Typhoon Faxai makes landfall in Japan

September 8th, 2019 |


2.5-minute rapid scan JMA Himawari-8 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images centered on Tokyo (with plots of hourly wind gusts) are shown below — wind gusts included 90 knots (167 km/h) at New Tokyo International Airport (RJAA) and 85 knots (157 km/h) at Tokyo International Airport (RJTT).

Himawari-8

Himawari-8 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.4 µm), with hourly wind gusts (in knots) plotted in yellow [click to play animation | MP4]

Super Typhoon Lekima in the West Pacific Ocean

August 8th, 2019 |

Himawari-8

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

JMA 2.5-minute rapid scan Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (above) showed the eye and eyewall region of Category 4 Super Typhoon Lekima on 07-08 August 2019. Features of interest included surface mesovortices within the eye, eyewall cloud-top gravity waves, and a quasi-stationary “cloud cliff” notch extending northwestward from the eye (infrared brightness temperature contours). This cloud cliff feature has been observed with other intense tropical cyclones (for example, Typhoon Neoguri in 2014).

VIIRS True Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 as viewed using RealEarth are shown below.

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

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

The trochoidal motion (or wobble) of the eye of Lekima became very pronounced as it crossed the Ryukyu Islands, as seen in an animation of 2.5-minute rapid scan Himawari-8  Infrared images (below). The center of the tropical cyclone moved between Miyakojima (ROMY) and Ishigakijima (ROIG), which reported wind gusts to 67 knots and 64 knots respectively.

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

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

Himawari-8 Infrared images with contours and streamlines of deep-layer wind shear at 15 UTC from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (below) indicated that Lekima was moving through an environment of very low shear, which was a factor aiding its intensification.

Himawari-8 "Clean" Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images, with contours and streamlines of deep-layer wind shear at 15 UTC [click to play animation]

Himawari-8 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images, with contours and streamlines of deep-layer wind shear at 15 UTC [click to play animation]

Eruption of Ulawun in Papau, New Guinea

August 3rd, 2019 |

Volcanic ash height [click to play animation | MP4]

Volcanic ash height [click to play animation | MP4]

The Ulawun volcano erupted just after 09 UTC on 03 August 2019 — retrieved Volcanic Ash Height images from the NOAA/CIMSS Volcanic Cloud Monitoring site (above) showed values generally in the 16-18 km range, with some portions of the umbrella cloud as high as 18-20 km. An advisory issued by the Darwin VAAC estimated the maximum volcanic ash height to be 63,000 feet or 19.2 km.

Volcanic Ash Loading and Effective Radius products (below) indicated that there were high amounts of large ash particles within the volcanic cloud as it drifted southwestward.

Volcanic ash loading [click to play animation | MP4]

Volcanic ash loading [click to play animation | MP4]

Volcanic ash effective radius [click to play animation | MP4]

Volcanic ash effective radius [click to play animation | MP4]

Ulawun volcano erupts in Papau New Guinea

June 26th, 2019 |

Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm, left), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, center) and Infrared Window (10.4 µm, right) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm, left), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, center) and Infrared Window (10.4 µm, right) images [click to play animation | MP4]

The Ulawun volcano erupted just after 0430 UTC on 26 June 2019 — a comparison of Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) and Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (above) showed the thermal anomaly (yellow to red 3.9 µm pixels) preceding the eruption and the development of a well-defined umbrella cloud after the eruption. The coldest cloud-top infrared brightness temperature was -83.6ºC in conjunction with a prominent overshooting top at 0600 UTC. Note the eastward-moving cloud material that originated from this overshooting top — judging from Merauke/Mopah, Indonesia rawinsonde data (plot | data), the westerly winds required for such transport existed in the stratosphere at altitudes of 20-24 km. The pocket of warmer cloud-top 10.4 µm brightness temperatures associated with this stratospheric cloud material was the warmest at (-57.2ºC) at 0640 UTC (which, with the adjacent -82.7ºC overshooting top, created a cold/warm couplet whose magnitude was 25.5ºC). In addition, concentric gravity waves propagating outward across the volcanic cloud top were evident on the imagery.

Himawari-8 Infrared Window images (below) showed that the volcanic cloud dissipated fairly quickly. The eastward drift of the stratospheric cloud material also became difficult to follow after a couple of hours — even in Low-level Water Vapor (7.3 µm) imagery (which is also sensitive to SO2 absorption).

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]

Himawari-8 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images (below) revealed a thermal anomaly or “hot spot” (yellow to red pixels) for several hours leading up to the 0430 UTC volcanic eruption.

Himawari-8 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 um) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Himawari-8 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Regarding the intensity of the thermal anomaly, a plot of volcano radiative power (VRP) and volcanic cloud longwave infrared brightness temperature (below) showed that the VRP exceeded 1 GW several hours prior to the formation of the eruption umbrella cloud.

Plot of volcano radiative power (red) and volcanic cloud longwave infrared brightness temperature (green), courtesy of Mike Pavolonis (NOAA/NESDIS) [click to enlarge]

Time series plot of volcano radiative power (red) and volcanic cloud longwave infrared brightness temperature (green), courtesy of Mike Pavolonis (NOAA/NESDIS) [click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 False Color RGB imagery along with radiometrically retrieved Ash Height, Ash Effective Radius and Ash Loading products (below) revealed a volcanic cloud characterized by high ash loading of large particles, having height values generally in the 16-20 km range (with a maximum height of 22 km).

False Color RGB (top left), Ash Height (top right), Ash Effective Radius (bottom left) and Ash Loading (bottom right) [click to play animation | MP4]

False Color RGB (top left), Ash Height (top right), Ash Effective Radius (bottom left) and Ash Loading (bottom right), courtesy of Mike Pavolonis (NOAA/NESDIS) [click to play animation | MP4]

An oblique view of of the Ulawun volcanic cloud was provided by GOES-17 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (below). This view accentuated the vertical extent of overshooting tops, and the large solar angle helped to highlight the cloud-top gravity waves. The 3-dimensional aspect of the two distinct eruption pulses (with umbrella clouds at two different altitudes) along with the westward-drifting stratospheric plume were a bit more obvious in the GOES-17 images.

GOES-17 "Red" Visible <em>(0.64 µm)</em> images [click to play animation | MP4]

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