At one time, Chaba was a powerful super typhoon packing winds of 155 knots
(178 mph) as it crossed the central Philippine Sea. The storm weakened as
it turned northward and struck Kyushu, the southernmost main island of
Japan, on the 30th of August 2004 as a Category 2 Typhoon with sustained
winds estimated at 85 knots (98 mph) by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
The storm resulted in widespread flooding and was responsible for at least
13 fatalities in Japan.
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite has been monitoring
rainfall over the global tropics since its launch in November of 1997 using
both a microwave imager and the first precipitation radar in space. The
TRMM-based, near-real time Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (MPA) at
the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center provides quantitative rainfall estimates
over the global tropics. MPA rainfall totals for the period 24 to 31 August
2004 are shown for Japan and surrounding areas. Cyclone symbols are shown at
the 00:00 UTC positions, indicating the path taken by Chaba. A swath of very
high rainfall amounts in excess of 305 millimeters (red areas) is clearly visible
just to the right of Chaba's track. Locally heavier amounts of up to near
500 millimeters of rain are embedded within the high rain area. The swath of heavy
rain extends over Kyushu where Chaba made landfall but then diminishes
dramatically farther north as the storm rapidly accelerated away.
TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.