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Typhoon Khanun Strikes China
Latest Update: September 13, 2005 - 3:07 pm EDT

China suffered a direct hit from powerful Typhoon Khanun as the storm made landfall in Zhejiang Province along China's east coast. So far, there have been 14 fatalities as a result of the typhoon with an additional 9 others still missing. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite snapped the images below just as Khunan was coming ashore. Launched in 1997 and armed with an array of passive and active sensors, TRMM continues to serve as a valuable platform for monitoring tropical cyclones, over the Tropics.

An image of typhoon Khanun An image of typhoon Khanun
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Left image: Taken at 06:09 UTC on 11 September 2005 just as the center of Khanun was crossing the coast line. The image shows the horizontal distribution of rain intensity looking down on the storm. Rain rates in the center of the swath are from the TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR), while those in the outer portion are from the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI). The rain rates are overlaid on infrared (IR) data from the TRMM Visible Infrared Scanner (VIRS). TRMM shows that the eye is becoming disrupted as the system makes landfall. A rain band containing areas of heavy rain (dark red areas) spirals into towards the center. A closed eye is not readily visible in this image, however. By the time this image was taken, Khanun was already down to a Category 2 typhoon with maximum sustained winds estimated at 90 knots (104 mph) by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Just 6 hours prior, the storm was still at Category 4 intesity with sustained winds of 115 knots (132 mph).

Right image: Taken at 06:09 UTC on 11 September 2005 just as the center of Khanun was crossing the coast line. The TRMM PR can provide details on a storm's vertical structure. The image shows the height of the precipitation columns within Khanun as defined by the 15 dBZ isosurface (equivalent to a light precipitation rate). The heavy rain in the outer rain band south of the center is associated with an area of deeper convection as denoted by the taller orange towers. The tallest towers are only on the order of 11 km in the outer rainband and 13 km in the convection just north of the center.

After these images were taken, Khanun continued to quickly weaken as it moved over land.

TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.

Images credit: Hal Pierce (NASA GSFC)
Captions credit: Steve Lang (NASA GSFC).