NASA satellite sees Tropical Storm Jelawat form in northwestern Pacific

Sep 21, 2012
The MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite captured this true-color image of Tropical Storm Jelawat on Sept. 20, 2012, at 01:50 UTC, before it had strengthened into a tropical storm. The Philippines is visible in the lower left corner. Credit: NASA/Goddard/MODIS Rapid Response Team

As another tropical storm was forming in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, NASA's Terra satellite was providing forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center with visible and other data on the storm.

NASA's passed over Tropical Depression 18W before it strengthened into Jelawat late in the day on Sept. 20, in the Philippine Sea (part of the western North Pacific Ocean basin).

On Sept. 20 at 01:50 UTC, as the depression was strengthening into a tropical storm, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite captured a true-color image of the storm. The MODIS image showed a rounded shape, which indicates good circulation. There was also a band of thunderstorms east of the center of circulation.

On Sept. 21, Tropical Storm Jelawat had near 45 knots (51.7 mph/83.3 kph). Jelawat was located about 535 nautical miles east-southeast of Manila, Philippines, near 12.4 north latitude and 129.7 east longitude. It was moving to the west-southwest at 7 knots (8 mph/13 kph).

Forecasters used , such as that from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua to determine the initial position of the tropical storm. Infrared data from Sept. 21, 2012, showed that the strongest convection and coldest cloud top temperatures were in the northwestern and southeastern quadrants of the tropical storm. Those areas were experiencing the heaviest rainfall.

By 10 p.m. local time in Manila, Philippines (10 a.m. Eastern Time/U.S.) on Sept. 21, Jelawat's center was about 311 miles (500 km) east of Catarman capital of Northern Samar, near 12.4 north latitude and 129.7 east longitude. Northern Samar is a Philippine province in the Eastern Visayas region.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration issued a bulletin about Jelawat (known locally as Lawin) on Sept. 21 that noted "Estimated rainfall amount is from 10 to 25 mm (0.4 to 0.9 inches) per hour within the 600 km (373 miles) diameter of the Tropical Storm. Fishing boats and other small seacrafts are advised not to venture out into the eastern seaboard of Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao due to big waves generated by Tropical Storm (Jelawat) Lawin."

Jelawat is expected to track slowly west-northwestward over the weekend of Sept. 22 and 23 while the storm intensifies. The forecast track from the Joint keeps the center of Jelawat at sea, while almost tracking parallel to the Philippines.

Explore further: Quakes destroy or damage 83 houses in Philippines

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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. ...

NASA catches birth of Tropical Storm Odile

Sep 10, 2014

The Eastern Pacific Ocean continues to turn out tropical cyclones and NASA's Aqua satellite caught the birth of the fifteenth tropical depression on September 10 and shortly afterward, it strengthened into ...

Recommended for you

Kiribati leader visits Arctic on climate mission

Sep 20, 2014

Fearing that his Pacific island nation could be swallowed by a rising ocean, the president of Kiribati says a visit to the melting Arctic has helped him appreciate the scale of the threat.

NASA catches a weaker Edouard, headed toward Azores

Sep 19, 2014

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Atlantic Ocean and captured a picture of Tropical Storm Edouard as it continues to weaken. The National Hurricane Center expects Edouard to affect the western Azores ...

User comments : 0