Medicane “Zorbas”

September 29th, 2018 |

NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) images [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Medicane “Zorbas” — as named by Freie Universität Berlin (surface analyses) — developed in the Mediterranean Sea late in the day on 27 September 2018. A toggle between VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) images from NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP (above; courtesy of William Straka, CIMSS) revealed the well-defined circulation of the storm a few hours after Midnight local time on 28 September. Note the bright streak north of the storm center on the NOAA-20 image — this was an area of clouds illuminated by intense lightning activity. Other less prominent lightning streaks were evident in thunderstorms farther to the east over the Mediterranean Sea. On the Suomi NPP image, a small bright spot could be seen, evidence of minor volcanic activity at Mount Etna on the island of Sicily, as well as the hazy signature of a plume of blowing dust/sand that was moving northward off the coast of Libya. The corresponding VIIRS Infrared images are available here.

During the following daylight hours of 28 September, EUMETSAT Meteosat-11 High Resolution Visible (0.8 µm) images (below) showed the storm as it became better organized and increased intensity. Another dense plume of blowing dust/sand began to move off the coast of Libya late in the day.

Meteosat-11 Visible (0.8 µm) images, with hourly plots of wind barbs (yellow) and wind gusts (red) [click to play animation | MP4]

Meteosat-11 Visible (0.8 µm) images, with hourly plots of wind barbs (yellow) and wind gusts (red) [click to play animation | MP4]

On 29 September, Meteosat-11 Visible (0.8 µm) images (below) showed the Medicane moving inland along the Peloponnese coast of southern Greece — shortly after the storm center passed, winds gusted to 48 knots at Kalamata at 1220 UTC (while a heavy thunderstorm was being reported).

Meteosat-11 Visible (0.8 µm) images, with hourly plots of winds (yellow) and gusts in knots (red) [click to play animation | MP4]

Meteosat-11 Visible (0.8 µm) images, with hourly plots of wind barbs (yellow) and gusts in knots (red) [click to play animation | MP4]

A sequence of Terra and Aqua MODIS True Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images from 28 and 29 September from RealEarth (below) showed another view of the Zorbas on those 2 days (the valid time of the Terra MODIS image showing the eye-like feature on 29 September was 0911 UTC). Sea Surface Temperatures were near 25ºC in the central Mediterranean Sea where Zorbas was intensifying.

Terra/Aqua MODIS True Color RGB images on 28 and 29 September [click to enlarge]

Terra/Aqua MODIS True Color RGB images on 28 and 29 September [click to enlarge]

Hourly images of the MIMIC Total Precipitable Water product (below) showed moisture associated with the storm, which produced heavy rainfall and flash flooding in parts of southern Greece — the NESDIS Blended TPW Anomaly product indicated that this moisture was as much as 200% of normal for the region and date. Additional information and videos can be found here.

MIMIC morphed Total Precipitable Water images, 27-29 September [click to play animation | MP4]

MIMIC morphed Total Precipitable Water images, 27-29 September [click to play animation | MP4]

Cyclone Mekunu in the northwest Indian Ocean

May 23rd, 2018 |
Meteosat-8 Infrared 10.8 µm imagery, 1630 UTC 22 May - 1715 UTC 23 May 2018 (Click to animate)

Meteosat-8 Infrared 10.8 µm imagery, 1630 UTC 22 May – 1715 UTC 23 May 2018 (Click to animate)

Cyclone Mekunu in the northwest Indian Ocean was approaching Oman and Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula on 23 May 2018, as shown in the animation above. Morphed Microwave Imagery, below, (from this site) for the 24 hours ending at 1900 UTC on 23 May 2018, shows the storm at the periphery of deep tropical moisture.  This moisture will likely lead to devastating floods in the desert regions of Oman and Yemen as the storm approaches. (News Link 1, 2 and 3).  Cyclone Chapala that affected the region in 2015 also caused devastating floods.

Microwave-based Total Precipitable Water for 24 hours ending 1900 UTC on 23 May 2018 (Click to enlarge)

Microwave imagery, below, (from this site) shows how the organization of the storm changed in the 24 hours ending around 1600 UTC on 23 May 2018.   AMSU microwave imagery for this storm can be found here (off of this website).

Morphed Microwave Imagery over Mekunu for the 24 hours ending at 1600 UTC (Click to enlarge)

Satellite intensity estimates for the storm are shown below (taken from this website). The Meteosat-8 infrared animation, above, shows a periodic increase and decay in the strong convection near the center. Satellite estimates of strength (below) show a consistent lowering of the central pressure of the storm, however; winds have consistently increased.

Satellite-based estimates of Mekunu’s central pressure (Click to enlarge)

Mekunu is traversing a region with very high Sea Surface Temperatures and modest shear. Significant weakening is not forecast.

Sea Surface Temperatures and Shear over the northwest Indian Ocean (Click to enlarge)

More information on this unusual tropical cyclone can be found at the CIMSS Tropical Weather Website (link) and the CIRA Tropical Weather Website (link).

=============== Added, 24 May 2018 ==============

Suomi-NPP overflew Mekunu at 2133 UTC on 23 May 2018, and the toggle below (between the Day Night Band and the 11.45 µm infrared;  Click here for a zoomed-in toggle between the Day Night Band and the 11.35 µm infrared image) shows the storm well-illuminated by a waxing gibbous Moon.  Strong convection with lightning is apparent north of the island of Socotra.  (VIIRS imagery courtesy Will Straka, CIMSS)

Suomi NPP VIIRS Infrared (11.45 µm) and Day Night Band Visible (0.70 µm) imagery over Mekunu, 2133 UTC on 23 May 2018 (Click to enlarge)

=============== Added, 25 May 2018 ==============

Mekunu is approaching the coast of Oman on 25 May 2018 from the southeast.  The animation below of visible (0.6 µm, left) and Infrared (10.8 µm ,right) imagery shows a compact storm with deep convection around an eye.  Microwave Imagery for the 24 hours ending at 1300 UTC on 25 May (here, from this site) suggest Mekunu is strengthening as it nears the coast. (Satellite-estimated winds and pressure also suggest strengthening near landfall).

Meteosat-8 Visible (0.6 µm, left) and Infrared (10.8 µm, right) imagery over Mekunu, 1145 UTC on 24 May to 1215 UTC on 25 May 2018 (Click to animate)

Visible Imagery from 1045 to 1430 UTC, below, suggests landfall will occur shortly after sunset east of the Oman/Yemen border.  Infrared Imagery (at bottom) shows a landfall near 1800 UTC.

Meteosat-8 Visible (0.6 µm, left) imagery over Mekunu, 1045 UTC to 1430 UTC on 25 May 2018 (Click to animate)

Meteosat-8 Infrared (10.8 µm, left) imagery over Mekunu, 1415 UTC to 1830 UTC on 25 May 2018 (Click to animate)

Surface observations from Salalah, in southern Oman (click here), show sustained tropical-storm force winds, with gusts to 60 knots, from the east for several hours today. Normal annual precipitation for the region is about 5″.

Cyclone Numa in the Mediterranean Sea

November 19th, 2017 |

Terra MODIS and Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color RGB images [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS and Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color RGB images [click to enlarge]

A toggle between Terra MODIS and Suomi NPP VIIRS Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images, viewed using RealEarth (above), revealed the well-defined eye structure of Cyclone Numa over the Ionian Sea (between Italy and Greece) on 18 November 2017. Tracing its origin back to the remnants of Tropical Storm Rina (track), Cyclone Numa had acquired subtropical characteristics, making it a relatively rare Medicane.

EUMETSAT Meteosat-10 High Resolution Visible (0.8 µm) images (below) showed the evolution of the storm on 18 November. Plots of hourly surface reports (in metric units) are plotted on the images.

Meteosat-10 Visible (0.8 µm) images, with plots of hourly surface reports [click to play MP4 animation]

Meteosat-10 Visible (0.8 µm) images, with plots of hourly surface reports [click to play MP4 animation]

Meteosat-10 Infrared Window (10.8 µm) images (below) showed cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures around -60ºC (darker red enhancement) associated with some of the convective bursts during the 18-19 November period, as the system eventually moved inland across Greece.

Meteosat-10 Infrared Window (10.8 µm) images, with plots of hourly surface reports [click to play MP4 animation]

Meteosat-10 Infrared Window (10.8 µm) images, with plots of hourly surface reports [click to play MP4 animation]


Deadly Smog in India and Pakistan

November 9th, 2017 |

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day Night Band Visible Imagery (0.70 µm) at Night, 05, 07 and 08 November 2017 (Click to enlarge).

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible Imagery at Night (the Day Night Band Visible Image (0.7 µm) from 5 November, 7 November and 8 November), above, and Infrared Channel Brightness Temperature Difference  (11.45 µm – 3.9 µm) on 5 November, 7 November and 8 November), below, both show the presence of fog/smog over northern Pakistan and northwestern India from 05-08 November 2017 (Suomi NPP VIIRS Imagery courtesy of William Straka, CIMSS). The Smog led the Government of Punjab to ban burning of stubble; schools in Delhi were closed.  Vehicle crashes linked to reduced visibilities have killed at least 10 people (source).  Air Quality in the region is very poor as shown in this Screen Grab from this site.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Infrared channel Brightness Temperature Difference (11.45 µm – 3.9 µm) on 05, 07, and 08 November 2017 (Click to enlarge)

An animation of Meteosat-8 Visible Imagery, below, from 03-09 November, shows little improvement in conditions in the past week.

Meteosat-8 Visible Imagery (0.6 µm) at 0300 UTC from 03 to 09 November 2017 (Click to enlarge)

Daily composites of Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images from RealEarth, below, showed the areal coverage of the smog during the 03-09 November period. Surface observations at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport indicated that the visibility remained below one statute mile — with zero visibility at times — during the 72-hour period spanning 07 November, 08 November and 09 November (animation).

Daily composites of Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color RGB images (click to enlarge)

Daily composites of Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color RGB images (click to enlarge)

Worth noting on a nighttime comparison of Suomi NPP VIIRS Infrared Brightness Difference (11.45-3.74 µm) and Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) images, below, was the appearance of a cloud shadow being cast by moonlight onto the top of the boundary layer smog/fog.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Infrared Brightness Difference (11.45-3.74 µm) and Dat/Night Band (0.7 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Infrared Brightness Difference (11.45-3.74 µm) and Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) images [click to enlarge]