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Typhoon Talim Hits Both Taiwan and China
Taiwan took a direct hit from powerful Typhoon Talim, a Category 3 typhoon at the time with maximum sustained winds estimated at 105 knots (121 mph) by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. The storm cut directly across the island on the night of the 31st of August 2005 leaving at least 6 people dead. Talim then continued on to mainland China where there are 14 confirmed fatalities and another 15 persons missing. Nine of the fatalities and the missing persons are a direct result of mudslides.

Launched in 1997, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite has served as a valuable platform for monitoring tropical cyclones, especially over remote parts of the ocean. The images below were captured by TRMM as Typhoon Talim bore down first on Taiwan and then on China.

Image of Typhoon Talim Image of Typhoon Talim
Click on the images to view full resolution.

Left image: Taken at 04:56 UTC on 31 August 2005 just before Talim made landfall in Taiwan. 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 center of the storm falls within the TMI swath. The rain rates are overlaid on infrared (IR) data from the TRMM Visible Infrared Scanner (VIRS). TRMM reveals that Haitang has a large inner eye surrounded by a complete inner eyewall, which can be identified by the inner ring of moderate intensity rain (the inner green ring) as well as an outer concentric eyewall (larger green ring). This double eyewall structure can occur in mature, intense tropical cyclones. At the time of this image, Talim was a Category 4 typhoon with maximum sustained winds estimated at 115 knots (132 mph) by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Right image: Taken at 05:38 UTC on 1 September 2005. The image shows Talim just after the center made landfall on the coast of mainland China. The inner eyewall is completely gone in this image with the storm having been disrupted by its passage over the mountainous terrain of Taiwan. At the time of this image, Talim was a Category 1 typhoon with sustained winds of 70 knots (81 mph). Talim quickly lost strength after coming ashore. However, flooding and mudslides remain a serious threat.

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

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