May 15, 2020 – NASA-NOAA Satellite Shows a Weaker Tropical Cyclone Vongfong Over the Philippines
After Tropical Cyclone Vongfong made landfall in the Philippines early on May 14 and began tracking through the country, imagery from NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite showed the storm was weakening.
On May 14, 2020, Typhoon Vongfong became the first typhoon of the 2020 West Pacific season. It came ashore as a typhoon and by May 15, it had weakened to a tropical storm.
On May 14, NOAA-20 satellite imagery showed features that one would expect from a tropical system, including overshooting tops and tropospheric gravity waves. On May 14 at 1:34 p.m. EDT (1734 UTC), “NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP infrared satellite imagery showed the eye has now closed and convection has diminished within the eastern semicircle of the system, evident in the warming cloud tops,” said William Straka III of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who created night-time and infrared images. “The diminished convection could also be seen in imagery as compared to yesterday, where convection completely surrounded the circulation.”
The nighttime image also showed a lightning streak on one of the southern feeder bands around Vongfong’s center. The imagery also showed that the circulation was not surrounded by convection (thunderstorms). The surface rain product showed potentially some clear air (no rain) intruding into the circulation. “The 88.0 GHz ATMS imagery from the Suomi-NPP satellite, while at lower resolution, did not show a circulation surrounded by convection. Rather, it showed just cold temperatures in the northeastern part of the storm where the convection was located,” Straka said.
On May 15 at 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), Tropical storm Vongfong (Philippines designation Ambo) was located near latitude 14.1 degrees north and longitude 121.9 degrees east, about 60 nautical miles east-southeast of Manila, Philippines. Vongfong was moving to the northwest and had maximum sustained winds 60 knots (69 mph/111 kph).
Because of the impacts to the Philippines, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) are also tracking Typhoon Vongfong, which is called Ambo by PAGASA, to assess the impacts on the various islands in the path of the storm.
On May 15, PAGASA still had many warnings in effect, especially for the northern region of the Philippines as Vongfong moves through that area. Tropical cyclone wind signal number 2 is in effect for Luzon: that includes Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Apayao, Abra, Kalinga, La Union, Ifugao, Mountain Province, Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Pampanga, Bulacan, Rizal, Metro Manila, Laguna, the eastern portion of Pangasinan, the western portion of Isabela, Cavite, Quezon including Pollilo Islands, Camarines Norte, western portion of Camarines Sur , Marinduque, and Batangas. Tropical cyclone wind signal number 1 is in effect for Luzon: Cagayan including Babuyan Islands, Batanes, the rest of Pangasinan, Zambales, Bataan, Oriental Mindoro, Burias Island, the rest of Camarines Sur, the rest of Isabela, and the northern portion of Albay.
Vongfong will continue to move northwest across the island of Luzon and is forecast to turn northeast and become extra-tropical.