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Fitow Before Landfall
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Fitow Before Landfall

October 16, 2013
On October 6, 2013 Typhoon Fitow was weakening as it raced toward landfall in eastern China. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-color image of the ominous storm at 02:55 UTC (10:55 China Standard Time) that same day.

After having reached peak one-minute sustained wind speeds of 105 mph (168 km/h) on October 5, at the time this image was captured the winds had moderated to approximately 85 mph (137 km/h). By late in the evening of October 6, Fitow had lost Typhoon status, and the last advisory was issued at 18:00 UTC (), when wind speeds had dropped to 65 mph (104 km/h).

At the time this image was captured, Typhoon Fitow sported a large cloud-filled eye and central high clouds shadowing the eye. Convective bands wound tightly around the center and extended over coastal China in the northwest quadrant. The center of Fitow sat just north of Taiwan, and already was dousing both Taiwan and eastern China with torrential rains. More than 500 mm (20 in) of rain was reported in Jianshi Township (northern Taiwan) from the night of October 5 through October 6.

Fitow, which began as a tropical depression on September 30, made landfall near Wenzhou, China, near the border of south Zhejian and northern Fujian Provinces on the morning of October 7. According to UPI, Typhoon Fitow killed 10 people in Wenzhou and left five people missing. More than 250,000 homes were left without power, and the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters estimated the direct economic loss at 2 billion dollars as of October 7. Once the storm made landfall, it continued to weaken and quickly dissipated, although remnants continued to soak eastern China through October 9.

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



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