Microwave warm core of Tropical Cyclone Mekunu

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Tropical Cyclone Mekunu was a Category 3 tropical cyclone that made landfall near Salalah, Oman on 26 May 2018.

Microwave warm core of Tropical Cyclone Mekunu
Date & Time
22 May 2018–26 May
Satellites
Meteosat-11, Metop-B, NOAA-18,
Instruments
SEVIRI, AMSU, MHS
Channels/Products
Airmass RGB, Brightness Temperature, Brightness Temperature Anomaly

By Sreerekha Thonipparambil (EUMETSAT)

Tropical cyclone Mekunu developed as a low pressure over North Indian Ocean on 21 May 2018, reached its peak intensity on 25 May, before making a landfall near Salalah, Oman on the 26 May.

Mekunu had 1-minute sustained winds estimated at 115 mph and produced about 280 mm rainfall in 24 hours — more than three times the annual rainfall average in the region. The storm and the resulting flooding caused destruction including casualties in Oman and Yemen.

The capability of satellite microwave observations to measure the warm core of tropical cyclones is presented in this case study. Unlike visible and infrared channels, channels of microwave sounding instruments like AMSU, onboard Metop and NOAA satellites, can be used to analyse the vertical structure of warm core.

For Mekunu, this is demonstrated in the warm brightness temperature anomalies in Channels 7 (54.94 GHz) and 8 (55.54 GHz) of AMSU. These channels peak at altitudes which are not affected by clouds, around 200 hPa and 100 hPa respectively. The warm brightness temperature anomalies increase as the cyclone intensifies. The series of images below depicts this behaviour as the storm develops, intensifies and dissipates. Images courtesy of the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones website.

For very strong storms the warm anomalies can be seen in channels 6 (54.4 GHz) and 5 (53.596 GHz) too (peaking at around 350 hPa and 550hPa, respectively). The direct correlation of AMSU brightness temperature anomalies with both wind speed and minimum sea level pressure can be used to estimate the intensity of the Tropical Cyclone.

Channel 8

  •  Metop-B AMSU-A Channel 8 Brightness Temperature, 22 May 17:33 UTC
    Fig 1
    Metop-B AMSU-A Brightness Temperature,
    22 May 17:33 UTC
  • NOAA-18 AMSU-A Channel 8 Brightness Temperature, 23 May 16:00 UTC
    Fig 2
    NOAA-18 AMSU-A Brightness Temperature,
    23 May 16:00 UTC
  • NOAA-18 AMSU-A Channel 8 Brightness Temperature, 24 May 15:49 UTC
    Fig 3
    NOAA-18 AMSU-A Brightness Temperature,
    24 May 15:49 UTC
  • NOAA-18 AMSU-A Channel 8 Brightness Temperature, 25 May 15:39 UTC
    Fig 4
    NOAA-18 AMSU-A Brightness Temperature,
    25 May 15:39 UTC
  • Metop-B AMSU-A Channel 8 Brightness Temperature, 24 May 17:52 UTC
    Fig 5
    Metop-B AMSU-A Brightness Temperature,
    24 May 17:52 UTC

Channel 7

  • Metop-B AMSU-A Channel 7 Brightness Temperature, 22 May 17:33 UTC
    Fig 6
    Metop-B AMSU-A Brightness Temperature,
    22 May 17:33 UTC
  • NOAA-18 AMSU-A Channel 7 Brightness Temperature, 23 May 16:00 UTC
    Fig 7
    NOAA-18 AMSU-A Brightness Temperature,
    23 May 16:00 UTC
  • NOAA-18 AMSU-A Channel 7 Brightness Temperature, 24 May 15:49 UTC
    Fig 8
    NOAA-18 AMSU-A Brightness Temperature,
    24 May 15:49 UTC
  • NOAA-18 AMSU-A Channel 7 Brightness Temperature, 25 May 15:39 UTC
    Fig 9
    NOAA-18 AMSU-A Brightness Temperature,
    25 May 15:39 UTC
  • Metop-B AMSU-A Channel 7 Brightness Temperature, 24 May 17:52 UTC
    Fig 10
    Metop-B AMSU-A Brightness Temperature,
    24 May 17:52 UTC

Channel 6

  • Metop-B AMSU-A Channel 6 Brightness Temperature, 22 May 17:33 UTC
    Fig 11
    Metop-B AMSU-A Brightness Temperature,
    22 May 17:33 UTC
  • NOAA-18 AMSU-A Channel 6 Brightness Temperature, 23 May 16:00 UTC
    Fig 12
    NOAA-18 AMSU-A Brightness Temperature,
    23 May 16:00 UTC
  •  NOAA-18 AMSU-A Channel 6 Brightness Temperature, 24 May 15:49 UTC
    Fig 13
    NOAA-18 AMSU-A Brightness Temperature,
    24 May 15:49 UTC
  • NOAA-18 AMSU-A Channel 6 Brightness Temperature, 25 May 15:39 UTC
    Fig 14
    NOAA-18 AMSU-A Brightness Temperature,
    25 May 15:39 UTC
  • Metop-B AMSU-A Channel 6 Brightness Temperature, 24 May 17:52 UTC
    Fig 15
    Metop-B AMSU-A Brightness Temperature,
    24 May 17:52 UTC

AMSU-A Brightness Temperature Anomaly

  • Metop-B AMSU-A Brightness Temperature Anomaly, 22 May 17:33 UTC
    Fig 16
    Metop-B Brightness Temperature Anomaly,
    22 May 17:33 UTC
  • NOAA-18 AMSU-A Brightness Temperature Anomaly, 23 May 16:00 UTC
    Fig 17
    NOAA-18 Brightness Temperature Anomaly,
    23 May 16:00 UTC
  • NOAA-18 AMSU-A Brightness Temperature Anomaly, 24 May 15:49 UTC
    Fig 18
    NOAA-18 Brightness Temperature Anomaly,
    24 May 15:49 UTC
  • NOAA-18 AMSU-A Brightness Temperature Anomaly, 25 May 15:39 UTC
    Fig 19
    NOAA-18 Brightness Temperature Anomaly,
    25 May 15:39 UTC
  • Metop-B AMSU-A Brightness Temperature Anomaly, 24 May 17:52 UTC
    Fig 20
    Metop-B Brightness Temperature Anomaly,
    24 May 17:52 UTC
 
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