Haiyan (Northwestern Pacific Ocean)

Nov 6, 2013

One of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded slammed into the Philippines on November 7–8, 2013. Wind and flood damage to the region was expected to be extensive, but early reports on the loss of life appeared promising.

Super Typhoon Haiyan (locally named Yolanda) made its first landfall at 4:40 a.m. local time (20:40 Universal Time) on November 7. Preliminary reports suggested the storm roared ashore near Guinan (Samar Province), where ground stations recorded sustained winds of 235 kilometers (145 miles) per hour and gusts to 275 kilometers (170 miles) per hour. According to remote sensing data from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, sustained winds approached 315 kph (195 mph) just three hours before landfall, with gusts to 380 kph (235 mph).

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this natural color image of Super Typhoon Haiyan over the Philippines. The image was acquired at 2:10 p.m. local time (5:10 UTC) on November 8, 2013, when winds were estimated to be 270 kph (165 mph). The storm made landfall five different times as it skirted through the chain of islands. Click here to see the monster storm on November 7, before it roared ashore.

Preliminary reports from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council declared that four people had died and seven were injured. However, cities and villages in the hardest hit areas of Leyte and Samar were cut off from most ground transportation and some communications. A storm surge of roughly 5 meters (17 feet) was expected in the coastal city of Tacloban on Leyte; much of the local elevation is about 10 feet above sea level.

Reports noted that as many as one million people took refuge in temporary shelters before the storm hit. Eduardo del Rosario from the disaster response agency told the Associated Press that a typhoon of similar strength killed 508 people and left 246 missing when it hit the Philippines in 1990. The nation has developed extensive plans for storm evacuations and warnings over the past two decades.

Haiyan (Yolanda) is the 24th tropical storm to affect the island nation in 2013. It is now headed west toward Vietnam, where it is likely to arrive as a category 1 or 2 typhoon

NASA Sees Heavy Rain Around Super-Typhoon Haiyan's Eye

Super Typhoon Haiyan continues moving toward the Philippines, and when NASA's TRMM satellite passed overhead, it was very close to the island of Palau and packing heavy rainfall. Haiyan is now equivalent to a Category 5 Hurricane.

The forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center or JTWC accurately predicted that Typhoon Haiyan would become a powerful category five typhoon with sustained winds estimated to be over 135 knots/~155 mph.

On Nov. 6, a typhoon Warning remained in effect for Kayangel and Koror in the Republic of Palau and Ngulu in Yap State and a tropical storm warning was in effect for Yap Island in Yap State.

Super typhoon Haiyan was located just northeast of Palau when the TRMM or Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite flew above on November 6, 2013 at 1026 UTC/5:26 a.m. EST. At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. a rainfall analysis from TRMM's Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) instruments was overlaid on an enhanced infrared image from TRMM's Visible and InfraRed Scanner (VIRS). The data revealed that rain was falling at a rate of over 100mm/~3.9 inches per hour around Haiyan's eye.
Satellite data also showed a persistent ring of deep convection around the small eye. Haiyan's eye appeared to be about 8 nautical miles in diameter. The TRMM satellite's microwave data showed an intense convective core (thunderstorms building around the eye) and improved convective banding of thunderstorms in all quadrants of the super-typhoon.

At 1500 UTC/10 a.m. EDT, Super Typhoon Haiyan had maximum sustained winds near 140 knots/161 mph/259 kph. That makes Haiyan equivalent to a Category 5 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. 

The U.S. National Hurricane Center website indicates that a Category 5 hurricane/typhoon would cause catastrophic damage: A high percentage of  ramed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

Hiayan's center was located near 8.1 north and 135.4 east, about 113 nautical miles/130 miles/209.3 km east-northeast of Koror, Palau. It is moving to the west at 18 knots/20.7 mph/33.4 kph and generating 43-foot/13.1-meter-high seas.

Super typhoon is expected to make landfall over the central Philippines just slightly on Nov. 8 and will slightly weaken as it tracks across the islands before emerging in the South China Sea.








































Data from TRMM's TMI and PR instruments on Nov. 6 at 1026 UTC revealed that rain was falling at a rate of over 100mm/~3.9 inches per hour (purple) around Haiyan's eye.
Image Credit: 
NASA/SSAI Hal Pierce
Data from TRMM's TMI and PR instruments on Nov. 6 at 1026 UTC revealed that rain was falling at a rate of over 100mm/~3.9 inches per hour (purple)around Haiyan's eye.
Image Credit: 
NASA/SSAI Hal Pierce