Hurricane Lane in the eastern Pacific Ocean

August 17th, 2018 |

NOAA-20 VIIRS Imagery at 1023 UTC on 17 August 2018. Day Night Band Visible (0.7 µm) and I05 Infrared (11.45 µm) imagery are shown (Click to enlarge)

The active eastern Pacific Hurricane season continues, as Lane has formed. Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 overflew the system early on 17 August 2018. The toggle above, from NOAA-20’s VIIRS Instrument, shows both the Day Night Band 0.70 µm visible Image and the 11.45 µm infrared channels. Lack of lunar illumination means that only Earthglow is making clouds visible; a distinct eye is not present. The step animation below between the NOAA-20 11.45 µm infrared and, 50 minutes later, Suomi NPP’s 11.45 µm Infrared, right at the limb of the scan, also show no distinct eye.

VIIRS I05 11.45 µm Infrared Imagery from NOAA-20 (1023 UTC) and Suomi NPP (1113 UTC) on 17 August 2018 (Click to enlarge)

In fact, however, an eye was likely present at this time. As noted in the National Hurricane Center’s 0900 UTC Discussion (Link), “Recent microwave images show a well-defined low-level eye, but this feature is not yet apparent in geostationary satellite images.”  AMSR-2 (Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2) estimates of Convective Precipitation and Surface Rainfall in the toggle below (data from 1003 UTC) show a distinct eye.  AMSR-2 is a microwave instrument that flies on JAXA’s GCOM satellite;  microwave views of tropical cyclones are able to penetrate the cirrus shield that is commonly present, revealing important information about the low-level structure of a developing system.

GCOM AMSR-2 estimates of convective precipitation and surface rainfall rates at 1003 UTC on 17 August 2018 (Click to enlarge)

Polar Orbit tracks are available here. For the latest information on Hurricane Lane, refer to the National Hurricane Center or to the CIMSS/SSEC Tropical Weather Website. Imagery from Polar Orbiters are available at this site that shows data from an antenna in Honolulu.

Thank you to William Straka, CIMSS, for the imagery.

Hurricane Hector

August 6th, 2018 |
NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

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

* GOES-17 images shown here are preliminary and non-operational *

A toggle between NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images (above; courtesy of William Straka, CIMSS) showed the well-defined eye of Hurricane Hector after it had reached Category 4 intensity on 06 August 2018 (advisories: EPAC | CPAC).

GOES-17 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (below) revealed cloud-top gravity waves within the eyewall region of the storm, along with thin filaments of transverse banding in the northern semicircle farther from the eye.

GOES-17

GOES-17 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-15 (GOES-West) Visible (0.63 µm) and Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images (below) showed that eyewall cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures were in the -70 to -80ºC range (black to white enhancement).

GOES-15 Visible (0.63 µm, left) and Infrared Window (10.7 µm, right) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-15 Visible (0.63 µm, left) and Infrared Window (10.7 µm, right) images [click to play animation | MP4]

A magnified view of GOES-15 Visible images (below) revealed mesovortices within the eye of Hector.

GOES-15 Visible (0.63 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-15 Visible (0.63 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Metop ASCAT surface scatterometer winds (below) surrounding the eye were near 70 knots around 1930 UTC.

GOES-15 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) image and Metop ASCAT surface scatterometer winds [click to enlarge]

GOES-15 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) image and Metop ASCAT surface scatterometer winds [click to enlarge]

The MIMIC-TC morphed microwave product (below) showed that Hector underwent an eyewall replacement cycle early in the day on 05 August, and then maintained a well-defined eye as it subsequently strengthened to a high-end Category 4 intensity on 06 August (ADT | SATCON).

MIMIC-TC morphed microwave product [click to play animation]

MIMIC-TC morphed microwave product [click to play animation]

===== 07 August Update =====

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

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

A nighttime NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) image (above) revealed the presence of mesospheric airglow waves (reference) propagating northwestward away from Category 4 Hurricane Hector on 07 August. Note that these high-altitude waves were not apparent on the corresponding Infrared Window (11.45 µm) image.

Hurricane Chris

July 10th, 2018 |

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, left) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm, right) images [click to play MP4 animation]

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (above) showed Chris as it rapidly intensified (ADT | SATCON) to a Category 1 Hurricane by 2100 UTC (NHC discussion) on 10 July 2018.

A toggle between 375-meter resolution NOAA-20 Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images (below) revealed cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures as cold as -81ºC (violet enhancement) in a convective burst just northeast of the eye. [Note: the 1821 UTC NOAA-20 images are incorrectly labeled as Suomi NPP images]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Earlier in the day, a GPM satellite GMI Microwave (85 GHz) image from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (below) showed that Tropical Storm Chris had not yet formed a closed eye at 1326 UTC.

GPM GMI Microwave (85 GHz) image [click to enlarge]

GPM GMI Microwave (85 GHz) image [click to enlarge]

However, a MIMIC-TC animation spanning the 0000 to 1925 UTC time period (below) showed the eye formation process completing as the estimated maximum speed (Vmax) increased from 60 to 75 knots.

MIMIC-TC morphed microwave image product [click to enlarge]

MIMIC-TC morphed microwave image product [click to enlarge]

Super Typhoon Maria

July 5th, 2018 |

Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm, left) and 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]

Typhoon Maria underwent a period of rapid intensification (ADT | SATCON) while it was just northwest of Guam late in the day on 05 July 2018, becoming the first Category 5 Super Typhoon of the 2018 West Pacific season. Rapid-scan Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (above) showed Maria during this period of rapid intensification. Cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures reached -80ºC (violet enhancement) at times in the eyewall of the storm.

A GPM GMI Microwave (85 GHz) image from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (below) showed the pinhole eye of Maria around the time it reached Category 5 intensity. The tropical cyclone was moving over water with high values of Ocean Heat Content — and was in an environment characterized by low values of Deep-layer Wind Shear.

GPM GMI Microwave (85 GHz) image [click to enlarge]

GPM GMI Microwave (85 GHz) image [click to enlarge]

Mesovortices could be seen within the eye on Himawari-8 Visible imagery (below). However, note how the eye became less distinct and increased in diameter toward the end of the animation.

Himawari-8

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

Shortly after 00 UTC on 06 July, Maria began the process of an eyewall replacement cycle as shown in MIMIC TC morphed microwave imagery (below) — and during the following 6-12 hours a decreasing trend in storm intensity was seen (ADT | SATCON).

MIMIC TC morphed microwave image product [click to play animation]

MIMIC TC morphed microwave image product [click to play animation]

A toggle between Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1603 UTC on 06 July (below; courtesy of William Straka, CIMSS) showed Category 4 Typhoon Maria after the eye had filled following the eyewall replacement cycle.

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

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

===== 08 July Update =====

Himawari-8

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

Super Typhoon Maria re-intensified to Category 5 intensity at 12 UTC on 08 July (SATCON) — Himawari-8 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (above) displayed a large (30 nautical mile wide) eye. The subtle signature of mesovortices could be seen rotating within the eye.

During the preceding daylight hours, Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (below) showed the eye mesovortices in better detail.

Himawari-8

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

However, Maria was again downgraded to a Category 4 storm at 00 UTC on 09 July, as another eyewall replacement cycle took place (DMSP-17 microwave image) and the storm began to move over water having slightly cooler Sea Surface Temperature and Ocean Heat Content. The eye and its mesovortices continued to be prominent in Himawari-8 Visible and Infrared imagery (below).

Himawari-8

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