NASA's infrared eyes examine Tropical Depression Haitang as it nears Vietnam

Sep 26, 2011
This infrared image shows Tropical Depression Haitang's coldest clouds (purple) and strongest thunderstorms. It was captured from the AIRS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite on Sept. 26 at 0541 UTC. The much larger Typhoon Nesat is to the right over Luzon, Philippines. Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen

Very cold temperatures in NASA infrared satellite imagery of tropical cyclones tell meteorologists that cloud tops are high, and the thunderstorms they're associated with have a lot of punch. Some of those strong storms are evident in Tropical Depression Haitang as it heads for landfall in Vietnam where cloud-top temperatures exceed -63 Fahrenheit.

At 5 a.m. EDT on Sept. 26, Tropical depression Haitang was centered near 16.8 North and 110.5 East. That's about 170 miles east of Hue, Vietnam. Haitang had near 30 knots (35 mph/55 kmh). It was moving to the west near 6 knots (7 mph/11 kmh) and generating 12-foot high waves in the Gulf of Tonkin.

When NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Haitang on Sept. 26 at 0541 UTC (1:41 a.m. EDT/12:41 p.m. local time Vietnam) the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument took an infrared snapshot of the storm. Infrared data shows temperatures, and the coldest temperatures and strongest thunderstorms (and heaviest rainfall) was located west of Haitang's center. Haitang is battling strong wind shear blowing from the east and pushing the strongest storms to the west of the center.

The center is also fully exposed to those winds, meaning its prime for further weakening. The center also appears to be slightly elongated, and whenever a storm isn't stacked on top of itself, it loses energy. Satellite imagery also shows that the convection (rapidly rising air that forms the thunderstorms) is disorganized, so further weakening may be possible before landfall.

Haitang is expected to make landfall near Hue, Vietnam tomorrow and dissipate within a day.

Explore further: Asian monsoon much older than previously thought

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ыatellite gets two tropical cyclones in one shot

Jun 23, 2011

The Northwestern Pacific Ocean is active with two tropical cyclones today, Tropical Storm Meari near the Philippines, and Tropical Depression Haima moving over China and now toward Vietnam. NASA's Aqua satellite ...

Recommended for you

Asian monsoon much older than previously thought

11 hours ago

The Asian monsoon already existed 40 million years ago during a period of high atmospheric carbon dioxide and warmer temperatures, reports an international research team led by a University of Arizona geoscientist.

Rules of thumb for climate change turned upside down

11 hours ago

With a new analysis of land regions, ETH climate researcher are challenging the general climate change paradigm that dry regions are getting drier and wet regions are getting wetter. In some regions they ...

Tropical Storm Odile taken on by two NASA satellites

Sep 12, 2014

As Tropical Storm Odile continues to affect Mexico's west coast and stir up dangerous surf, NASA's TRMM and Aqua satellites provided forecasters information on clouds and rainfall in the coast-hugging storm. ...

User comments : 0