Widespread power outage in Puerto Rico

September 23rd, 2016

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 um) images: cloud-free "clear view" (31 Dec 2015) vs 22 September and 23 September 2016 [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 um) images: cloud-free “clear view” (31 Dec 2015) vs 22 September and 23 September 2016 [click to enlarge]

A fire at the Aguirre power plant in Salinas (located along the southern coast of Puerto Rico) on 21 September 2016 triggered a widespread power outage across the island. A comparison of Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 um) images of Puerto Rico on a cloud-free “clear view” night (31 December 2015) and the 2 nights following the power outage (22 and 23 September) is shown above (visualized using RealEarth); the nighttime glow of city lights is dramatically reduced on the 22 September image, while some restoration of power to much of the island — reportedly 75% — is apparent on the 23 September image.  Additional details and images can be found on the NASA Earth Observatory site.

Tropical Storm Karl

September 19th, 2016
Suomi NPP VIIRS imagery from the Day/Night Band visible (0.70 µm) and Infrared (11.45 µm) at 0351 UTC on 19 September [Click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS imagery from the Day/Night Band visible (0.70 µm) and Infrared (11.45 µm) at 0351 UTC on 19 September [Click to enlarge]

Tropical Storm Karl in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean was a disorganized storm early on 19 September (as noted in these two discussions from the National Hurricane Center at 0300 and 0900 UTC): the surface circulation was displaced to the south and west of the deep convection. Night-time determination of the center location from infrared imagery for such storms is difficult. However, the Day/Night Band on the VIIRS instrument on board Suomi NPP can provide visible imagery at night and such visible imagery can aid in surface feature detection. The toggle above shows the 11.45 µm Infrared image from Suomi NPP just before 0400 UTC and the 0.70 µm Day/Night Band visible image from the same time. With the aid of ample illumination from the Moon (that was in the Waning Gibbous phase, at 85% of Full) the low-level swirl of clouds was apparent near the storm center at 18.2 N, 46.7 W (a bit south and west of the center as noted by the National Hurricane Center at 0300 UTC).

A zoomed-in image toggle centered on the low-level circulation is below.

(Imagery courtesy of William Straka, SSEC)

Suomi NPP VIIRS imagery from the Day/Night Band visible (0.70 µm) and Infrared (11.45 µm) at 0351 UTC on 19 September over the center of Karl [Click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS imagery from the Day/Night Band visible (0.70 µm) and Infrared (11.45 µm) at 0351 UTC on 19 September over the center of Karl [Click to enlarge]

Tropical Storm Julia over the southeastern United States

September 14th, 2016
nppviirsdnbi05_0658_14sept_toggle

Suomi NPP VIIRS imagery from the Day/Night Band visible (0.70 µm) and from 11.45 µm Infrared at 0658 UTC on 14 September (Click to enlarge)

Tropical Storm Julia formed near the coast of northeastern Florida overnight on 13 September 2016 (NHC advisory archive) and moved inland over Jacksonville Florida. Suomi NPP Day/Night Band imagery, toggled above with 11.45 micron Infrared imagery shows a sheared system with most of the convection east and north of the center (that was at that time inland over Florida). Julia’s slow movement in combination with abundant moisture (a Total Precipitable Water product from this site is shown below) means flooding is likely in some regions.

Morphed Total Precipitable Water derived from MIRS, 1400 UTC on 14 September 2016 [click to play animation]

Morphed Total Precipitable Water derived from MIRS, 1400 UTC on 14 September 2016 [click to play animation]

Super Typhoon Meranti

September 12th, 2016

Himawari-8 0.64 µm Visible (top) and 10.4 µm Infrared Window (bottom) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Himawari-8 0.64 µm Visible (top) and 10.4 µm Infrared Window (bottom) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Rapid-scan (2.5-minute interval) Himawari-8 AHI Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (above; also avialable as a 33 Mbyte animated GIF) showed the pin-hole eye and cold cloud-top IR brightness temperatures (-80º C and colder, violet color enhancement) associated with Super Typhoon Meranti (16W) in the Philippine Sea on 11-12 September 2016. Note that the ABI instrument on GOES-R will provide similar 0.5-km resolution Visible and 2-km resolution Infrared imagery.

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) image at 1230 UTC on 12 September, with 11 September images of Sea Surface Temperature and Ocean Heat Content [click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) image at 1230 UTC on 12 September, with 11 September images of Sea Surface Temperature and Ocean Heat Content [click to enlarge]

As Meranti was intensifying from a Category 4 to a Category 5 storm, it was passing over waters that exhibited both warm Sea Surface Temperatures and high Ocean Heat Content as seen on images from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (above), and was also moving through an environment of very low deep-layer wind shear (below) — all factors that are favorable for tropical cyclone intensification.

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images, with satellite-derived 850-200 hPa deep layer wind shear [click to play animation]

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images, with satellite-derived 850-200 hPa deep layer wind shear [click to play animation]

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (below; also available as an 89 Mbyte animated GIF) showed Meranti as a Category 5 storm during the nighttime hours on 12 September.

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]

A comparison of a Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) image at 1830 UTC and a DMSP-15 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 1847 UTC (below) again displayed the very small eye.

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) and DMSP-15 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) images [click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) and DMSP-15 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) images [click to enlarge]

During the subsequent daytime hours (local time) on 12 September, another comparison of rapid-scan (2.5-minute interval) Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (below; also available as a 24 Mbyte animated GIF) continued to show a well-defined eye as Meranti maintained Category 5 intensity (ADT plot). Mesovortices could be seen spinning within the eye on the visible imagery during this time.

Himawari-8 0.64 µm Visible (top) and 10.4 µm Infrared Window (bottom) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Himawari-8 0.64 µm Visible (top) and 10.4 µm Infrared Window (bottom) images [click to play MP4 animation]

===== 13 September 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]

Super Typhoon Meranti went through a secondary round of intensification on 13 September (ADT plot) , with the JTWC estimating maximum sustained winds of 165 knots with gusts to 200 knots at 21 UTC. CIMSS Satellite Consensus (SATCON) plots of wind and pressure indicated that Meranti reached peak intensity near the middle of the day. Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (above; also available as a 114 Mbyte animated GIF) continued to display a well-defined eye with an annular storm structure during this period. A faster version of the animated GIF better showed the pronounced trochoidal motion exhibited by the eye of Meranti, as it moved just south of the island of Taiwan.

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

The eye of Meranti passed directly over the small Philippine island of Itbayat, as seen on Himawari-8 Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images viewed using RealEarth (above).

Suomi NPP overflew Meranti around 1730 UTC, just as the eye of the storm was passing over Itbayat. In a toggle between VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) and Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) images (below; courtesy of William Straka, SSEC) ample lunar illumination provided a very good “visible image at night” which also included a bright lightning streak emanating from the eastern eyewall of the Category 5 storm. The image pair also shows a good example of the “stadium effect” eye geometry (where the eye diameter at the surface is smaller, and opens to a wider distance with increasing height). A larger-scale view of the entire storm from the Day/Night Band is available here; the corresponding 11.45 µm Infrared image is available here.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) and Day/Night Band visible (0.70 µm) imagery of Meranti, 1735 UTC on 13 September 2016 [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) and Day/Night Band visible (0.70 µm) imagery of Meranti, 1735 UTC on 13 September 2016 [click to enlarge]

DMSP-15 SSMI Microwave (85 GHz) and Himawari-8 Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]


DMSP-15 SSMI Microwave (85 GHz) and Himawari-8 Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

In a comparison of DMSP-15 SSMI Microwave (85 GHz) and Himawari-8 Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images around 1830 UTC (above), the appearance of concentric eyewalls on the microwave data suggested that Meranti was preparing to go through an eyewalll replacement cycle, which also signaled that the storm was perhaps near maximum intensity.

This formation of concentric eyewalls was nicely depicted by the MIMIC-TC product (below).

MIMIC-TC product [click to play animation]

MIMIC-TC product [click to play animation]

=====14 September Update =====

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]


Less than 2 hours prior to landfall (which was around 1905 UTC on 14 September, over Xiamen City in the Fujian Province of China), a toggle between Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1716 UTC (above) still showed well-defined curved banding structures around the center of of the Category 2 typhoon.

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images from pre-landfall at 0600 UTC on 14 September to post-landfall at 0600 UTC on 15 September (below; also available as a 47 Mbyte animated GIF) showed that Meranti quickly dissipated as it moved inland over mainland China. The images are centered on Xiamen (station identifier ZSAM); alternate animation versions with the BD grayscale enhancement are available in MP4 and animated GIF format.

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]

About 4 hours after landfall, good curved banding structure was still observed in DMSP-18 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) imagery at 2314 UTC, while the overall presentation of the storm on Himawari-8 Infrared Window (11.45 µm) imagery began to deteriorate (below).

DMSP-18 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) and Himawari-8 Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

DMSP-18 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) and Himawari-8 Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]