CloudSat captured a stunning overpass through the eye of Typhoon Yutu on October 28th, 2018 @ 0458UTC as the storm was approaching the Philippines in the West Pacific. Typhoon Yutu contained estimated sustained winds of 120 knots (138 mph) with a minimum pressure of 933 mb (the equivalent of a Category 4 strength storm).
At the time of the CloudSat overpass, Typhoon Yutu was beginning a period of weakening as the storm was moving info less favorable atmospheric conditions (lower sea surface temperatures). Typhoon Yutu left a trail of destruction through Saipan, Tinian and the Mariana Islands on October 24-25th, 2018 as a Super Typhoon (category 5 strength storm).
CloudSat's 94 GHz cloud profiling radar (CPR) overpassed directly through the eye of Typhoon Yutu revealing the cirrus free eye with an outward sloping eyewall, a feature typically found in intense tropical systems. The southern portion of the eyewall appears more disorganized as the thicker cloud tops are starting to disintegrate from the top down.
The CloudSat overpass reveals the inner details beneath the storms cloud tops. Intense areas of convection with moderate to heavy rainfall (deep red and pink colors), cloud-free areas (moats) underneath the northern portion of the cirrus canopy and cloud top height’s estimated at 14 km. Lower values of reflectivity (areas of green and blue) denote smaller ice and water particle sizes typically located at top of the system (in the anvil area). The CloudSat CPR signal attenuates in heavy rainfall when cloud droplets become larger than 3 mm which dampen the strength of the CPR signal. This is evident by the lack of signal typically occurring beneath the melting level when frozen particles transform into liquid.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured the infrared (IR) image taken a 15 minutes after the CloudSat overpass (the blue line on Figure 1). Figure 2 depicts the CloudSat 1B-CPR imagery of the overpass. Figure 3 is a time lapsed animation combining Himawari imagery and the CloudSat overpass. Figure 4 merges Himawari and CloudSat imagery into a 2D image.
Figure 1. MODIS imagery with CloudSat track and UTC time (blue line) of Typhoon Yutu (MODIS imagery was taken at 0515 UTC)..
Figure 2. CloudSat 1B-CPR imagery of Typhoon Yutu.
Figure 3. Typhoon Yutu Animation - West Pacific, October 28, 2018.
Figure 4. Himawari and CloudSat imagery of Typhoon Yutu.