Images produced by Hal Pierce (SSAI/NASA GSFC) and caption by Steve Lang (SSAI/NASA GSFC).
The main islands of the Philippines have thus far been spared the brunt of
Super Typhoon Nida (known as Dindo in the Philippines) though the eastern
island of Catanduanes was not as fortunate. A tropical depression formed
on the 13th of May 2004 about 500 km (300 miles) east of the southern
Philippines island of Mindanao and initially moved west. By late the next day on the 14th, the
system had already become a minimal typhoon (named Nida) with maximum
sustained winds estimated at 65 knots (75 mph) by the Joint Typhoon Warning
Center and was now moving almost due north. On the 15th, Nida continued to
intensify reaching 90 knots (104 mph) and settled into a northwestly track.
The next 24 hours saw Nida steadily intensify becoming a super typhoon with
maximum sustained winds of 140 knots (161 mph) on the 16th as it came
dangerously close to the central Philippines island of Samar. Samar avoided
a direct hit, but Nida slammed into the island of Catanduanes the next day
on the morning of the 17th where there were reports of deadly mudslides.
As of the 17th Nida was located roughly 200 miles east of Luzon in the
Philippine Sea and moving north northwest. On it's present course the eye
is not expected to cross Luzon.
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite captured a series
of images showing the evolution of Nida. The first image was taken at 14:14
UTC on 13 May 2004. It shows the horizontal distribution of rain intensity.
Rain rates in the center swath are from the TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR),
while rain rates in the outer swath are from the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI).
The rain rates are overlaid on infrared (IR) data from the TRMM Visible
Infrared Scanner (VIRS). At the time of the first image, Nida was still just a
tropical storm. TRMM shows that the storm is still organizing with no
evidence of an eye yet. Mainly moderate (green) to light (blue areas) rain
rates are present near the center. The next image taken at 13:19 UTC on
the 14th shows Nida becoming better organized. More banding is evident in
the rain field (green arcs) though the eye is still poorly defined. The
final image was taken at 12:09 UTC on May 17th after Nida had passed over
Catanduanes. Thought the PR did not pass over the center, the TMI shows a
nearly complete well-formed eye with embedded areas of intense rain (red
areas). Having just passed over the island of Catanduanes, the center is
likely showing the effects of being disrupted by the island's terrain.
TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.
This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.