A Zigzagging Path for Khanun

A Zigzagging Path for Khanun

After charting a zigzagging path that delivered damaging winds and rain to Japan’s Ryukyu Islands, Tropical Cyclone Khanun brushed Kyushu and began heading toward the Korean Peninsula.

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the NOAA-NASA Suomi NPP satellite acquired this image of Khanun at 04:20 Universal Time (1:20 p.m. local time) on August 8, 2023. At the time, the storm was moving to the north-northwest and had maximum sustained winds of 80 kilometers (50 miles) per hour. The storm’s wandering path was the result of high-pressure systems near China and southern Japan that blocked the storm and caused it to make two sharp turns.

According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, the storm was expected to make landfall near Busan, South Korea, and then continue north toward North Korea and northeastern China. Facing warm sea surface temperatures and favorable wind conditions over the Yellow Sea, forecasters expect Khanun to intensify somewhat before making landfall.

According to the The Korea Times, the approaching storm prompted the evacuation of tens of thousands of scouts participating in a jamboree in Samangeum. Forecasters have warned that all of South Korea is expected to feel the effects of the storm, with as much as 600 millimeters (23 inches) of rain expected to fall in some areas.

Khanun is the sixth tropical storm of the 2023 typhoon season in the Northwest Pacific Ocean. Colorado State University meteorologists tracking Khanun’s accumulated cyclone energy (ACE)—a metric that incorporates both intensity and duration—report that the total ACE for Northwest Pacific storms was 122 as of August 7, 2023; the average at this point in the season over the past three decades is 88. With an ACE of 25, Khanun accounts for one-fifth of the total for Northwest Pacific storms in 2023.

NASA Earth Observatory image by Michala Garrison, using VIIRS data from NASA EOSDIS LANCE, GIBS/Worldview, and the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership. Storm track data from Weather Underground. Story by Adam Voiland.

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