Super Typhoon Lan in the West Pacific

October 21st, 2017 |

Advanced Dvorak Technique (ADT) plot for Typhoon Lan [click to enlarge]

Advanced Dvorak Technique (ADT) plot for Typhoon Lan [click to enlarge]

A plot of the Advanced Dvorak Technique for Typhoon Lan (above) showed that the tropical cyclone underwent a period of rapid intensification during the 00-12 UTC period on 20 October 2017.

A 24-hour animation of Himawari-8 rapid-scan (2.5 minute interval) Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (below) revealed the development of a very large eye during the 20 October/06 UTC to 21 October/06 UTC period.

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 nighttime comparison of Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1700 UTC or 2:00 AM kocal time (below; courtesy of William Straka, CIMSS/SSEC) provided a good visualization of the “stadium effect” — an eye that was more narrow at the surface, with a larger diameter at higher altitudes. A packet of mesospheric airglow waves (reference) was also evident on the Day/Night Band image, propagating south-southeastward away from the eye.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to enlarge]

A 2-panel comparison of Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images (below) showed the eye of Lan after it attained Super Typhoon status at 18 UTC on 20 October. Mesovortices could  be seen within the eye on the rapid-scan images.

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

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

A large amount of moisture was associated with this tropical cyclone, as depicted by hourly images of the MIMIC Total Precipitable Water product (below) — note the large area with TPW values of 70 mm or greater (light violet color enhancement).

MIMIC Total Precipitable Water product [click to play animation]

MIMIC Total Precipitable Water product [click to play animation]

A TPW value of 72.5 mm (2.87 inches) was derived from the Minamidaitojima, Japan rawinsonde data at 12 UTC on 21 October (below). Minamidaitojima is the largest island in the Daito Islands group southeast of Okinawa, Japan  — this station was just to the northeast of Lan around 12 UTC.

Rawinsonde data from Minamidaitojima, Japan [click to enlarge]

Rawinsonde data from Minamidaitojima, Japan [click to enlarge]

Hurricane Ophelia

October 14th, 2017 |

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm, left) and Infrared Window (10.7 µm, right) images, with hourly surface reports (in metric units) plotted in yellow [click to animate]

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm, left) and Infrared Window (10.7 µm, right) images, with hourly surface reports (in metric units) plotted in yellow [click to animate]

Hurricane Ophelia — the record-tying 10th consecutive Atlantic basin hurricane of the 2017 season — reached a satellite-estimated Category 3 intensity at 15 UTC on 14 October 2017. GOES-13 (GOES-East) Visible (0.63 µm) and Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images (above) showed a well-defined circular eye as the storm moved well south of the Azores. The tweet below underscores the unusual nature of the intensity and location of Ophelia (which also occurred over unusually-cold waters).

A DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image (below) also revealed a circular eye structure.

DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image [click to enlarge]

DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image [click to enlarge]

One factor that might have aided this increase of intensity was the recent passage of Ophelia through an environment of higher Maximum Potential Intensity (reference), where maximum wind speed values of 100 knots resided (below).

Maximum Potential Instability wind speed plot from 13 October, with the track of Ophelia as of 18 UTC on 14 October [click to enlarge]

Maximum Potential Instability wind speed plot from 13 October, with the track of Ophelia as of 18 UTC on 14 October [click to enlarge]

Hurricane Nate makes landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi

October 7th, 2017 |

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm. left) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm, right) images, with hourly surface reports plotted in yellow [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm. left) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm, right) images, with hourly surface reports plotted in yellow [click to play MP4 animation]

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

1-minute interval Mesoscale Sector GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (above) showed the large central dense overcast (which exhibited cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures of -80ºC and colder, violet colors, and at times -90ºC and colder, yellow enhancement) and subsequent smaller convective bursts associated with Hurricane Nate on 07 October 2017.

After having moved north-northwestward at speeds up to 24 mph — quite possibly the fastest-moving tropical cyclone on record in the Gulf of Mexico — Nate made its initial landfall (as a Category 1 storm) in Louisiana near the mouth of the Mississippi River at 00 UTC on 08 October 2017 [note: Nate’s second landfall was around 0530 UTC near Biloxi, Mississippi]. A few reports of damaging winds and tornadoes were noted ahead of and during Nate’s landfall; a listing of other wind gusts can be seen here.

Earlier in the day, DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) imagery was hinting at the development of a closed eye structure beneath the central dense overcast seen on GOES-13 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) imagery (below).

GOES-13 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) and DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) images around 1215 UTC [click to enlarge]

GOES-13 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) and DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) images around 1215 UTC [click to enlarge]

Even though Nate passed over very warm water in the Gulf of Mexico (below), the fast forward motion of the storm limited its ability to take advantage of those warm waters and rapidly intensify.

Sea Surface Temperature and Ocean Heat Content analyses from 06 October, with an overlay of the 07 October path of Hurricane Nate ending at 12 UTC [click to enlarge]

Sea Surface Temperature and Ocean Heat Content analyses from 06 October, with an overlay of the 07 October path of Hurricane Nate ending at 12 UTC [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)