October 14, 2013 - Typhoon Fitow (22W) and Tropical Storm Danas (23W) in the Pacific Ocean

Typhoon Fitow (22W) and Tropical Storm Danas (23W) in the Pacific Ocean

On October 6, 2013 two large typhoons were circulating in the Pacific Ocean. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-color image at 0255 UTC (10:55 China Standard Time) on that same day. The image has been created by blending several five-minute MODIS swaths, and has been processed to make it geographically correct. The black triangle represents an area where no data was acquired.

At the time this image was captured, Typhoon Fitow was weakening as it raced toward landfall in eastern China, while carrying maximum sustained winds of approximately 85 mph (137 km/h). The storm has a large, cloud filled eye and high clouds with convective bands wound tightly around the center and spread over coastal China in the northwest quadrant. The center of Fitow sits just north of Taiwan, bringing torrential rains to both regions. More than 500 mm (20 inches) of rain was reported in Jianshi Township (northern Taiwan) from the night of October 5 through October 6.

Fitow, which began as a tropical depression on September 30, made landfall near Wenzhou, China, near the border of south Zhejian and northern Fujian Provinces of October 7. According to UPI, Typhoon Fitow killed 10 people in Wenzhou and left five people missing. More than 250,000 homes were left without power, and the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters estimated the direct economic loss at 2 billion dollars as of October 7. Once the storm made landfall, it continued to weaken and quickly dissipated, although remnants continued to soak eastern China through October 9.

To the east, Tropical Storm Danas chases its bigger brother across the Pacific Ocean. At the time this image was captured, Danas sported a tight apostrophe shape around a small, cloudy center and convective bands stretched symmetrically outward.

Although smaller, Danas has the appearance of an intensifying storm. In the early morning hours of October 6, Danas’ winds had increased to 90 mph (145 km/h), raising it to Typhoon status. Only 18 hours later the 1-minute maximum sustained winds had reached 145 mph (233 km/h), making it a Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. Fortunately the storm weakened quickly after passing the Ryuku Islands, and by October 8 the maximum winds speeds were reduced to 65 mph (105 km/h).

While Danas became a Major Typhoon, and carried both extreme winds and heavy rain, it also was a very fast-moving storm. The rapid forward speed helped minimize the effects of the wind and rain, and damage proved relatively minimal across the region.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 10/6/2013
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC