NASA's TRMM satellite monitors Typhoon Francisco

Oct 18, 2013 by Hal Pierce & Rob Gutro
This is a simulated 3-D cutaway view of super typhoon Francisco on Oct. 18 using data from TRMM's Precipitation Radar instrument. Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce

Typhoon Francisco passed west of Guam on Oct. 18 as NASA and the Japan Space Agency's TRMM satellite passed overhead and measured its heavy rainfall. Francisco is forecast to intensify into a super typhoon.

Francisco developed in the Western Pacific Ocean on October 16, 2013. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite called TRMM passed over on October 18, 2013 at 1002 UTC/6:02 a.m. EDT when Typhoon Francisco was located west-northwest of Guam.

At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. a rainfall analysis that used data from TRMM's Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) instruments was overlaid on an enhanced infrared image from TRMM's Visible and InfraRed Scanner (VIRS). The image showed rain was falling at a rate of over 113 mm/~4.5 inches per hour in powerful storms within Francisco's distinct eye wall.

On Oct. 18 at 1500 UTC/ 11 a.m. EDT, Francisco's maximum sustained winds had increased to 125 knots/ 143.8 mph/231.5 kph, and they are expected to increase over the next two days. Francisco was located near 15.5 north and 141.5 east, about 201 nautical miles/231.3 miles/372.3 km west-northwest of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Francisco continues to move away from Guam in a northwesterly direction at 10 knots/ 11.5 mph/18.5 kph. Satellite imagery indicated that the eye is about 10 nautical miles/11.5 miles/18.5 km wide.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
This is a simulated 3-D flyby animation over Super-Typhoon Francisco on Oct. 18 using TRMM Satellite Precipitation Radar dat Credit: Image Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce

Francisco is expected to become a over the next two days. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center classifies a "super-" when typhoons that reach maximum sustained 1-minute surface winds of at least 130 knots/150 mph. This is the equivalent of a strong Saffir-Simpson category 4 or category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic basin or a category 5 severe tropical cyclone in the Australian basin.

Francisco is expected to continue moving to the northwest toward the big island of Japan. Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect Francisco to approach Japan by Oct. 23.

Explore further: Gas sensors promise advances in Earth science

Related Stories

NASA sees Usagi become a typhoon

Sep 19, 2013

What was a tropical storm rapidly intensified into Typhoon Usagi within 24 hours as it moves through the Northwestern Pacific Ocean. NASA satellite data revealed a 20-mile-wide eye and bands of thunderstorms ...

Recommended for you

Satellite sees smoky skies over World Cup soccer

5 hours ago

Soccer fever gripped the U.S. at the same time as the smoke from Canadian wildfires gripped the skies over Vancouver, British Columbia. This was the site of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Finals on July ...

NASA sees Nangka become a typhoon

12 hours ago

Tropical Storm Nangka strengthened to a typhoon in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean just after NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead on July 6. Infrared data from the AIRS instrument showed very cold cloud ...

NASA's infrared look at strengthening Typhoon Chan-Hom

12 hours ago

During the early morning hours on July 6, Chan-Hom was a strong tropical storm. Infrared data from NASA's Aqua satellite showed very powerful thunderstorms that hinted at intensification, and later in the ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.