NASA satellites see Typhoon Pabuk's shrinking eye close

Sep 25, 2013 by Rob Gutro
This false-colored infrared image of Typhoon Pabuk was taken from the AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite on Sept. 24 at 16:05 UTC/12:05 p.m. EDT when Pabuk's eye was still visible. Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen

Typhoon Pabuk's eye was clear on visible and infrared NASA satellite imagery on Sept. 24, and one day later high clouds covered the center and Pabuk's eye was "closed." Satellite data also showed that Pabuk's eye shrunk by about 5 nautical miles in the last day.

When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Typhoon Pabuk on Sept. 24 at 16:05 UTC/12:05 p.m. EDT, the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument viewed the storm in infrared light. The AIRS data clearly showed that Pabuk had a 30 nautical mile/34.5 mile/55.5 km wide-eye. AIRS data also showed that the eye was surrounded by powerful thunderstorms that stretched high into the troposphere and were likely generating heavy rainfall. Infrared data revealed cloud top temperatures exceeding -63F/-52C that indicates powerful storms.

On Sept. 25 at 01:35 UTC/Sept. 24 at 9:35 p.m. EDT, as NASA's Terra satellite passed over Typhoon Pabuk, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument captured a visible image of the storm that showed the center filled in by . The eye has also diminished in size and was 25 nautical miles/28.7 miles/46.3 km in diameter.

By 0600 UTC on the Sept. 25, Pabuk's were near 90 knots/103.6 mph/166.7 kph. The typhoon was centered near 29.9 north latitude and 139.7 east longitude, about 361 nautical miles/415.4 miles/668.6 km south of Yokosuka, Japan. Pabuk was moving to the north-northeast 9 knots/10.3 mph/16.6 kph and is forecast to bypass Japan.

The Typhoon has been moving counter-clockwise around a large area of high pressure and is now rounding the northwestern edge of it. As a result, Pabuk is now on a north-northeasterly path that will shift to the northeast. Pabuk is expected to remain at sea in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean as it transitions to an extra-tropical storm by Sept. 27.

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