NASA's GPM sees Typhoon Atsani intensifying

August 18, 2015, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
NASA-JAXA's GPM satellite saw rainfall south of the storm's center of circulation was falling at a rate of over 90 mm (3.5 inches) per hour and cloud tops to heights of 16.8 km (10.4 miles). Credit: SSAI/NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce

Typhoon Atsani was an intensifying tropical storm moving over the open waters of the Pacific Ocean on August 16, 2015 when the GPM core observatory satellite flew overhead.

The Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM mission core satellite passed over Atsani at 06:01 UTC (2:01 a.m. EDT). GPM is managed by both NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, an analysis of precipitation derived from GPM's Microwave Imager (GMI) and Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) instruments was overlaid on a visible image from Japan's MTSAT-2 satellite image to provide a look at the entire storm. The analysis revealed that very heavy rain that was located south of the storm's center of circulation. Rain there was found to be falling at a rate of over 90 mm (3.5 inches) per hour. A simulated 3-D view of rainfall of that area constructed at Goddard using data from GPM's Ku Band radar data. That 3-D image showed that the tops of these storms were reaching heights of 16.8 km (10.4 miles).

At 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT), on August 18, Typhoon Atsani had maximum sustained winds near 120 knots (138 mph/222 kph). That makes Atsani a Category Four typhoon on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. When Atsani strengthens to 130 knots (150 mph) it will be classified as a super-typhoon.

"Super-typhoon" is a term utilized by the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center for typhoons that reach maximum sustained 1-minute surface winds of at least 65 meters per second (130 knots/150 mph). This is the equivalent of a strong Saffir-Simpson category 4 or category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic basin.

It was centered near 17.3 North latitude and 154.4 East longitude, about 606 nautical miles (697 miles/1,122 km) east-northeast of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Atsani was moving to the northwest at 8 knots (9.2 mph/14.8 kph).

NASA's GPM sees Typhoon Atsani intensifying
NASA-JAXA's GPM satellite saw rainfall south of the storm's center of circulation was falling at a rate of over 90 mm (3.5 inches) per hour and cloud tops to heights of 16.8 km (10.4 miles). Credit: SSAI/NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) forecasts that Atsani will continue to intensify to maximum sustained winds of 140 knots by August 20. On that date, Atsani would be located over the waters of the Pacific Ocean far to the southwest of Japan.

Explore further: Terra Satellite sees powerful storms ring Typhoon Atsani's eye

Related Stories

A GPM satellite 'bullseye' in Typhoon Soudelor

August 6, 2015

The Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM core satellite passed directly over Typhoon Soudelor as it tracks through the Northwestern Pacific Ocean. GPM data was used to make a spectacular 3-D image of the storm showing ...

NASA looks inside Typhoon Halola

July 23, 2015

Satellite technology has the ability to see things we could never imagine, like how hard the rain is falling in storms, and how high cloud tops stretch into the atmosphere. The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) core ...

Recommended for you

Paleontologists report world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex

March 22, 2019

University of Alberta paleontologists have just reported the world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex and the largest dinosaur skeleton ever found in Canada. The 13-metre-long T. rex, nicknamed "Scotty," lived in prehistoric Saskatchewan ...

NASA instruments image fireball over Bering Sea

March 22, 2019

On Dec. 18, 2018, a large "fireball—the term used for exceptionally bright meteors that are visible over a wide area—exploded about 16 miles (26 kilometers) above the Bering Sea. The explosion unleashed an estimated 173 ...

0 comments

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.