Cyclone Kelvin makes landfall in Australia

February 18th, 2018 |

Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm, left) and Infrared Window (10.4 µm, right) images, with hourly surface plots at Broome [click to play Animated GIF | MP4 also available]

Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm, left) and Infrared Window (10.4 µm, right) images, with hourly surface plots at Broome, Australia [click to play Animated GIF | MP4 also available]

Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (above) showed Cyclone Kelvin as it made landfall in Western Australia as a Category 1 storm on 18 February 2018. Kelvin continued to intensify shortly after making landfall, with estimated winds of 80 gusting to 100 knots — and a distinct eye feature could be seen in the Visible and Infrared imagery (as well as Broome radar data).

A longer animation of Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (below) revealed a very large convective burst as Kelvin meandered near the coast early on 17 February — periodic cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures of -90 ºC or colder were seen. After making landfall, the eye structure eventually deteriorated by 18 UTC on 18 February.

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images, with hourly surface plots [click to play MP4 | Animated GIF also available]

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images, with hourly surface plots [click to play MP4 | Animated GIF also available]

The MIMIC-TC product (below) showed the development of Kelvin’s compact eye during the 17 February – 18 February period; the eye was well-defined around the time of landfall (2147 UTC image on 17 February), and persisted for at least 18 hours (1556 UTC image on 18 February) until rapidly dissipating by 21 UTC.

MIMIC-TC morphed microwave imagery [click to enlarge]

MIMIC-TC morphed microwave imagery [click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 Deep Layer Wind Shear values remained very low — generally 5 knots or less — prior to, during and after the landfall of Kelvin, which also contributed to the slow rate of weakening. In addition, an upward moisture flux from the warm/wet sandy soil of that region helped Kelvin to intensify after landfall; land surface friction was also small, since that portion of Western Australia is rather flat.

Himawari-8 Water Vapor images, with Deep Layer Wind Shear product [click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 Water Vapor images, with Deep Layer Wind Shear product [click to enlarge]

The eye of Cyclone Kelvin could also be seen in Terra MODIS and Suomi NPP VIIRS True-color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images, viewed using RealEarth (below). The actual times of the Terra and Suomi NPP satellite overpasses were 0154 UTC and 0452 UTC on 18 February, respectively.

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]

Tropical Storm Nate forms near Nicaragua

October 5th, 2017 |

GOES-16 ABI Band 2 Visible (0.64 µm) Imagery, 1127 – 1324 UTC on 5 October 2017 (Click to animate)

GOES-16 Visible Imagery, above, shows convection (imagery at 1-minute intervals) surrounding Tropical Storm Nate, just onshore in northeastern Nicaragua.

GOES-16 ABI “Clean Window” Infrared (10.3 µm) Imagery, 4 October 2017 at 2300 UTC through 1130 UTC on 5 October 2017 (Click to animate)

GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational and are undergoing testing

The Tropical Depression (#16) in the western Caribbean Sea has strengthened to become a minimal Tropical Storm, acquiring the name Nate. The animation from GOES-16, above, shows disorganized convection over the entire basin, stretching into the Pacific Ocean south of central America. (The sheared remains of Pacific Tropical Storm Ramon are also present south of Mexico). The animation below, from 0000-1300 UTC on 5 October 2017, shows the mid-level Water Vapor Infrared Imagery (6.95 µm) from GOES-16. Convection develops over the center of Nate, over Nicaragua, at the end of the animation.

GOES-16 ABI “Mid-Level Water Vapor” Infrared (6.95 µm) Imagery, 0000-1300 UTC on 5 October 2017 (Click to animate)

Microwave Imagery, below, from SSMI/S at around 1000 UTC on 5 October, (from this site) suggests that Nate is centered very near the coast of Nicaragua. Nate is forecast to move north into the Gulf of Mexico; its path through the northwest Caribbean suggests strengthening is possible if Nate remains far enough from land. Very warm water is present in the northwest Caribbean; that warmth extends to great depth as shown by this plot of Oceanic Heat Content; that warmth extends into the central Gulf of Mexico.

85 GHz Brightness Temperatures, 1000 UTC on 5 October 2017 (Click to enlarge)

Nate formed at a time when the Moon was Full. Thus, Suomi NPP Day Night Band Visible Imagery showed excellent illumination. The image below is from 0627 UTC on 5 October.

Suomi NPP Day Night Band Visible (0.7 µm) Imagery, 0627 UTC on 5 October 2017 (Click to enlarge)

Total Precipitable Water in advance of Nate is plentiful, as shown in the loop below (from this site). There is dry air over the continental United States, however, associated with a strong High Pressure System. Easterly winds south of that system are apparent in Scatterometer winds from early in the morning on 5 October.

MIMIC Morphed Total Precipitable Water, 1200 UTC 4 October – 1100 UTC 5 October 2017 (Click to enlarge)

Hurricane Maria makes landfall in Puerto Rico

September 20th, 2017 |

GOES-16 Visible Imagery (0.64 µm), 1017-1117 UTC, at 30-second time steps, on 20 September 2017 (Click to animate)

GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational and are undergoing testing.

Strong Category 4 Hurricane Maria has made landfall in Puerto Rico. According to the National Hurricane Center, landfall occurred around 1035 UTC near Yabacuo on Puerto Rico’s southeast coast. The GOES-16 30-second (using overlapping mesoscale sectors) Visible Animation, above, shows the storm as it made landfall. Maria had recently completed an Eyewall Replacement Cycle as it made landfall. The animation below, using morphed microwave imagery (from this site), shows the development of an outer eyewall and subsequent erosion of the inner eyewall during the 24 hours prior to landfall.

Morphed Microwave Imagery centered on Hurricane Maria for the 24 hours prior to landfall in Puerto Rico (Click to enlarge)

GOES-16 Clean Window Infrared (10.3 µm) Imagery shows a distinct eye as the storm makes landfall. Subsequently, however, the eye filled in as it moved over the mountainous interior of Puerto Rico.

GOES-16 Infrared (10.3 µm) Imagery, 0957-1136 UTC on 20 September 2017 (Click to animate)

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm, left) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm, right) images (Click to play MP4 animation)

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm, left) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm, right) images (Click to play MP4 animation)

A 2-panel comparison of GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm) imagery during the 1020-1620 UTC time period is shown above. It can be seen that deep eyewall convection moved over much of the island as Maria made its journey across Puerto Rico.

Suomi NPP flew over Maria early in the morning on 20 September, when the storm was near St. Croix. The toggle below shows the 11.45 µm Infrared image from VIIRS and the Day Night Band Visible (0.7 µm) Imagery. The Moon on 20 September was a New Moon, so no lunar illumination was present for the Day Night Band. The eye of the storm was nevertheless apparent in the image.  A zoomed-in Infrared image over the eye is here.

Suomi NPP VIIRS 11.45 µm Infrared image from VIIRS and the Day Night Band Visible (0.7 µm) Imager, 0613 UTC on 20 September 2017 (Click to enlarge)

Suomi NPP overflew Maria again when the storm was moving offshore from Puerto Rico, and a toggle (Visible and Infrared) below shows the storm at 1724 UTC on 20 September. Click here for a zoomed-in image (Visible) over the eye.

Suomi NPP VIIRS 11.45 µm Infrared image from VIIRS and Visible (0.64 µm) Image, 1724 UTC on 20 September 2017 (Click to enlarge)

More information on Maria is available at the National Hurricane Center and at the CIMSS Tropical Weather Website.

Hurricane Irma

September 8th, 2017 |

GOES-16 “Clean Window” Imagery (10.3 µm) every six hours from 1500 UTC 31 August to 0900 UTC 8 September, centered on Irma (Click to animate)

GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational and are undergoing testing

The animation above shows Irma every 6 hours from 31 August through 8 September, using the GOES-16 “Clean Window” Imagery (10.3 µm). The animation below shows the GOES-16 Upper-Level Water Vapor Infrared Imagery (6.19 µm) (Click here for the Low-Level Water Vapor Infrared Imagery — 7.34 µm). All three animations show a gradual increase in the size of the storm. The structure of the storm at the very end suggests a slight weakening, most likely temporary, of Irma.

GOES-16 “Low-Level Water Vapor” Infrared Imagery (6.19 µm) every six hours from 1500 UTC 31 August to 0900 UTC 8 September, centered on Irma (Click to animate)

The recent slight weakening of Irma is mostly likely related to an Eyewall Replacement Cycle, shown in the Microwave Imagery below (from this site). In an Eyewall Replacement, an outer eyewall develops around the inner eyewall, after which time the inner eyewall will diminish and then dissipate, usually but not always weakening the storm. The outer eyewall will then contract, usually as the storm re-intensifies (if other environmental parameters that govern strengthening — Sea Surface Temperatures, Moisture, Shear — are favorable).

Morphed Microwave Imagery over Irma for the 48 hours ending 1200 UTC on 8 September 2017 (Click to enlarge)

The imagery below shows a recent 8-hour animation of Irma and Katia using the GOES-16 Clean Window (10.3 µm) Channel. The Inner Core of Irma looks a bit more ragged compared to previous days, although excellent outflow continues, and very little dry air is apparent. Katia in the southwest Gulf of Mexico is occasionally presenting an eye.

GOES-16 “Clean Window” Imagery (10.3 µm) 0717-1522 UTC on 8 September (Click to animate)

For more on this system, please consult the National Hurricane Center Website, or the SSEC/CIMSS Tropical Weather Website.