NASA sees Walaka becoming a powerful Hurricane

October 2, 2018, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
On Sept. 30, GPM data revealed intense convective storms in a large feeder band wrapping around the Tropical Storm Wakala's northeastern side where rain was falling at a rate of almost 6.5 inches (165 mm) per hour in the intense storms in the feeder band northeast of Walaka's center of circulation. . A tall convective storm was located in a line northwest of Walaka's center. It was found by DPR to reach heights above 8.5 miles (13.7 km). Credit: NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite passed over the Central Pacific Hurricane Center and analyzed Walaka's rainfall and cloud structure as it was strengthening into a hurricane.

Walaka formed southwest of the Hawaiian Islands on Saturday, Sept. 29. At 5 p.m. HST on Sunday, Sept. 30, Walaka strengthened to a .

The GPM core observatory recently had a couple good looks at Walaka as it was intensifying into a powerful hurricane. GPM passed directly over tropical Walaka when it was located south of the Hawaiian islands on September 30, 2018 at 8:38 a.m. HST (1838 UTC).

Data collected by GPM's Microwave Imager (GMI) and Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) instruments showed that Walaka was well organized and very close to . GPM's Radar (DPR Ku Band) data revealed intense convective storms in a large feeder band that was wrapping around the tropical storm's northeastern side and storms wrapping around a forming eye wall. GPM's DPR found rain falling at a rate of almost 6.5 inches (165 mm) per hour in the intense storms in the feeder band northeast of Walaka's center of circulation.

Walaka had strengthened to hurricane intensity when GPM flew above about twelve hours later at 8:07 p.m. HST (Oct. 1, 2018 at 0607 UTC). Walaka had developed an eye and was undergoing rapid intensification. The intensifying hurricane is passing well to the south of the Hawaiian Islands.

On Sept. 30, GPM data revealed intense convective storms in a large feeder band wrapping around the Tropical Storm Wakala's northeastern side  where rain was falling at a rate of almost 6.5 inches (165 mm) per hour in the intense storms in the feeder band northeast of Walaka's center of circulation.  A tall convective storm was located in a line northwest of Walaka's center. It was found by DPR to reach heights above 8.5 miles (13.7 km). Credit: NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce

The GPM satellite's Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) data were used to show the structure of precipitation within intensifying tropical storm Walaka. The simulated 3-D view of Walaka, looking from the southwest, showed storm tops of powerful storms wrapping into the center of the tropical storm. A tall convective storm was located in a line northwest of Walaka's center. It was found by DPR to reach heights above 8.5 miles (13.7 km). GPM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.

On Monday, October 1, 2018, NOAA's Central Pacific Hurricane Center or CPHC noted that a Hurricane Warning is in effect for Johnston Atoll. Also, interests in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument should monitor the progress of Walaka.

At 5 p.m. HST/11 p.m. EDT (0300 UTC, Oct. 1) on Sept. 30 or , the center of Hurricane Walaka was located near latitude 11.9 degrees north and longitude 166.4 degrees west. Walaka is moving toward the west near 12 mph (19 kph) and this motion is expected to slow and become northwest on Monday, then north on Tuesday. Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph (120 kph) with higher gusts. Rapid intensification is forecast through Tuesday.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) predicts that Hurricane Walaka will continue to strengthen and re-curve to the north later today. Walaka is expected to be a powerful category four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale when it passes just to the west of Johnson Atoll in a couple days. Walaka is not expected to have a significant effect on the Hawaiian Islands.

Explore further: Intensifying Hurricane Lane examined by GPM satellite

Related Stories

Intensifying Hurricane Lane examined by GPM satellite

August 18, 2018

Heavy rainfall and towering cloud heights were the findings when Hurricane Lane was scanned by the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core observatory satellite on Aug. 17. Lane strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane ...

GPM satellite examined Tropical Storm Chris' power

July 12, 2018

As Tropical Storm Chris was strengthening into a short-lived hurricane, the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite investigated the storm's rainfall and cloud heights. By July 12, Chris weakened to ...

NASA observes Tropical Storm Miriam's formation

August 27, 2018

Tropical cyclones continue to regularly develop in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. As Tropical Storm Miriam was developing, the GPM or Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite observed the rainfall happening ...

Recommended for you

Oceans of garbage prompt war on plastics

December 15, 2018

Faced with images of turtles smothered by plastic bags, beaches carpeted with garbage and islands of trash floating in the oceans, environmentalists say the world is waking up to the need to tackle plastic pollution at the ...

A damming trend

December 14, 2018

Hundreds of dams are being proposed for Mekong River basin in Southeast Asia. The negative social and environmental consequences—affecting everything from food security to the environment—greatly outweigh the positive ...

Data from Kilauea suggests the eruption was unprecedented

December 14, 2018

A very large team of researchers from multiple institutions in the U.S. has concluded that the Kilauea volcanic eruption that occurred over this past summer represented an unprecedented volcanic event. In their paper published ...

The long dry: global water supplies are shrinking

December 13, 2018

A global study has found a paradox: our water supplies are shrinking at the same time as climate change is generating more intense rain. And the culprit is the drying of soils, say researchers, pointing to a world where drought-like ...

Death near the shoreline, not life on land

December 13, 2018

Our understanding of when the very first animals started living on land is helped by identifying trace fossils—the tracks and trails left by ancient animals—in sedimentary rocks that were deposited on the continents.

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.