Science and Technology News

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hurricane Season 2010: Typhoon Kompasu (Northwestern Pacific)

August 30, 2010

Over the weekend of August 28-29, the eighth tropical depression in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean formed and strengthened into Tropical Storm Kompasu. NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Kompasu right after it became a tropical storm on August 29 at 0411 UTC (12:11 a.m. EDT) and it appeared as tightly wound storm. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument captured visible, infrared and microwave images of Kompasu as it passed overhead from space. The infrared image revealed high, cold, strong thunderstorm cloud tops around the center of the compact storm. Those temperatures were as cold as or colder than -63 Fahrenheit indication strong convection (rapidly rising air that condenses and forms the thunderstorms that power a tropical cyclone). The convection continued to strengthen and by Monday, August 30 at 1200 UTC (8 a.m. EDT), Kompasu had grown to Typhoon strength with maximum sustained winds near 86 mph (75 knots). Kompasu was about 240 nautical miles southeast of Kadena, Japan, near 23.7 North and 131.2 East. It was moving northwestward near 8 mph, and kicking up 17 foot -high seas. It is expected to curve to the north-northeast and then become extratropical before it reaches the Korean peninsula.

Text credit: Rob Gutro, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

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