Status Report

NASA’s GPM satellite sees Typhoon Champi still going strong

By SpaceRef Editor
October 21, 2015
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The Global Precipitation Measurement mission, or GPM, core satellite is getting a workout in the western North Pacific Ocean as it gathered rainfall and cloud height data on Typhoon Champi.

Both Typhoon Champi and Super-typhoon Koppu formed on Oct. 13, 2015. Champi is still a typhoon because it stayed over the open waters of the Pacific Ocean, but Super-typhoon Koppu’s strength was sapped by its travel over the rugged terrain of the Philippines.

The GPM core observatory satellite passed above Typhoon Champi on Oct. 21, 2015 at 0110 UTC (7:01 a.m. EDT). Maximum sustained winds were still about 75 knots (86 mph) at the time GPM passed overhead.

Rainfall data derived from data captured by GPM’s Microwave Imager (GMI) instrument reveal that Typhoon Champi had a large eye. Rain was measured in the eyewall falling at a rate of 56.7 mm (2.23 inches) per hour.

GPM’s Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) instrument made 3-D measurements of precipitation on Typhoon Champi’s eastern side. Those measurements showed that some storm top heights there were reaching altitudes of 13.7 km (8.5 miles).

At 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT), Typhoon Champi’s maximum sustained winds were near 75 knots (86.3 mph/138.9 kph). It was centered near 23.2 degrees north latitude and 140.4 degrees east longitude, about 108 miles south-southwest of Iwo To, Japan. It was moving to the north at 4 knots (4.6 mph/7.4 kph) and generating wave heights to 30 feet (9.1 meters).

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) has predicted that Typhoon Champi will become a little more powerful with peak winds of 85 knots (98 mph) tomorrow, October 22. Within a few days increasing vertical wind shear and colder sea surface temperatures are expected to weaken the system.

SpaceRef staff editor.