Tropical Cyclone Veronica north of Australia

March 21st, 2019 |

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (1145 µm) images at 1716 UTC [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1716 UTC [click to enlarge]

A toggle between Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images (above) showed Category 4 Cyclone Veronica off the northern coast of Western Australia at 1716 UTC on 21 March 2019. Ample illumination from a Full Moon maximized the “visible image at night” capability of the Day/Night Band.

In a comparison of Microwave images from Suomi NPP ATMS at 1716 UTC and from GCOM-W1 AMSR2 at 1732 UTC (below), an eyewall that was nearly completely closed was apparent. Suomi NPP and GCOM-W1 images courtesy of William Straka, CIMSS.

Microwave images from Suomi NPP ATMS at 1716 UTC and from GCOM-W1 AMSR2 at 1732 UTC [click to enlarge]

Microwave images from Suomi NPP ATMS at 1716 UTC and from GCOM-W1 AMSR2 at 1732 UTC [click to enlarge]

A DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 2246 UTC from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site is shown below. The deep-layer Wind Shear at 21 UTC was low (green contours), and Sea Surface Temperature values were quite high — both factors favorable for continued intensification as Veronica moved slowly toward the coast.

DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 2246 UTC, with an overlay of 21 UTC deep-layer Wind Shear, and Sea Surface Temperature [click to enlarge]

DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 2246 UTC, with an overlay of 21 UTC deep-layer Wind Shear, and Sea Surface Temperature [click to enlarge]

2.5-minute interval rapid scan Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (below) showed increasing organization to the eyewall structure. At times the cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures were -90ºC and colder (yellow pixels embedded within darker purple). Note: the rapid scan sector was re-poositioned eastward at 0100 UTC (to monitor Cyclone Trevor), so 10-minute imaging resumed after that time.

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

After sunrise, rapid scan Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (below) revealed that the large eye was completely cloud-filled.

Himawari-8 "Red" Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Cyclone Idai makes landfall in Mozambique

March 14th, 2019 |

Meteosat-8 Infrared (10.8 µm) and DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) images of Cyclone Idai at 1630 UTC [click to enlarge]

Meteosat-8 Infrared Window (10.8 µm) and DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) images of Cyclone Idai at 1630 UTC [click to enlarge]

Cyclone Idai — which had been slowly intensifying over warm water within the Mozambique Channel since 09 March — made landfall as a Category 2 storm along the coast of Mozambique on 14 March 2019 (storm track). A toggle between Meteosat-8 Infrared Window (10.8 µm) and DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) images from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (above) revealed a large and well-defined eye and eyewall structure at 1630 UTC. Idai had been rated at Category 3 intensity during 3 periods of time during its life cycle, most recently at 12 UTC on the day of landfall.

At 1911 UTC, Metop-A ASCAT winds in excess of 60  knots were sampled just west of the eyewall region (below).

Meteosat-8 Infrared Window (10.8 µm) image, with plots of Metop-A ASCAT winds at 1911 UTC [click to enlarge]

Meteosat-8 Infrared Window (10.8 µm) image, with plots of Metop-A ASCAT winds at 1911 UTC [click to enlarge]

A comparison of VIIRS True Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP, visualized using RealEarth, is shown below.

NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Idai had been moving through an environment of very low deep-layer wind shear — a favorable factor for maintaining its intensity — as shown in an animation of Meteosat-8 Infrared Window (10.8 µm) images (below).

Meteosat-8 Infrared Window (10.8 µm) images with contours of satellite-derived Deep-Layer Wind Shear valid at 18 UTC [click to enlarge]

Meteosat-8 Infrared Window (10.8 µm) images with contours of satellite-derived Deep-Layer Wind Shear valid at 18 UTC [click to enlarge]

The MIMIC TC product (below) suggested that Idai might have been in the early stage of an eyewall replacement cycle (ERC) just prior to making landfall. This, after completing a separate ERC during the preceding 48 hours.

MIMIC TC morphed microwave imagery [click to enlarge]

MIMIC TC morphed microwave image product [click to enlarge]

The eye of Idal was becoming cloud-filled as it approached the Mozambique coast, as seen on EUMETSAT Meteosat-8 High Resolution Visible (0.8 µm) images (below).

Meteosat-8 High Resolution Visible (0.8 µm) images [click to play animation]

Meteosat-8 High Resolution Visible (0.8 µm) images [click to play animation]

A time series of surface data from the port city of Beira FQBR (below) showed deteriorating conditions before observations ceased at 15 UTC.

Surface observation data from Beira, Mozambique [click to enlarge]

Surface observation data from Beira, Mozambique [click to enlarge]


Incidentally, an overpass of the Landsat-8 satellite on 11 March provided a 30-meter resolution view of the eye (below), soon after Idai’s first period of rapid intensification to Category 3 strength (SATCON). Surface mesovortices were apparent within the eye.

Landsat-8 False Color image of the eye of Idai on 11 March [click to play a zooming animation]

Landsat-8 False Color image of the eye of Idai on 11 March [click to play a zooming animation]

Flooding from Idai led to hundreds of fatalities in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Typhoon Wutip in the West Pacific Ocean

February 21st, 2019 |

NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1502 UTC [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1502 UTC [click to enlarge]

VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from NOAA-20 at 1502 UTC (above) and from Suomi NPP at 1552 UTC (below) showed Category 2 Typhoon Wutip in the West Pacific Ocean (southeast of Guam) on 21 February 2019. With Moon in the Waning Gibbous phase (at 95% of Full), ample illumination was provided to highlight the “visible image at night” capability of the Day/Night Band.

Notable features included deep convection near the storm’s center of circulation (with the presence of subtle cloud-top gravity waves), and transverse banding along the eastern periphery of the cold central dense overcast. Bright pixels seen in the Suomi NPP Day/Night Band image were the result of clouds being illuminated by lightning activity. VIIRS images courtesy of William Straka, CIMSS.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1552 UTC [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1552 UTC [click to enlarge]

===== 22 February Update =====

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Typhoon Wutip intensified to a Category 3 storm on 22 February (ADT | SATCON) — rapid scan JMA Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images at 2.5 minute intervals (above) revealed cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures of -90ºC and colder (yellow pixels surrounded by darker purple) shortly after 00 UTC. Multiple convective bursts developed around the center of circulation, and evidence of eye formation was seen for a short time beginning around 1137 UTC.

Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images of Wutip (below) showed that a distinct cloud-free eye did not form during that time period.

Himawari-8 "Red" Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

A DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (below) showed a nearly complete ring of strong convection around the eye region at 0916 UTC. A 24-hour animation of MIMIC-TC morphed microwave imagery is available here.

DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image [click to enlarge]

DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image [click to enlarge]

Prior to becoming a typhoon, Wutip had been moving over water with warm Sea Surface Temperatures and high Ocean Heat Content values (below).

Sea Surface Temperature and Ocean Heat Content [click to enlarge]

Sea Surface Temperature and Ocean Heat Content [click to enlarge]

===== 23 February Update =====

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

2.5-minute rapid scan Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (above) revealed the formation of a large and well-define eye with an annular eyewall structure as Wutip rapidly intensified (ADT | SATCON) to Category 4 Super Typhoon status on 23 February. Mesovortices could be seen rotating within the eye. Wutip became the most intense February typhoon on record in the Northwest Pacific basin.

In a toggle between NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1602 UTC (below), these mesovortices were also apparent — with the help of reflected moonlight — in the Day/Night Band.

NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1604 UTC [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1604 UTC [click to enlarge]

As noted in a 21 UTC discussion from the JTWC, Wutip had a well-defined poleward outflow channel within the upper troposphere (below), which was a favorable factor for its intensification.

Himawari-8 Water Vapor (6.9 µm) images with plots of middle/upper-tropospheric derived motion winds [click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 Water Vapor (6.9 µm) images with plots of middle/upper-tropospheric derived motion winds [click to enlarge]

Super Typhoon Yutu re-intensifies to Category 5

October 26th, 2018 |

Himawari-8

Himawari-8 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

After making landfall in the Northern Mariana Islands on 24 October, Super Typhoon Yutu underwent eyewall replacement cycles that brought about a drop to Category 4 intensity on 25 October. However, during the day on 26 October 2018 the storm again re-intensified to Category 5 (ADT | SATCON). Himawari-8 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (above) showed a fascinating variety of storm-top features: (1) outward-propagating gravity waves, (2) a quasi-stationary (in a storm-relative sense, with respect to the moving storm center) curved “notch”  — resembling a hydraulic jump — within the eastern semicircle, and (3) periodic bursts of warm/cold couplets (black/violet enhancement)  — resembling “hot tower” impulses — located well northeast of the storm center (forming around 19-20º N/137º  W) that propagated quickly northwestward. In addition, cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures of -90ºC and colder (yellow pixels embedded within darker purple shades) were seen southern eyewall during the 18-19 UTC period (1834 UTC image).

A comparison of Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window images during the few hours after sunrise (below) showed an eye that was partially cloud-filled with low-level mesovortices.

Himawari-8 "Red" Visible (0.64 µm, left) and "Clean" Infrared Window (10.4 µm, right) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, left) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.4 µm, right) images [click to play MP4 animation]

An animation of Himawari-8 Visible images from 2302 UTC on 26 October to 0632 UTC on 27 October (below) provides a more detailed view of the mesovortices and some of the storm-top gravity waves. As was seen on Infrared imagery, a train of quasi-stationary concentric waves formed along the “notch” feature, becoming especially pronounced around 0532 UTC.

Himawari-8

Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

A comparison of DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) and Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (below) showed Yutu around 2130 UTC.

DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) and Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to enlarge]

DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) and Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to enlarge]