Nav: Home

NASA sees Walaka becoming a powerful Hurricane

October 01, 2018

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite passed over the Central Pacific Hurricane Center and analyzed Walaka's rainfall and cloud structure as it was strengthening into a hurricane.

Walaka formed southwest of the Hawaiian Islands on Saturday, Sept. 29. At 5 p.m. HST on Sunday, Sept. 30, Walaka strengthened to a hurricane.

The GPM core observatory recently had a couple good looks at tropical storm Walaka as it was intensifying into a powerful hurricane. GPM passed directly over tropical storm Walaka when it was located south of the Hawaiian islands on September 30, 2018 at 8:38 a.m. HST (1838 UTC).

Data collected by GPM's Microwave Imager (GMI) and Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) instruments showed that Walaka was well organized and very close to hurricane intensity. GPM's Radar (DPR Ku Band) data revealed intense convective storms in a large feeder band that was wrapping around the tropical storm's northeastern side and storms wrapping around a forming eye wall. GPM's DPR found rain falling at a rate of almost 6.5 inches (165 mm) per hour in the intense storms in the feeder band northeast of Walaka's center of circulation.

Walaka had strengthened to hurricane intensity when GPM flew above about twelve hours later at 8:07 p.m. HST (Oct. 1, 2018 at 0607 UTC). Walaka had developed an eye and was undergoing rapid intensification. The intensifying hurricane is passing well to the south of the Hawaiian Islands.

The GPM satellite's Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) data were used to show the structure of precipitation within intensifying tropical storm Walaka. The simulated 3D view of Walaka, looking from the southwest, showed storm tops of powerful storms wrapping into the center of the tropical storm. A tall convective storm was located in a line northwest of Walaka's center. It was found by DPR to reach heights above 8.5 miles (13.7 km). GPM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.

On Monday, October 1, 2018, NOAA's Central Pacific Hurricane Center or CPHC noted that a Hurricane Warning is in effect for Johnston Atoll. Also, interests in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument should monitor the progress of Walaka.

At 5 p.m. HST/11 p.m. EDT (0300 UTC, Oct. 1) on Sept. 30 or , the center of Hurricane Walaka was located near latitude 11.9 degrees north and longitude 166.4 degrees west. Walaka is moving toward the west near 12 mph (19 kph) and this motion is expected to slow and become northwest on Monday, then north on Tuesday. Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph (120 kph) with higher gusts. Rapid intensification is forecast through Tuesday.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) predicts that Hurricane Walaka will continue to strengthen and re-curve to the north later today. Walaka is expected to be a powerful category four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale when it passes just to the west of Johnson Atoll in a couple days. Walaka is not expected to have a significant effect on the Hawaiian Islands.

> ###

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Related Hurricane Articles:

Hurricane resilience in the Bahamas
A new Stanford-led study provides information on how to invest in natural coastal ecosystems that the Bahamian government, community leaders and development banks are applying in post-disaster recovery and future storm preparation in the Bahamas.
NASA finds a weaker hurricane Juliette
Hurricane Juliette has been weakening and NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a look at the strength of storms within.
NASA sees Dorian become a hurricane
NASA's Terra satellite passed over the northwestern Atlantic Ocean as Dorian reached hurricane status during the afternoon of August 28, 2019.
Landslides triggered by Hurricane Maria
Hurricane Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico on 20 September 2017 and triggered more than 40,000 landslides in at least three-fourths of Puerto Rico's 78 municipalities.
NASA sees Atlantic's Leslie become a hurricane
NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of Hurricane Leslie that revealed strong storms circled the center.
NASA sees Walaka becoming a powerful Hurricane
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite passed over the Central Pacific Hurricane Center and analyzed Walaka's rainfall and cloud structure as it was strengthening into a hurricane.
NASA finds a weaker Hurricane Olivia
Infrared data from NASA's Terra satellite revealed that the area of coldest cloud topped thunderstorms has dropped from the previous day, indicating weaker uplift and less-strong storms
NASA looks at heavy rainmaker in Hurricane Lane
Cloud top temperatures provide scientists with an understanding of the power of a tropical cyclone.
Hector weakens but remains Category 4 Hurricane
Hurricane Hector has weakened slightly but still remains a robust Category Four storm at present.
UA forecast: Below-average hurricane activity
The UA hurricane forecasting model, which has proved to be extremely accurate over the years, is calling for fewer hurricanes in the Atlantic this year on the heels of a devastating 2017.
More Hurricane News and Hurricane Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.