Typhoon Nangka seen by Himawari-8

Typhoon Nangka seen by Himawari-8

13 July 2015 00:00 UTC and 16 July 08:02–09:02 UTC

Typhoon Nangka seen by Himawari-8
Typhoon Nangka seen by Himawari-8

In early July Typhoon Nangka formed over the Pacific ocean, after intensifying for 13 days it hit Japan on 16 July.

Last Updated

14 November 2020

Published on

13 July 2015

by Jochen Kerkmann (EUMETSAT) and Sancha Lancaster (Bluemonday)

In the three days prior to making landfall in Japan, Nangka became a Category 3-equivalent typhoon, maximum sustained winds speeds above 178 km/h (110 mph). But it made landfall as a Category 1-equivalent typhoon, with lower wind speeds. During that time the typhoon's progress could be seen by the Japanese Meteorological Agency's new Himawari-8 satellite, which became operational on 8 July.

Figure 1 (top right) is the visible image of Nangka taken on 13 July at 00:00 UTC.

 Himawari-8 Visible image, 13 July 00:00 UTC
Figure 1: Himawari-8 Visible image, 13 July 00:00 UTC. Full resolution

Nangka was upgraded from a depression to a tropical storm by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center early on 4 July. It then intensified into a severe tropical storm at noon on 5 July, with a partially exposed low-level circulation centre under moderate vertical wind shear and slightly improving outflow (Credit: JTWC).

On 6 July, as vertical wind shear weakened with improved outflow, Nangka began to rapidly deepen, formed an eye, and was upgraded to a typhoon.

The typhoon tracked west-northwestward along the southwestern edge of a subtropical ridge. It reached its first peak intensity on 7 July, with 10-minute maximum sustained winds at 185 km/h (115 mph). After that, Nangka slightly weakened due to vertical wind shear, before intensifying again on 9 July, when it was upgraded to a super typhoon, with maximum winds speeds above 240 km/h (150 mph).

Nangka maintained super typhoon strength for 24 hours before weakening to a typhoon on 10 July, due to northerly wind shear eroding convection on the north side of the circulation.

Nangka weakened to a Category 1-equivalent typhoon on 11 July, but began strengthening again late 12 July reaching a secondary peak as a Category 3-equivalent typhoon.

On all the imagery (Figure 1/2/3) it can be seen that typhoon was large, more than 1000 km in diameter, with a nice multi-spiral structure but relatively small eye.

Looking at Figure 2 (below), the ice particle size is better seen in the Day Microphysics RGB than in the Natural Colour RGB. The Day Microphysics RGB gives a good colour contrast between large ice particles (dark red to magenta) and small ice particles (bright red to orange).

Image comparison

Day Microphysics RGB, 13 July 00:00 UTC compare1

Comparison of Himawari-8 images showing ice particle size.

 Animated gif of Typhoon Nangka, Himawari-8 Visible, 16 July 08:02–09:02 UTC
Figure 3: Animated gif of Typhoon Nangka, Himawari-8 Visible, 16 July 08:02–09:02 UTC

The rapid scan, visible animated gif (Figure 3) shows Nangka as it closed in on Japan, as a Category-1 equivalent typhoon.

On July 16, Nangka made the first landfall over Muroto, Kōchi at around 14:00 UTC and the second landfall over Kurashiki, Okayama at 21:00 UTC.

More than 500 mm of rain was reported in parts of Kōchi, Wakayama, Nara and Mie prefectures in the central part of the country.

It was reported that the typhoon caused flooding in Greater Tokyo area, hundreds of miles from what was then the eye of Typhoon Nangka.

According to Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency one person died in Saitama prefecture after falling into a swollen canal during the flooding.

 Himawari-8 infrared, 13 July 00:00 UTC
Figure 4: Himawari-8 infrared, 13 July 00:00 UTC
Full resolution

Typhoon Nangka had dissipated by 18 July, but, as can be seen on the infrared imagery from 13 July 00:00 UTC (Figure 4) another tropical cyclone (Typhoon Halola) was already over the Pacific.


Related Content

Typhoon Nangka Recap: 29 Inches of Rain Reported (The Weather Channel)
Typhoon Nangka Approaches Japan (NASA Earth Observatory)
Unusual Double Eyewall structure in Himawari-8 Infrared Imagery of Typhoon Nangka (CIMSS Blog)
Real-time storm coverage (CIMSS)