NASA AIRS Satellite instrument sees Tropical Depression 14W form

Oct 05, 2010
The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite revealed a concentrated area of thunderstorms and strong convection (purple) around TD14W's center (directly over Hainan Island, China) in the eastern quadrant of the storm. Cloud top temperatures were as cold as -60 Fahrenheit in the purple areas. The convection in the east is a result of westerly wind shear blowing the convection and thunderstorms away from the storm's center. Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen

The northwestern Pacific Ocean is just as active as the Atlantic Ocean this hurricane season. The fourteenth tropical depression formed near Hainan Island, China this morning and its birth was captured by a NASA infrared satellite instrument. The NASA image showed the depression's strong thunderstorms near its center and east of its center.

NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Tropical Depression 14W (TD14W) today, October 5 at 06:05 UTC (2:05 a.m. EDT). Infrared imagery from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument onboard the Aqua satellite revealed a concentrated area of thunderstorms and strong convection (rapidly rising air that forms thunderstorms that power a tropical cyclone) around TD14W's center in the eastern quadrant of the storm. That convection in the east is a result of westerly wind shear blowing the convection and thunderstorms away from the storm's center.

also indicated that those storms are weakening, because the cloud tops are now warming from previous imagery. Very cold thunderstorm cloud tops (colder than -60 Fahrenheit) indicate strong thunderstorms, very high into the troposphere, that likely have heavy rain associated with them. When AIRS detects that cloud top temperatures have warmed, it means the heights of the thunderstorms has dropped, meaning there's not as much power or uplift in the convection.

AIRS imagery also showed a poorly-defined low-level center of circulation in TD14W, and some of that deep convection (or thunderstorms) are pushed away from the eastern side of the center. That indicates wind shear (winds that buffet a storm and push it apart). When a storm doesn't stack up, and when part of the storm is displaced from the rest of it, it loses its organization and punch. That's what wind shear does, and is doing to TD14W and that is blowing at about 28 mph!

At 5 a.m. EDT, October 5, 14W had near 34 mph. It was located over Hainan Island near 19.5 North and 109.4 East. Its winds were creating 9-foot high seas. TD14W was moving north at 6 mph. It is expected to make a turn to the north-northeast, make a brief landfall in the mainland of southern China. Once there, it is forecast to move east, then east-southeast, making a half-circle and head toward the eastern end of Hainan Island and dissipate.

Explore further: TRMM satellite sees Tropical Storm Phanfone fragmented

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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