Cyclone Tauktae in the Arabian Sea

May 16th, 2021 |

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

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

US Space Force EWS-G1 Infrared (10.7 µm) images (above) showed Cyclone Tauktae in the Arabian Sea (just off the west coast of India) as it intensified from a Category 1 to a Category 3 storm on 16 May 2021.

A DMSP-18 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (below) revealed a fully enclosed eye at 1142 UTC, shortly before Tauktae reached Category 3 intensity at 12 UTC.

DMSP-18 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 1142 UTC [click to enlarge]

DMSP-18 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 1142 UTC [click to enlarge]

===== 17 May Update =====

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

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

EWS-G1 Infrared images (above) showed Cyclone Tauktae making landfall along the coast of India around 1745 UTC on 17 May, with a Category 3 intensity (ADT | SATCON).

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]

The prolonged period of rapid intensification continued 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), making Surigae the only tropical cyclone on record to reach that intensity during the month of April.



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 also 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 (reference) propagating away from the energetic Category 5 tropical cyclone.

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]

In closer view of time-matched Himawari-8 Infrared and Suomi NPP Day/Night Band images (below), a cluster of bright DNB pixels highlighted the presence of lightning activity along the inner edge of the northern eyewall.

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) and Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) and Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Cyclone Seroja

April 5th, 2021 |

Himawari-8 ‘Target Area’ clean window infrared (10.41 µm) imagery, 1224 – 2018 UTC on 5 April 2021 (Click to animate)

Himawari-8 ‘Target Area’ imagery (with a 2.5-minute timestep) on 5 April show the evolution of Cyclone Seroja over the Timor Sea northwest of Australia. (Click here for an mp4 animation). Periodic bursts of deep convection (black and white in the color-enhancement) are apparent in the center of the storm. Analyses from the CIMSS Tropical Weather Site (link) show the storm in a region of warm Sea Surface Temperatures. Modest shear is present and it is changing the convective core of the storm in the animation above from circular to elongated over the 8-hour animation. However, strengthening is forecast.

Screen capture of SSTs over the Timor Sea, wind shear, and forecast path of Cyclone Seroja (Click to enlarge)

Visible imagery at sunrise on 6 April shows the evolution of the storm.

Himawari-8 visible (0.64 µm) imagery, 2152 – 2304 UTC on 5 April 2021 (Click to enlarge)

Himawari-8 imagery courtesy JMA. You can also view satellite imagery over the area from KMA.


Update 8 April


Himawari-8 imagery (10.41 µm), below, from 0300-1610 UTC on 8 April, show a large cirrus canopy initially over Seroja eroding (You can see the 0300 and 1610 UTC images alone toggling here) Can you tell from this infrared imagery where the storm center sits?

Himawari-8 clean window infrared (10.41 µm) (full disk) imagery, 0300 – 1610 UTC on 8 April 2021 (Click to animate)

This is certainly a case where microwave imagery can (and should!) be used to better pinpoint the circulation center.  ASMU-B imagery at 89 GHz (from here), below, storm-centered at 2307 UTC 7 April, 0207 8 April and 1143 UTC on 8 April show a storm center near 18ºS, 111.5ºE at around 1200 UTC on 8 April.  Here is the Himawari-8 Clean Window infrared at 1140 UTC.  Could you place the center near its microwave-suggested center using this infrared imagery?

AMSU-B imagery at 2307 UTC 7 April, 0206 8 April and 1143 8 April. Satellite Platform as indicated in the image. Click to enlarge)

Imagery from the CIMSS Tropical Website (link), below, show that Seroja on 8 April was traversing a region of low shear.  Sea surface temperatures at present under the storm are warm; however, the projected path of the storm is towards cooler ocean waters.  There is abundant upper-level divergence over the storm and to the northwest of Seroja as well.

Maps of atmospheric wind shear, sea-surface temperatures and upper-level divergence, ca. 1500 UTC on 8 April 2021. The path of the storm, and the projected path of the storm are also noted.

Radarsat-2 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) wind data (from this website), shown below, from 1054 UTC on 8 April, can also be used to infer a circulation center.

Radarsat-2 SAR Data over Seroja, 1054 UTC on 8 April 2021 (Click to enlarge)

Heavy rainfall and flooding associated with Tropical Cyclone Seroja

April 4th, 2021 |

MIMIC Total Precipitable Water product [click to play animation | MP4]

MIMIC Total Precipitable Water product [click to play animation | MP4]

The incipient circulation of Cyclone Seroja moved very slowly across the island of Timor in Indonesia during the 03 April – 04 April 2021 period — and the MIMIC Total Precipitable Water product (above) depicted very high values over that area (just northwest of Australia).

At Kupang’s El Tari Airport, precipitation amounts included 547 mm (21.5 inches) during the 48 hours ending at 00 UTC on 05 April — with the heaviest amounts of 106 mm (4.2 inches) in 6 hours and 80 mm (3.1 inches) in 3 hours occurring during the 00-06 UTC period on 04 April when the pressure was falling as Cyclone Seroja began to slowly organize and intensify (below). Flash flooding affected much of the island, with multiple deaths being reported.

Time series plot of surface observations at El Tari Airport, Kupang [click to enlarge]

Time series plot of surface observations at El Tari Airport, Kupang, Indonesia [click to enlarge]

JMA 2.5-minute interval rapid scan Himawari-8 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (below) revealed a few convective bursts — with cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures of -90ºC and colder (yellow pixels embedded within darker shades of purple) — in the vicinity of Kupang (station identifier WATT) between 04 UTC on 04 April and 00 UTC on 05 April.

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]

A NOAA-20 VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) image at 0550 UTC visualized using RealEarth (below) showed one lone -90ºC pixel within a convective burst centered just north of Kupang.

NOAA-20 VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) image at 0550 UTC on 04 April [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) image at 0550 UTC on 04 April [click to enlarge]


CMORPH estimates of 7-day precipitation (available in RealEarth) over the region show 300-400 mm over West Timor, and values exceeding 700 mm (!!) over the adjacent ocean.

7-day CMORPH accumulation of precipitation ending 0000 UTC 5 April 2021 (Click to enlarge)