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NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP sees remnants of Mekkhala

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

After Tropical Storm Mekkhala made landfall in the central Philippines and tracked north, it weakened to a depression. By January 20, NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite saw that it was a remnant circulation northeast of the Philippines, over the northwestern Pacific Ocean.

On January 18, Tropical Depression Mekkhala was rapidly losing strength. The depression's maximum sustained winds had dropped to near 25 knots. Infrared satellite imagery showed that the center of the storm made a second landfall in Luzon near Casiguran in the Aurora Province.

Satellite data on Jan. 18 also showed the strongest thunderstorms had disappeared because of strong vertical wind shear and because of friction created by moving over the rugged land of the Sierra Madre Mountains.

On January 19, the remnant circulation moved east of Luzon and over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean. On January 20, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi satellite captured a visible picture of the swirl associated with the remnant low. The image showed an open circulation center with some clouds north of the center, and devoid of precipitation. The remnants are expected to dissipate later on Jan. 20.

Suomi NPP's job is to collect environmental observations of atmosphere, ocean and land for both NOAA's weather and oceanography operational missions and NASA's research mission to continue the long-term climate record to better understand the Earth's climate and long-term trends.


Rob Gutro

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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