October 8, 2013 - Typhoon Wutip (20W) approaching Vietnam

Typhoon Wutip (20W) approaching Vietnam

On September 29, 2013, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASAís Aqua satellite flew over the Philippines and captured this striking true-color image of an intensifying Typhoon Wutip as it approached Vietnam.

At the time this image was captured, Wutip had a tight apostrophe-shaped circulation, with high clouds circulating around a small forming eye. The storm was centered over the Paracel Islands, and rain bands stretched northward over southern China and southwestward over Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. To the east and northeast, the Philippine islands were being drenched by rain as well, with serious flooding as a result of the storm-enhanced monsoonal rains.

The system was first noticed on September 25 as a tropical depression off the west coast of the Philippines. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) named it Paolo, and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) designed it 20W. On September 17 the system had strengthened to tropical storm status, and JTWC named it Wutip. On September 28 the storm reached Typhoon status, and by the next day Wutipís one-minute sustained winds were reported to be about 87 mph (140 km/h), making it a Category 1 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Fortunately the storm weakened slightly before landfall, and came ashore on September 30 as a Tropical Storm with sustained winds at about 64 mph (103 km/h), and gusts of up to 80 mph (129 km/h), according to Vietnamís National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting. Once on land, Wutip quickly dissipated, with the final warning from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) published late on September 30 when the storm was located about 200 miles (322 km) northwest of Da Nang.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 9/29/2013
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC