Satellite sees a fan-shaped Tropical Storm Molave

August 13, 2015

When NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite flew over Tropical Storm Molave in the North Pacific early on August 13, it looked like a desk fan, with a "blade" made up of clouds and thunderstorms, top and bottom of the center.

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite or VIIRS instrument aboard the satellite provided a visible image of the storm that showed the bulk of showers were north and southeast of the center of circulation. The clouds and thunderstorms were being pushed by wind shear.

VIIRS is a scanning radiometer that collects visible and infrared imagery and "radiometric" measurements. Basically it means that VIIRS data is used to measure cloud and aerosol properties, ocean color, sea and land surface temperature, ice motion and temperature, fires, and Earth's albedo (reflected light).

On August 13, 2015 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT) Tropical Storm Molave still had maximum sustained winds near 40 knots (46 mph/74 kph) as they were 24 hours before. It was centered near 36.7 North latitude and 158.2 East longitude, about 777 nautical miles (894 miles/1,439 km) east-southeast of Misawa, Japan. Molave was moving to the east at 15 knots (17.2 mph /27.7 kph) and away from Japan.

Molave is moving east-northeast and forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) expect it to continue in that direction. JTWC forecasters noted that as vertical wind shear continues to increase and sea surface temperatures begin to get colder later on August 13, the system will gradually decay and begin extra-tropical transition.
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NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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