Typhoon Roke promises to bring unwelcome rain to areas of Japan still recovering from Typhoon Talas, which triggered landslides and floods across the Kii Peninsula in early September 2011. The new typhoon has the potential to trigger additional landslides and floods, particularly as rainwater builds up behind mud dams formed by landslides during Typhoon Talas. Fearing floods from two rivers, officials in the city of Nagoya ordered the evacuation of 80,000 people and advised more than a million more to evacuate, said The Japan Times.
Typhoon Roke was on its way to becoming a very strong storm when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this image at 1:45 p.m. local time (4:45 UTC) on September 20, 2011. The storm is large and well-formed, with a distinct eye. An hour after the image was taken, Roke had winds of 176 kilometers (109 miles) per hour per hour (95 knots), making it a Category 2 storm. Seven hours later, the storm intensified to Category 4, with winds reaching 213 kilometers (132 miles) per hour ( 115 knots).
Roke was moving northeast toward the Japanese island of Honshu at 35 kilometers per hour (22 miles/hour) and was forecast to come ashore on September 21, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. Roke could bring as much as 500 millimeters (20 inches) of rain to parts of Japan.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.