NASA caught Soulik's visible eye before making deadly landfall

Jul 15, 2013
This TRMM Precipitation Radar 3-D view (from the northwest) shows Typhoon Soulik east of Taiwan. The structure of Soulik's large eye is clearly shown by this TRMM PR slice. Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce

Typhoon Soulik still maintained an eye just before making landfall in southeastern China on July 13, and NASA's Terra satellite captured the eye in an image. Soulik's heavy rainfall in southern China is responsible for hundreds missing or dead.

On July 11, when Typhoon Soulik was approaching Taiwan, NASA and the Japanese Space Agency's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite known as TRMM passed overhead in space. TRMM's Precipitation Radar instrument captured data on rainfall rates, and that data was used to create a 3-D view of the typhoon looking from the northwest. That 3-D view clearly showed Typhoon Soulik's eye when it was east of Taiwan. The 3-D image also revealed the ring of thunderstorms surrounding the eye had rainfall rates of 2 inches/50 mm per hour.

Two days later on July 13, Typhoon Soulik was a category one typhoon when NASA's Terra satellite flew over the storm. Terra's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument captured another image of its eye. On July 13 at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT), Soulik's maximum sustained winds were near 70 knots (80.5/129.6 kph). Those typhoon-strength winds extended 45 nautical miles (51.7 miles/83.3 km) from the center. At that time, Soulik's center had passed Taiwan and was 87 nautical miles (100 miles/161 km) west-northwest of Taipei, Taiwan, near 26.8 north and 120.1 east.

By 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT) on July 13, Soulik had made landfall near Fuzhou in southeastern China and was centered near 26.8 north and 119.1 east. After interacting with land, Soulik's fell to 60 knots (69 mph/111 kph).

NASA's Terra satellite captured this visible image of Typhoon Soulik on July 13 at 02:40 UTC when it was in the Taiwan Strait, just before making a final landfall in southeastern China. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

According to the South China Morning Post, Soulik's flooding and landslides have left at least 300 people missing or dead. The southwestern province of Sichuan reported 68 deaths and 179 people missing. Two people died in the Guangdong province, and other parts of China reported 41 deaths and two missing.

Explore further: NASA's HS3 looks Hurricane Edouard in the eye

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA sees Soulik's eye reopen on Taiwan approach

Jul 12, 2013

Typhoon Soulik's eyewall appears to have rebuilt as evidenced in NASA satellite imagery. Soulik is approaching Taiwan and is forecast to make landfall in southeastern China over the weekend of July 13 and ...

NASA sees Typhoon Soulik's eye closed for 'renovations'

Jul 11, 2013

When a hurricane or typhoon's eye becomes filled with clouds, it can be a sign the storm is weakening, or that high clouds have moved over it, or its eyewall is being replaced. When NASA's Aqua satellite ...

Recommended for you

NASA's HS3 looks Hurricane Edouard in the eye

7 hours ago

NASA and NOAA scientists participating in NASA's Hurricane and Severe Storms Sentinel (HS3) mission used their expert skills, combined with a bit of serendipity on Sept. 17, 2014, to guide the remotely piloted ...

Tropical Storm Rachel dwarfed by developing system 90E

12 hours ago

Tropical Storm Rachel is spinning down west of Mexico's Baja California, and another tropical low pressure area developing off the coast of southwestern Mexico dwarfs the tropical storm. NOAA's GOES-West ...

NASA ocean data shows 'climate dance' of plankton

15 hours ago

The greens and blues of the ocean color from NASA satellite data have provided new insights into how climate and ecosystem processes affect the growth cycles of phytoplankton—microscopic aquatic plants ...

Glaciers in the grand canyon of Mars?

16 hours ago

For decades, planetary geologists have speculated that glaciers might once have crept through Valles Marineris, the 2000-mile-long chasm that constitutes the Grand Canyon of Mars. Using satellite images, ...

NASA support key to glacier mapping efforts

16 hours ago

Thanks in part to support from NASA and the National Science Foundation, scientists have produced the first-ever detailed maps of bedrock beneath glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica. This new data will help ...

User comments : 0