NASA Satellites see super-Typhoon Haiyan lashing the Philippines in this visible image of the storm taken from the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite on Nov. 7, 2013, at 11:25 p.m. EST. Super-Typhoon Haiyan is bringing maximum sustained winds of a Category 5 hurricane. NASA is providing visible, infrared and microwave satellite data to forecasters and warnings are in effect for the Philippines and Micronesia as Haiyan moves west.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard captured a visible image that showed the thick bands of powerful thunderstorms that surrounded the eye. The MODIS image also revealed a powerful, wide band of thunderstorms in the western quadrant that was affecting the Philippines in the early morning hours (Eastern Daylight Time/U.S.) on Nov. 7.
At the same time, another instrument aboard Aqua captured infrared data on the storm using the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument, providing cloud top temperatures and sea surface temperatures. The infrared data revealed a sharply defined eye with multiple concentric rings of thunderstorms and a deep convective eyewall. The infrared data showed cloud top temperatures as cold as 210 degrees kelvin/-81.67F/-63.15C/ in the thick band of thunderstorms around the center. Those cold temperatures indicate very high, powerful thunderstorms with very heavy rain potential.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center website indicates that a Category 5 hurricane/typhoon would cause catastrophic damage: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
After passing through the Philippines, Haiyan is expected to move through the South China Sea as it heads for landfall in Vietnam.
Image Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS #typhoon
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