02W (Northwestern Pacific Ocean)

Feb. 19, 2019 – A NASA Infrared Look at Tropical Depression 02W, Warnings Posted

Tropical Depression 02W formed in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean on February 19 and the National Weather Service in Guam has issued warnings for Pohnpei, Chuuk and Yap States. NASA’s Aqua satellite found three strongest storms around the depression’s center when it passed overhead.

Aqua image of 02W
At 10:40 a.m. EDT (1540 UTC) on Feb. 19, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Tropical Depression Two in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud tops (light green) had temperatures near minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 degrees Celsius) in several areas of the depression. Credit: NASA/NRL

Infrared satellite data of Tropical Depression Two (02W) was captured on Feb. 19 at 10:40 a.m. EDT (1540 UTC) from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite. MODIS data revealed several areas in the depression where cloud top temperatures as cold as minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 degrees Celsius). Several of those storms appeared in a fragmented band of thunderstorms wrapping into the center from the northern quadrant.  Storms with temperatures that cold are indicative of strong storms and have been shown to have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.

The National Weather Service in Tiyan, Guam noted that a Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for Nukuoro in Pohnpei State and Lukunor, Losap and Chuuk in Chuuk State. A Tropical Storm Watch remains in effect for Fananu, Puluwat and Ulul in Chuuk State and Satawal in Yap State. Residents of the Marianas should carefully monitor the progress of Tropical Depression Two.

At 1 a.m. CHST on Feb. 20 (10 a.m. EDT/1500 UTC on Feb. 19) the center of 02W was located near Latitude 4.4 degrees North and Longitude 156.4 degrees East. 02W is moving west at 15 mph. It is expected to make a slight turn toward the west-northwest with a slight decrease in forward speed over the next 24 hours. Maximum sustained winds remain at 35 mph (56 kph).

02W is forecast to intensify through Thursday possibly becoming a tropical storm later today.

For updated forecasts, visit: https://www.prh.noaa.gov/guam/cyclone.php

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center