Typhoon Vicente
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Typhoon Vicente

July 25, 2012
Vicente formed as a tropical depression over the western Pacific Ocean on July 20, 2012, and strengthened to a tropical storm the following day, Unisys Weather reported. On July 23, Vicente strengthened to a typhoon. The same day, the U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) reported that Vicente was located roughly 75 nautical miles (140 kilometers) south of Hong Kong. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 120 knots (220 kilometers per hour) with gusts up to 145 knots (270 kilometers per hour).

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image of Vicente on July 23, 2012, as the storm clouds extended over the China’s south coast and the South China Sea.

As of July 23, the JTWC storm track forecast showed Vicente moving primarily westward across southeastern China and northern Vietnam over the next few days. It made landfall in Guangdong, China, just to the southwest of Hong Kong. Hong Kong lies just north of the Zhujiang River Estuary, which can be seen on the coast in the western section of this image.

By the time Vicente approached the China coast, it had already caused substantial damage in the Philippines. Known there as Ferdie, the storm was blamed for two deaths, several people missing, impassable roads, and evacuations.

According to NBC news, the storm reached Hong Kong as the strongest typhoon to hit the city in 13 years, causing the Signal 10 typhoon warning – the highest on the city’s scale – to be raised. Winds were reported to have reached as high as 101 miles per hour. At least 129 people were injured, many caused by flying debris.

The storm brought a severe downpour in Beijing, with up to 18 inches said to have fallen on the outskirts of Beijing, and up to 6.7 inches in the city. The floods which followed affected almost two million people and killed at least 37. It was called the worst flooding to hit Beijing in six decades.

After landfall, Vicente rapidly weakened, becoming a Category 3 typhoon, according to the JTWC. Later in the same day, the storm became a tropical depression.

Credits: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC

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