Tropical Cyclone Enawo as seen by Meteosat-8 and 10

Tropical Cyclone Enawo

3 March 2017 00:00 UTC—8 March 18:00 UTC

Tropical Cyclone Enawo as seen by Meteosat-8 and 10
Tropical Cyclone Enawo as seen by Meteosat-8 and 10

In early March 2017 Tropical Cyclone Enawo battered Madagascar with winds in excess of 205km/h.

Last Updated

22 July 2022

Published on

02 March 2017

By Jochen Kerkmann (EUMETSAT) and HansPeter Roesli (Switzerland)

Tropical Cyclone Enawo formed as a moderate tropical storm on 3 March, before strengthening into a tropical cyclone on 5 March and further into an intense tropical cyclone on 6 March. Enawo's lifespan, from the severe convection that led to the tropical cyclone's formation to just after it made landfall, can be seen in the Meteosat-8 Tropical Airmass RGB animation , from 3 March 00:00 UTC to  8 March 18:00 UTC. Using the Tropical Airmass improves the details of cloud structures, because it uses ranges more appropriate for cold, high clouds. In particular, for the green range (IR9.6–IR10.4) it uses a range from -25 to +25K (instead of -40 to +5K).

 Tropical Cyclone Enawo close to making landfall in Madagascar, Meteosat-10 Airmass RGG with tropical tuning, 7 March 07:00 UTC.
Figure 1: Tropical Cyclone Enawo close to making landfall in Madagascar, Meteosat-10 Airmass RGG with tropical tuning, 7 March 07:00 UTC.

Comparing the Meteosat imagery from 5 March and 6 March, the details of the cyclone are much clearer on the Meteosat-8 imagery, this is because of the positions of the satellites (Met-8 at 41.5 deg East, Met-10 at 0 deg). This can be clearly seen in both the Meteosat-8 Airmass RGB animation and infrared animation , from 5 March 02:00 UTC to  8 March 02:00 UTC, which concentrate on the Category-4 period when the tropical cyclone had a pronounced eye. This pronounced eye could also be seen on the Metop-B Natural Colour image from 7 March at 06:06 UTC, as the satellite passed directly over it.

Enawo was forecast to hit Madagascar on 7 March (see the forecast track from the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre ). It reached peak intensity at 06:00 UTC on 7 March, with ten-minute maximum sustained winds of 205 km/h and a central pressure of 925hPa — equivalent to Category 4 hurricane. As predicted Enawo made landfall in Madagascar on 7 March, at 09:30 UTC, the strongest cyclone to hit the country since Gafilo in 2004. Five people were reported to have died after Enawo made landfall on the island.

On the Meteosat-8 Day Microphysics RGB image, 5 March 12:00 UTC (Figure 2, left panel), the cloud structures can be clearly seen because the resolution is better at that position (41.5 deg East) than the Meteosat-10 image from the same time (Figure 2, right panel), where it is at the edge of the disc.

Image comparison

Meteosat-10 image compare1
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Figure 2: Comparison of Meteosat-8 and -10 Day Microphysics images showing the difference in resolution. Source: EUMeTrain, ePort Pro

Image comparison

Meteosat-8 image compare1
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Figure 3: Comparison of Meteosat-8 and -10 Severe Convection images showing the effects of sunglint. Source: EUMeTrain, ePort Pro

Image comparison

Meteosat-8 Dust RGB compare1
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Figure 4: Tropical Cyclone Enawo the day after it made landfall over Madagascar. Note the upper level symmetric cirrus outflow spirals. Source: EUMeTrain, ePort Pro