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Hurricane Season 2009: Gorio (Northwestern Pacific)
July 10, 2009

Gorio's cold clouds (depicted in blue) over the northern Philippines on July 9. > View larger image
This infrared satellite image shows Gorio's cold clouds (depicted in blue) over the northern Philippines on July 9.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
Tropical Depression Gorio to Make Landfall On Weekend Near Hong Kong

Another new tropical depression popped up, and this time it's in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. Tropical Depression 05W, which has been named "Gorio" by the residents of the Philippines, is crossing the South China Sea and is on track for a landfall in mainland China this weekend.

On July 10, Gorio had sustained winds near 30 knots (34 mph) while spinning in the South China Sea, some 330 miles east-southeast of Hong Kong. That's near 19.4 north and 119.1 east. The storm was moving west-northwest near 7 knots (8 mph). In the open ocean, Gorio is generating waves up to 11 feet high. Landfall is expected to occur on Sunday, July 12, between Hong Kong and Hainan Island.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured Gorio's clouds on July 9, 2009 at 2:05 p.m. EDT (18:05 Zulu Time) in an infrared image. The image shows the center of the storm exiting the northern Philippines and moving further into the South China Sea.

In infrared imagery, NASA's false-colored purple clouds are as cold as or colder than 220 degrees Kelvin or minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (F). The blue colored clouds are about 240 degrees Kelvin, or minus 27F. The colder the clouds are, the higher they are, and the more powerful the thunderstorms are that make up the cyclone.

For residents or people traveling to southeast China this weekend, they should be on watch for Gorio's entrance.

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