Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features Super Typhoon Chanthu churning across the Philippine Sea.
The storm rapidly intensified from a tropical depression on September 6 to a super typhoon 48 hours later. NOAA scientist Sam Lillo noted that only five storms on record have intensified at such a rate.
According to NASA, meteorologists and climate scientists have recently been awed by the rapid intensification of several tropical cyclones around the world – a phenomenon that is expected to become more commonplace in a warming world.
“Chanthu is a very small storm, and small tropical cyclones are capable of very rapid intensity changes, both strengthening and weakening,” explained meteorologist Jeff Masters.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this image of Super Typhoon Chanthu in the late morning on September 9, 2021. At this time, Chanthu was about 300 nautical miles east-northeast of Manila, with sustained winds of 140 miles per hour. In the open ocean, the biggest waves were approaching 14 meters, or 45 feet.
Forecasts suggest that the typhoon will pass just north of the island of Luzon as a category 4 storm, and will arrive at Taiwan on September 11 or 12.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory