Typhoon Man-Yi struck the Japanese Okinawa island mid-July 2007, with winds blowing at speeds between 230 and 295 km/h. It caused several casualties, as well as important material damage.
20 November 2020
12 July 2007
Typhoons are quite frequent in the region, but they usually appear later in the year; Man-Yi is probably the strongest typhoon ever observed in July.
Such meteorological monsters (called cyclones, hurricanes or typhoons depending on the region) feed upon the ocean heat to release a huge quantity of energy. They causes raging winds (wind speeds greater than 33 m/s (118,8 km/h) are a criterion to classify a tropical storm as cyclone), very high waves, torrential rain, and all the damage that follows.
Altimetry can be used for cyclone observation, knowledge and forecasting in a number of different ways:
- significant wave height and wind speed measurements along the satellite ground track (that can be more or less close to the cyclone's eye);
- computation of the effects of the atmosphere (pressure and winds) on the sea surface height;
- possibilities for intensification if the cyclone passes over a warm eddy or current.
Last, but not least, altimetry data are assimilated into models, either meteorological (wave height forecasting), or oceanic, the latter making it possible to compute the ocean physical parameters of ocean-atmosphere exchanges.
Jason-1: Images of the Man-Yi Typhoon — Sea Level anomaly.
The typhoon causes a sea surface height increase of about 50 cm (ocean variability has been removed).
Hurricane Katrina hits coast of USA (29 August 2005)
L. Carrère et al., 2007: Analysis of Extreme Low Pressure Events
like Hurricanes and Extra-Tropical Storms Thanks to Altimetry
(Envisat Symposium 2007, Montreux, Switzerland, April 2007)
Jason-1: Images of the Man-Yi Typhoon - wind speed
Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential (TCHP)
TCHP computed using satellite altimetry combined with sea surface temperature and hydrographic observations corresponding to July 11, 2007. Typhoon Man-Yi appears to intensify in the region of high TCHP values.
Animation (5–17 July, AVI)
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