AIRS Images Typhoon Hinnamnor Ahead of Landfall
NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument aboard the Aqua satellite captured imagery of Typhoon Hinnamnor in the West Pacific Ocean just before 2 p.m. local time on Sept. 5, 2022. Typhoon Hinnamnor was one of the strongest in South Korea's recorded history, dropping some 40 inches (102 centimeters) of rain and unleashing record winds.
In this infrared AIRS image, the typhoon is moving northward over the Korean Peninsula (center), with the coast of China to the west and the southernmost Japanese islands to the east. The large purple area indicates very cold clouds at about minus 90 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 67 degrees Celsius), carried high into the atmosphere by deep thunderstorms. These storm clouds are associated with very heavy rainfall. The extensive areas of red away from the storm indicate temperatures of around 80 F (26 C), typical of Earth's daytime surface during late summer. These red areas are mostly cloud-free, with the clear air caused by air motion outward from the cold clouds in the storm center then downward in the surrounding areas.
U.S. Hurricane Hunter planes don't monitor the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, so AIRS and other satellite instruments are essential for tracking typhoons as they grow. AIRS, launched in 2002, was the first instrument to reveal the 3D distribution of rain within tropical storms like Hinnamnor. These 3D images have made a major contribution to our knowledge of how hurricanes and typhoons develop, improving forecasts and saving lives.
AIRS senses infrared and microwave radiation emitted from Earth to provide a 3D look at the planet's weather and climate, making observations down to Earth's surface. With more than 2,000 channels sensing different regions of the atmosphere, the system creates a global, 3D map of atmospheric temperature and humidity, cloud amounts and heights, greenhouse gas concentrations and many other atmospheric phenomena. Launched in 2002, AIRS is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. JPL is a division of Caltech.
More information about AIRS can be found at https://airs.jpl.nasa.gov.