Last Friday, I shared an animation of satellite images showing what appeared to be a midget typhoon cruising across the western Pacific Ocean. Today, NASA’s Earth Observatory featured a picture of the storm as its Image of the Day. (See the picture at the top of this post.)
A typhoon is a kind of tropical cyclone that forms in, or moves into, the western North Pacific Ocean west of the dateline. But it’s looking now that this one probably was not a true tropical cyclone.
Scott Bachmeier, a research meteorologist at the University of Wisconsin’s Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, told the Earth Observatory team that while the storm did have many features of a cyclone, it lacked one key attribute: It did not appear to derive its energy from warm sea surface waters.
Do check out the Earth Observatory post for more information. For example, they’ve got details on Tropical Cyclone Tracy, a truly tiny typhoon that whacked Darwin, Australia in 1974, killing 64 people and destroying most of the city.
Last week’s quasi-tiny-typhoon (I don’t know what else to call it!) caused no damage and dissipated before making landfall.