NASA Sees Super-Typhoon Yolanda maintain strength crossing central Philippines


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The AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured this infrared, false-colored image of Super-Typhoon Haiyan exiting the western Philippines on Nov. 8 at 04:59 UTC. Purple indicates coldest, most powerful thunderstorms with heavy rainfall potential. Haiyan, Northwestern Pacific Ocean, Nov. 8, 2013. Image Credit: NASA JPL/Ed Olsen

Super Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the eastern Philippines as the strongest tropical cyclone of the year, and on Nov. 8, is exiting the country and moving into the West Philippine sea. NASA’s Aqua satellite captured visible and infrared data of Haiyan after it made landfall near Leyte, identifying the extent of its power.

The U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that just before Super-Typhoon Haiyan made landfall its maximum sustained winds were 314 kph/195 mph, with gusts up to 379 kph/235 mph. PAGASA, the Philippines Weather organization noted that Haiyan’s maximum sustained winds at landfall were near 234 kph/145 mph.

On Nov. 7 at 2100 UTC/4 p.m. EDT/Nov. 8 at 5 a.m. Philippines local time, Super-Typhoon Haiyan had maximum sustained winds near 170 knots/ 195.6 mph/314.8 kph. It was located about 543 nautical miles east-southeast of Manila at that time.

As Super-Typhoon Haiyan moved over the central Philippines on Nov. 8 at 05:10 UTC/12:10 a.m. EDT, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a visible image. The image showed that Haiyan maintained its structure as it moved over the east central Philippines. As the center moved through the eastern Visayas, large, thick bands of thunderstorms spiraled into the center from the northeast. Haiyan’s clouds extended over the entire country from the Cagayan Valley in the north to the Soccsksargen region in the south.

The AIRS instrument that also flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured infrared imagery of Super-Typhoon Haiyan exiting the western Philippines. The coldest cloud top temperatures and most powerful thunderstorms with heavy rainfall potential covered the Visayas, Bicol, National Capital, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Northern Mindanao, and Mimaropa regions.

By Nov. 8 at 0900 UTC/4 a.m. EDT/5 p.m. Philippines local time, Haiyan’s maximum sustained winds dropped to 145 knots/167 mph/268.5 kph, still making it a powerful Category 5 tropical cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. It was moving through Western Visayas and was 214 nautical miles south-southeast of Manila. It is moving quickly to the west at 22 knots/25.3 mph/40.74 kph, which will reduce flooding potential.

Many warnings are still in effect, as Haiyan exits the western Philippines. (Text and Image courtesy of NASA)

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