Text Size
Phailin (Northern Indian Ocean)
October 18, 2013

Deadly Cyclone Phailin Makes Landfall in Eastern India [image-51][image-78]

The second tropical cyclone of the Northern Indian Ocean season formed on Oct. 9 and grew into powerful Tropical Cyclone Phailin that made landfall in eastern India. NASA's Aqua and NASA/NOAA's Suomi-NPP satellites captured imagery of the storm on its approach to land.

On Oct. 9, Tropical Depression 02B formed from low pressure System 90W about 537 nautical miles south of Chittagong, Bangladesh, near 13.4 North and 92.8 East. TD02B quickly strengthened into a tropical storm and was named Phailin. Phailin moved to the west-northwest at 7 knots after forming. Tropical Storm Phailian had maximum sustained winds near 40 knots/46.0 mph/74.0 kph shortly after its birth. 

On Oct. 10 at 0720 UTC/3:20 a.m. EDT, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Cyclone Phailin in the Bay of Bengal as it headed for landfall in west-central India. On Oct. 11, Phailin reached peak speed with maximum sustained winds near 152 knots/175 mph/281.6 kph.

It was on Oct. 11 when NASA/NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed almost directly over Cyclone Phailin. At that time, the VIIRS instrument aboard captured a high-resolution infrared image of the storm, clearly showing the storm's eye. Because Suomi-NPP is a polar-orbiting satellite, VIIRS could only view Phailin twice a day. But, VIIRS produced infrared imagery at 375 meter resolution. For additional information on Phailin using Suomi-NPP imagery, visit:  http://tinyurl.com/q3d3xpu.

On Oct. 12 during the morning (Eastern Daylight Time/U.S.) Phailin was the strength of a Category 4 hurricane, according to the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that Phailin had maximum sustained winds near 150 mph/241.4 kph.

On Oct. 12, Phailin's center was approaching the coast of the state of Odisha, and made landfall between Brahmapur to the north, and Visakhapatnam to the south. The storm came ashore with maximum sustained winds near 125 mph/250 kph. A strong storm surge brought seawater into farms and fields, and caused coastal flooding and structural damage, according to Reuters news.  A mass evacuation in Odisha and the adjacent Andhra Pradesh saved many lives from Phailin's wrath. The U.K. Daily Mail indicated that Phailin took 17 lives.

Text credit:  Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Image Token: 
Cyclone Phailin
This VIIRS instrument from NASA/NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured this high-resolution infrared image of Cyclone Phailin was taken on Oct. 11 at 19:43 UTC.
Image Credit: 
UWM/William Straka III/NASA/NOAA
Image Token: 
Tropical Cyclone Phailin
This visible image of Tropical Cyclone Phailin was taken by NASA's Aqua satellite at 07:20 UTC on Oct. 10 when the storm was in the Bay of Bengal.
Image Credit: 
NASA MODIS Rapid Response Team
Image Token: 
Page Last Updated: October 21st, 2013
Page Editor: Lynn Jenner