July 11, 2013
Weather Education: Typhoon Soulik
(Sat Image courtesy of Naval Research Laboratory)
The image below of Typhoon Soulik, which is currently located to the east of Taiwan, is from July 10, 2013. The storm had winds yesterday morning around 125 knots, along with a well-observed eye wall. This storm has a few really well pronounced features that I would like to go over.
First, located at letter A, is the eye wall itself. If you look at the image above, you can see that the eye wall on this storm is well defined, indicating the storm is very strong and healthy. The eye wall is also a place that has almost clear skies in it. If you ever find yourself under the eye wall, you will see the same thing. Secondly, taking a look at letter B; this is the right front quadrant, the side of the storm you never want to be on when it’s making a landfall. The reason for that is if you look at how the clouds are swirling around the storm, the right front quadrant clouds are swirling from the southeast to the northwest, this means that all the ocean waters are being pushed around into the storm. When this makes landfall, this is where the highest storm surge will be located. Area B also provides the fastest rotation with height, which is why this area can produce the most tornadoes during a land falling storm.
Now on to letter C. This area represents part of the inflow boundary to the storm’s center; the air is starting to wrap back into the center. Also near letter C, we can see the high bright clouds beside. These clouds represent a storm that is getting stronger as its showing stronger thunderstorm development that will eventually be pushed into the core of the storm. The meteorological term to identify that feature would be overshooting tops on a thunderstorm.
Letter D. This region represents the inflow area of the storm, where all the winds are pouring into the storm This would also mean that when this part hits land, the winds would be blowing away off shore, so there is less storm surge likely with this side of the storm, as the winds work to blow the water away from the shore. As you look at the image above were letter D is, you can see a very strong inflow boundary is setup in this storm, meaning that it is freely developing an not having any trouble in getting stronger.
Now here is a quick wind-flow analysis of the storm. Winds around typhoons or hurricanes are both the same, just located in different parts of the globe but are both tropical features The winds blow just like a low pressure area, meaning that the winds blow counter-clockwise. With that being said, it’s important to understand this with a storm, as well. If the storm passes over top of you, it’s going to do so much destruction due to the fact that when the storm arrives the winds start to blow very strong from one direction. But as the storm gets on the other side of you, it now poses the exact opposite winds. This leads to most of the structural damage as things are being blown one direction and then getting hit from the exact opposite direction.
Featured Image Credit: Thinkstock.com