Rapid intensification of Super Typhoon Surigae

April 16th, 2021 |

JMA Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to play animation]

JMA Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to play animation]

2.5-minute interval rapid scan JMA Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (above) showed Typhoon Surigae undergoing rapid intensification (ADT | SATCON) to become a Category 4 storm as of 18 UTC on 16 April 2021.

A DMSP-16 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (below) displayed a well-defined eye, with distinct spiral bands feeding into the eyewall.

DMSP-16 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 1944 UTC [click to enlarge]

DMSP-16 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 1944 UTC [click to enlarge]

After sunrise, Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (below) showed the relatively compact eye, with hints of low-level mesovortices within the eye.

JMA Himawari-8 "Red" Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation]

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

===== 17 April Update =====

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

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

Another period of rapid intensification occurred overnight, and as of 12 UTC on 17 April Surigae had become a Category 5 Super Typhoon — 2.5-minute interval rapid scan Himawari-8 Infrared images (above) showed the well-defined eye as the storm tracked northwestward across the Philippine Sea (just east of the Philippines). A faster animation (GIF | MP4) helped to highlight the trochoidal motion (wobble) of the eye — a behavior often seen with intense tropical cyclones. The 21 UTC advisory from JTWC listed sustained winds of 165 knots, and objective intensity estimates from ADT and SATCON were around 170 knots.

An animation of Himawari-8 Infrared images with an overlay of deep-layer wind shear (below) indicated that Surigae was moving through a region of low to moderate wind shear; the storm was moving across very warm water (SST + OHC).

Himawari-8 Infrared images, with contours of deep-layer wind shear at 18 UTC [click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 Infrared images, with contours of deep-layer wind shear at 18 UTC [click to enlarge]

Around the time that Surigae was reaching its peak intensity, a Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) image several hours before sunrise (below) revealed concentric mesospheric airglow waves propagating away from the energetic Category 5 tropical cyclone. There were also some bright pixels indicating lightning activity along the inner edge of the northern eyewall.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) image [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) image [click to enlarge]

Cyclone Habana in the South Indian Ocean

March 10th, 2021 |

US Space Force EWS-G1 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

US Space Force EWS-G1 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

US Space Force EWS-G1 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images (above) displayed the well-defined eye and eyewall structure of Cyclone Habana in the South Indian Ocean on 10 March 2021. This was the second period of Category 4 intensity (ADT | SATCON) during the life cycle of Habana.

Meteosat-8 Infrared images with contours of deep-layer wind shear from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (below) showed that Habana was moving through an environment of relatively low shear.

Meteosat-8 Infrared images, with contours of deep-layer wind shear [click to enlarge]

Meteosat-8 Infrared images, with contours of deep-layer wind shear [click to enlarge]

Meteosat-8 Infrared images with an overlay of 1505 UTC Metop ASCAT winds (below) depicted a fairly uniform distribution of winds within the eyewall region, as Habana developed an annular structure.

Meteosat-8 Infrared images, with a plot of Metop ASCAT winds [click to enlarge]

Meteosat-8 Infrared images, with a plot of Metop ASCAT winds [click to enlarge]

SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) images from DMSP-16 at 1139 UTC and DMSP-18 at 2327 UTC are shown below.

DMSP-16 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 1139 UTC [click to enlarge]

DMSP-16 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 1139 UTC [click to enlarge]

DMSP-18 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 2327 UTC [click to enlarge]

DMSP-18 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 2327 UTC [click to enlarge]

 

Super Typhoon Goni in the West Pacific Ocean

October 30th, 2020 |

JMA Himawari-8

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

2.5-minute rapid scan JMA Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (above) showed Category 5 Super Typhoon Goni in the West Pacific Ocean on 30 October 2020. The images revealed a very small “pinhole eye”, surface mesovortices within the eye and a trochoidal motion — all characteristics of a tropical cyclone at/near its peak intensity (Goni had a satellite-derived estimate of 160 knots at 00 UTC). The trochoidal “wobble” was more evident in a faster animation.

The corresponding Infrared (10.4 µm) images (below) revealed cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures that were frequently in the -80 to -85ºC range (shades of violet).

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

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

Longwave Infrared (11.2 µm) images with contours of 00 UTC deep-layer wind shear from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (above) indicated Goni was in an environment of very low shear at that time.

Himawari-8 Longwave Infrared (11.2 µm) images, with contours of 0i0 UTC deep-layer wind shear [click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 Longwave Infrared (11.2 µm) images, with contours of 00 UTC deep-layer wind shear [click to enlarge]

===== 31 October Update =====

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

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

Super Typhoon Goni maintained Category 5 intensity for over 24 hours, and actually intensified to 170 knots (JTWC advisory | ADT | SATCON) at 18 UTC on 31 October, just prior to making landfall along Catanduanes Island in the Philippines around 2050 UTC (a closer view of landfall using RealEarth is available here). At 170 knots, Goni became one of the most intense landfalling tropical cyclones on record.

Note the rapid deterioration of the eye upon landfall — this was likely due to a combination of interaction with the terrain of the island, and increasing deep-layer wind shear (below). As it was approaching the Philippines, Goni had been moving over very warm water characterized by high values of Sea Surface Temperature and Ocean Heat Content.

Himawari-8 Water Vapor images, with contours of deep-layer wind shear [click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 Water Vapor images, with contours of deep-layer wind shear [click to enlarge]

A DMSP-16 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 2032 UTC is shown below.

DMSP-16 SSMIS Microwave image at 2032 UTC [click to enlarge]

DMSP-16 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 2032 UTC [click to enlarge]

 A NOAA-20 VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) image (below) showed Goni just after 16 UTC.

NOAA-20 VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 ) image [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) image [click to enlarge]

Hurricane Teddy and wildfire smoke

September 22nd, 2020 |

GOES-16 True Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 True Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 (GOES-East) True Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images created using Geo2Grid (above) revealed that the large circulation of Hurricane Teddy (downgraded from a Category 2 to a Category 1 storm at 18 UTC) was drawing hazy filaments of smoke — likely originating from wildfires in the western US — southward from eastern Canada and New England, carrying it across the far western Atlantic Ocean on 22 September 2020. Also of interest (early in the animation) were the narrow fingers of river valley fog across parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia.

Although the size of Teddy’s cloud shield was still fairly large, a DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 2217 UTC from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (below) showed that no organized core of deep convection remained as the storm began to move across colder waters (Sea Surface Temperature | Ocean Heat Content) and encounter a more hostile environment of increasing deep-layer wind shear.

DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 2217 UTC [click to enlarge]

DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 2217 UTC [click to enlarge]

GOES-16 CIMSS Natural Color RGB images, with and without an overlay of Aerosol Optical Depth [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 CIMSS Natural Color RGB images, with and without an overlay of Aerosol Optical Depth [click to play animation | MP4]

A larger-scale view of GOES-16 CIMSS Natural Color RGB images — with and without an overlay of Aerosol Optical Depth (above) showed that an elongated plume of smoke stretched westward from New York and Pennsylvania to parts of Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. Upward-looking lidar data from the University of Wisconsin – Madison (below) depicted a thick layer of smoke between altitudes of 2-6 km.

Plots of lidar backscatter and depolarization from 12 UTC o n 22 September to 00 UTC on 23 September [click to enlarge]

Plots of lidar backscatter (top) and depolarization (bottom) from 12 UTC on 22 September to 00 UTC on 23 September [click to enlarge]