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21 September 2011

Hurricane Season 2011: Roke (Western North Pacific Ocean)

NASA's Aqua Satellite Provides a Visible an Infrared Look at Typhoon Roke


This visible image of Typhoon Roke was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite. It was taken on Sept. 20 at 04:45 UTC (12:20 a.m. EDT). Typhoon Roke is a Category Four Typhoon on the Saffir-Simpson scale with maximum sustained winds near 115 knots (132 mph/213 kmh). It was centered 450 nautical miles (833 km/517 miles) southwest of Tokyo but its cloud cover and rains extend over the southern part of the big island of Japan. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team


Typhoon Roke's powerful, high thunderstorm cloud tops were captured on this infrared image from NASA's AIRS instrument on Sept. 20 at 0441 UTC (12:41 a.m. EDT). AIRS flies on NASA's Aqua satellite. This image shows most of the strongest thunderstorms (purple) around the center of circulation. The purple indicates cloud top temperatures colder than -63F (-52C) indicating high, powerful thunderstorms with heavy rainfall. Roke's eye is clearly visible and the storm's northern edge is bringing heavy rains to Japan. Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen

NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite is providing forecasters with a look at the intense rainfall within Typhoon Roke as it continues to near the big island of Japan. TRMM has seen areas with the typhoon where rain is falling at 2 inches/50 mm per hour, and headed to areas of Japan already soaked since last week.

Japanese authorities are calling for evacuations as Typhoon Roke nears because of flooding concerns. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, about 1.1 million people in Nagoya in central Japan's Aichi prefecture were told to evacuate, and other cities in western Japan were given the same request. Heavy rains already occurring in Aichi on Sept. 20 were causing rivers to overflow, according to NHK news. Flash flooding and landslides are of particular concern, especially in the city of Nagoya.

Japan's NHK news reported heavy rainfall already in parts of the Miyazaki Prefecture in Kyushu, where 400 millimeters (15.75 inches) had already fallen in one day and over 1,000 millimeters (39 inches) had fallen since last Thursday, so the ground is already saturated.

On Sept. 20 at 8 a.m. EDT Typhoon Roke's maximum sustained winds were near 115 knots (132 mph/213 kmh). It was centered 450 nautical miles (833 km/517 miles) southwest of Tokyo but its cloud cover and rains extend over the southern part of the big island of Japan. It was moving to the northeast at 14 knots (16 mph/26 kmh) and generating rough seas with heights to 26 feet (8 meters).

Roke is picking up speed and is expected to make landfall on Wednesday south of Tokyo while continuing to track to the northeast.

- NASA