitude and 141.8 east longitude. It was moving to the west-northwest at 8 knots (9.2 mph/14.8 kph). 

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects TD1W to move in a west-northwesterly direction and intensify to tropical storm status on approach to the east central Philippines by January 17.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

TRMM image of 1W
The TRMM satellite passed over Tropical Depression 1W on Jan. 13, 2015 at 12:56 a.m. EST and saw two large broken bands of thunderstorms north of the center where rain was falling at a rate of 1 inch to 1.2 inches (25 to 20 mm) per hour.
Image Credit: 
NASA/JAXA/NRL
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GPM shows thunderstorms topped 8 miles in height in Mekkhala
GPM satellite data showed that thunderstorm tops in rain bands east of Mekkhala's center reached heights of over 13 km (8 miles) on January 14, 2015.
Image Credit: 
NASA/JAXA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
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MODIS image of Mekkhala
On Jan. 16 at 04:55 UTC NASA's Aqua satellite captured this picture of Tropical Storm Mekkhala approaching the Philippines.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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Suomi NPP Image of Mekkhala
On January 20, the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi satellite captured a visible picture of the swirl associated with the remnant low.
Image Credit: 
NRL/NASA/NOAA
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TRMM image of Mekkhala
TRMM satellite's Microwave Imager (TMI) data showed that the depression was more organized on January 13, 2015 at 0556 UTC with areas of moderate rainfall (green) falling at 30 mm/1.2 inches per hour.
Image Credit: 
NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce
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TRMM image of Mekkhala
The GPM satellite showed that rainfall was more limited on January 12, 2015 at 2122 UTC with areas of moderate rainfall (green) falling at 30 mm/1.2 inches per hour.
Image Credit: 
NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce
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GPM observing rainfall in Mekkhala
GPM passed over Mekkhala on January 14, 2015 at 5:43 a.m. EST and observed rain falling at a rate of over 71.63 mm (about 2.8 inches) per hour in intense convective storms near the tropical cyclone's center.
Image Credit: 
NASA/JAXA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
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GPM image of Mekkhala
NASA/JAXA's GPM satellite saw powerful convective thunderstorms in Mekkhala were dropping rain at a rate of over 71.3 mm (2.8 inches) per hour west of the center on Jan. 14.
Image Credit: 
NASA/JAXA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
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Thunderstorms reached 8 miles in height inside of Mekkhala
GPM's Radar (Ku Band) data were used to make a 3-D view of Mekkhala on Jan. 14 that showed thunderstorm cloud-top heights were reaching heights above 13 km (8 miles), west of the center.
Image Credit: 
NASA/JAXA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
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Rainfall map for Mekkhala
This map totaled rain over the eastern Philippines during the week of January 13-20, 2015 and showed maximum rainfall centered just west of Samar where extreme totals were greater than 600 mm (23.6 inches).
Image Credit: 
NASA/JAXA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
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GPM sees rainfall rate for Mekkhala
GPM's Microwave Imager (GMI) aboard the GPM core satellite found rain falling at a rate of over 70.7 mm (about 2.8 inches) per hour in storms southwest of the Mekkhala's eye on Jan. 16 at 2200 UTC.
Image Credit: 
NASA/JAXA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
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Page Last Updated: January 21st, 2015
Page Editor: Lynn Jenner