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Typhoon Morakot dumps record rains on Taiwan; causes more flooding on mainland China

GES DISC hurricane tools used to track the movement of the storm and intense rains on Taiwan

Data analysis tools and precipitation data available from the GES DISC have been used to track the progress of Typhoon Morakot, which has caused record rainfall, landslides, and flood-related destruction on Taiwan.   Morakot then moved over mainland China into the province of Zhejiang, also causing flooding there.

Typhoon Morakot began development as a tropical depression on August 03 at 18Z, located southwest of Taiwan at approximately 21.2 N, 135.9 E. The storm hit Taiwan on August 7th and seemed to slightly stall over a two-day period, dumping over 80 inches of rain. On August 08, the highest amount of rainfall ever for Taiwan was recorded at 55 inches. These torrential rains have caused massive flooding and mudslides, one occurring overnight which could have a possible death toll of more than 600. (News reports indicate that 700 villagers survived in near-miraculous circumstances.) A newly developed storm, Etau, occurred over the weekend of August 08-09, but seems to have trouble gaining strength heading towards Japan.

The Taiwan precipitation image (top left) and Typhoon Morakot animation (top right) were created using the TRMM 3B42RT data of the Accumulated Rainfall parameter using the GES DISC TRMM Online Visualization and Analysis System (TOVAS)(, which contains TRMM rainfall products, near-real-time 3-hourly, Multi-Satellite Precipitation Analysis, and rainfall ground observation data. The infrared image (bottom left) was created using the Merged IR data, which is a globally-merged (60°N-60°S) pixel-resolution IR brightness temperature data set (equivalent blackbody temps), merged from all available geostationary satellites (GOES-8/10, METEOSAT-7/5 & GMS). The data is available by ftp from the GES DISC ( The RGB (pseudo true-color) image is from MODIS Terra on August 07 as the typhoon was over Taiwan (bottom right).


Rainfall over Taiwan from Morakot   Animated GIF of Morakot rain

Geostationary weather view of Morakot in Pacific OceanMODIS RGB image of Typhoon Morakot



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Last updated: Aug 19, 2010 01:46 PM ET