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]