Latest Update - August 29, 2005 4:25 p.m. EDT
Hurricane Season 2005: Typhoon Mawar
Typoon Mawar hit the far eastern edge of the central Japanese island of Honshu,
passing directly over Tokyo Bay and Chiba city. The storm interrupted
transportation and electrical services due to fallen trees. Several people were
reported injured, and one person was killed indirectly by the storm. Oshima
Island, south of Tokyo, reported winds up to 205 kph (127 mph). After side
swiping Tokyo, Mawar headed back out to sea and began to weaken.
Back in 1997, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite was
launched to estimate rainfall over the global Tropics. TRMM, however, has
proven itself to be a valuable platform for monitoring tropical cyclones,
especially over remote parts of the ocean. These images of Mawar were taken
by TRMM as it cut across the western Pacific and hit Japan. The first image was
taken at 09:35 UTC on 19 August 2005 just before Mawar was identified as a
tropical depression. At the time, the system was passing just to the north of
the Northern Mariana Islands and well south of Iwo Jima. The image shows the
horizontal distribution of rain intensity within 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 reveals an area of intense rain extending southward from the center (red
areas). Also, the curvature in the rain field (visible by the arc-shaped
pattern of the rain bands), shows that Mawar is already developing a well-defined
The next image shows Mawar just over a day later at 16:50 UTC on August 20. An eye is clearly visible and is nearly surrounded by a ring of moderate
intensity rain (green areas). Further banding is evident by the concentric bands
of moderate intensity rain that extend farther out. At the time of this image,
Mawar's maximum sustained winds were estimated to be 55 knots (63 mph) by the
Joint Typhoon Warning Center. The next day, August 21, Mawar intensified rapidly
from a Category 1 typhoon to a Category 4 typhoon. On the morning of August 22
(local time), Mawar's maximum sustained winds were estimated at 130 knots (150 mph).
The storm then began to move more northerly, towards Japan, and gradually lost
strength. As it approached the central island of Japan, Mawar turned to a more
The final TRMM image shows Mawar just as it is starting to pass over the far eastern
part of Honshu, south of Tokyo. The PR shows that Mawar is spreading very heavy
rain rates, on the order of 2 inches-per-hour (darkest red areas), over parts of
the coast. The system still has pronounced banding features. The eye is along
the edge of the PR swath on the southwestern part of heavy rain area. At this
time, Mawar had sustained winds estimated at 90 knots (104 mph).
TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.
Typhoon Mawar was approaching the coast of Japan on the afternoon of August 24, 2005. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image at 1:05 p.m. local time. At this time, Mawar had peak winds around 195 km/hr (120 mph). It is a few hundred kilometers south of Tokyo and heading north at around 12 mph. Forecasters call for it to come ashore in southern Honshu (the largest of the islands that make up Japan) in the afternoon of August 25, 2005.
TRMM Images: Hal Pierce
TRMM Caption: Steve Lang
MODIS Caption: Holli Riebeek
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center