Tropical Storm Washi (27W) strikes the Philippines

December 17th, 2011
MTSAT-1R 10.8 µm IR images (click image to play animation)

MTSAT-1R 10.8 µm IR images (click image to play animation)

MTSAT-1R 10.8 µm IR images from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (above; click image to play animation) showed a fairly compact cluster of cold convective cloud tops associated with Tropical Storm Washi as it moved westward toward the Philippines during the 15-16 December 2011 period.

A closer view using MIMIC microwave imagery (below) also showed a relatively small area of enhanced brightness temperatures (representing heavy precipitation) crossing Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines on 16 December.

MIMIC microwave imagery

MIMIC microwave imagery

However, AWIPS images of the MIMIC Total Precipitable Water (TPW) product (below; click image to play animation) revealed that Tropical Storm Washi was embedded within a long fetch of very rich tropical moisture, with TPW values in excess of 60 mm or 2.4 inches (darker red color enhancement). This abundance of moisture helped to fuel over 10 hours of heavy rainfall, which resulted in widespread flash flooding and reports of over 900 deaths in the Philippines.

MIMIC Total Precipitable Water product (click image to play animation)

MIMIC Total Precipitable Water product (click image to play animation)

Leave a Reply