Nav: Home

NASA catches Tropical Storm Tapah by the tail

September 20, 2019

Tropical Storm Tapah has a huge "tail" on NASA satellite imagery. NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of the northwestern Pacific Ocean storm that revealed a large band of thunderstorms that resemble a large tail. The NASA imagery also indicated that the storm is getting better organized.

On Sept. 19, the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Terra satellite provided a visible image of Tapah. The image showed the center of the storm was a good distance east of Taiwan and the northern Philippines. From the storm's center a large band of thunderstorms extended from its western side, and stretched through the East China Sea all the way north into the Sea of Japan. That large thunderstorm band made up Tapah's "tail."

The image also showed that there is a large band of powerful thunderstorms circling Tapah's low-level center of circulation. The shape of the storm is a clue to forecasters that a storm is either strengthening or weakening. If a storm takes on a more rounded shape it is getting more organized and strengthening. Conversely, if it becomes less rounded or elongated, it is a sign the storm is weakening. Tapah has appeared to become more symmetrical in the MODIS imagery, indicating it is getting better organized. At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Sept. 20, the center of Tropical Storm Tapah was located near latitude 24.6 degrees north and longitude 127.1 degrees east. That puts the center about 147 nautical miles south of Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa, Japan. Maximum sustained winds were near 50 knots (57 mph/92 kph).

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center or JTWC noted that Tapah was moving to the north-northeast. JTWC uses satellite imagery in their forecasts and has indicated that Tapah is strengthening. The JTWC forecast takes Tapah on a curved path to the northwest then northeast and through the Sea of Japan over Sept. 22 and 23.

Hurricanes are the most powerful weather event on Earth. NASA's expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.

For updated forecasts, visit:

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Related Thunderstorms Articles:

NASA finds strongest storms off-center in Tropical Storm 14W  
NASA's Terra satellite provided an infrared view and temperature analysis of Tropical Storm 14W's cloud tops.
NASA Northern quadrant strength in Tropical Cyclone Lili
NASA's Aqua satellite used infrared light to analyze the strength of storms in Tropical Cyclone Lili as it moved through the Southern Indian Ocean.
Thunderstorms half a world away significantly contribute to heat waves in central California
Scientists reveal links between unusually strong tropical convection and extreme California heat waves.
NASA finds tiny remnants of Tropical Cyclone Owen
Tropical Cyclone Owen crossed over Queensland Australia's Cape York Peninsula over the weekend of Dec.
NASA sees the spiraling in Typhoon Cimaron
Bands of thunderstorms were spiraling into the center in Typhoon Cimaron when NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead on Aug.
More Thunderstorms News and Thunderstorms Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...