In late February 2019 Typhoon Wutip became the strongest February typhoon on record in the Northwest Pacific basin.
13 November 2020
25 February 2019
By Jochen Kerkmann (EUMETSAT)
After forming as a topical depression 18 February, Wutip intensified into a tropical storm on 20 February, before intensifying into a typhoon later the next day.
On 23 February, while passing Guam, Typhoon Wutip became the strongest February typhoon on record in the Northwest Pacific basin, when it intensified further, reaching its initial peak intensity as a super typhoon with maximum 10-minute sustained winds of 185 km/h (115 mph), 1-minute sustained winds of 250 km/h (155 mph), and a minimum pressure of 925 hPa (mbar).
After weakening slightly, it resumed strengthening and early on 25 February reached peak intensity with maximum 10-minute sustained winds of 195 km/h (120 mph), 1-minute sustained winds of 260 km/h (160 mph), and a minimum central pressure of 915 hPa (mbar) (Figure 1).
Over the following days it weakened, before dissipating on 2 March.
Figure 2 shows a comparison of the Himawari-8 AHI Natural Colour RGB and the Cloud Phase RGB (slider of attached images, source: EUMeTrain ePort).
On the Natural Colour RGB, ice clouds are normally shown in cyan colour and water clouds in pink colours. However, this only works for water clouds with small droplets (large reflectivity in the NIR1.6 band). Water clouds with large droplets (low reflectivity in the NIR1.6 band) have a cyan colour, very similar to ice clouds, which makes the discrimination of water and ice clouds over the oceans (pristine air, cumulus and stratocumulus clouds with large droplets) very difficult.
As shown in this comparison, the distinction between water clouds and ice clouds is much easier in the Cloud Phase RGB that uses the new 2.3 micron band on the green beam, instead of the 0.8 micron band. In this RGB, ice clouds are shown in cyan (small ice) or blue colours (large ice), and water clouds are shown in magenta colours.
On the western side of the eyewall, small ice particles can be seen. This is confirmed when we look at the Convection RGB that shows the cold ice clouds with small ice particles, yellow in colour, see the comparison of the Convection RGB and the IR-VIS sandwich product (Figure 3).
Other Pacific Ocean typhoon cases
Devastating Typhoon Hagibis
Typhoon Hagibis was the worst storm to hit Japan for half a century, when it made landfall in mid-October 2019.
Super Typhoon Lekima
Super Typhoon Lekima scraped past Krosa, a concurrent typhoon, in the Western Pacific Ocean in August 2019.
Himawari-8 has its eye on Typhoon Nepartak
Super Typhoon Nepartak reached winds of 270 km/h when it was seen by Himawari-8 on 6 July.
Giant convective cells in decaying Typhoon Infa
Typhoon In-fa (storm No. 27 of the 2015 typhoon season) developed late in 2015, over the still warm waters of the central Northern Pacific (Figure 1).
Typhoon Atsani transitions into extra-tropical low
In August Atsani transitioned from a Category 5 super typhoon into a powerful extra-tropical storm.
Latest case studies
Devastating floods in western Europe
A slow moving cyclone brought devastating floods to parts of western Europe in July 2021.
Catastrophic tornado in the Czech Republic
Satellites' view on the catastrophic tornado case on 24 June 2021 in the Czech Republic.
Tracking the Gulf Stream with satellite data
Using satellite data from multiple satellite instruments to track the Gulf Stream in 2020 and 2021.