Friday, October 30, 2009

Typhoon Mirinae already raining on the Philippines

EurekAlert: Infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite revealed that Typhoon Mirinae's cold thunderstorm clouds were already over sections of the central and northern Philippines on October 30 at 4:53 p.m. (Asia/Manila) local time. Mirinae is also known as "Santi" in the Philippines.

Microwave satellite imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite showed that Mirinae's center was close to making a landfall as the storm continued its approach from the east. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument provided infrared data on Mirinae's cloud top temperatures, and showed some strong convection and strong thunderstorms with moderate to heavy rainfall over eastern sections of the northern Philippines. The microwave image was created combining AIRS and Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) data. AMSU is another instrument that flies on NASA's Aqua satellite.

The microwave image revealed cold areas in the storm that indicate ice in cloudtops, and heavy precipitation. Around the eye are the coldest cloud temperatures, as cold as -63F. Microwave data suggests cloud heights to the 200 millibar level, near the tropopause.

Warnings are in effect in the Philippines. Public storm warning signal 3 is in effect in the following districts of Luzon: Quezon, Polillo island, Bulacan, Bataan, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Lubang Island, Marinduque, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Metro Manila; Public storm warning signal 2 is in effect in the following districts of Luzon: Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, Zambales, Occidental Mindoro, Albay, Burias Island; and Public storm warning signal 1 is in effect in the following districts of Luzon: Isabela, Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya, Benguet, La Union, Pangasinan, Sorsogon, Masbate, Romblon, Calamian Group. In Visayas, the signal is raised in Northern Samar and Northern Panay…

This infrared image from NASA's AIRS instrument on the Aqua Satellite shows the extent of Mirinae's high clouds (purple and blue) on Oct. 30 are colder than -63F. Notice the clouds were already over the northern and central areas of Luzon, the Philippines. Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen

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