Science & Nature

Deadly Super Typhoon Noru Strikes the Philippines

Deadly Super Typhoon Noru Strikes the Philippines thumbnail

By Adam Voiland, NASA Earth Observatory
September 27, 2022

Super Typhoon Noru Annotated

Super Typhoon Noru. September 25, 2022.

After making landfall in the Polillo Islands and Luzon, the storm strengthened again as it headed toward Vietnam.

Rapid intensification” of a tropical cyclone, according to the technical definition, is a storm with winds that increase by at least 35 miles (55 kilometers) per hour in a 24-hour period. In the Western Pacific, Super Typhoon Noru (locally called Karding) easily blew past that threshold. The storm’s winds massively accelerated from 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour on September 24 to 155 miles (250 kilometers) per hour the next day. Meteorologists have only recorded a handful of storms that have ever intensified so much so quickly.

Noru made landfall in the Philippines in the evening on September 25 as the equivalent of a category 4 storm. It first hit the Polillo Islands before making a second landfall about 35 miles (55 kilometers) northeast of Manila on the populous island of Luzon. According to news reports, the storm led to at least six deaths, forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes, and knocked out power to two provinces.

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on Suomi NPP acquired this satellite image of Noru on September 25, 2022, a few hours after landfall. Clouds are shown in infrared brightness temperature data, which is useful for distinguishing cooler cloud structures (purple) from warmer surfaces below (yellow). The coolest temperatures (white) are generally associated with the tallest clouds.

Noru weakened as it passed over the mountainous terrain of Luzon, but forecasters expected it to strengthen again to the equivalent of a category 3 storm as it passed over warm waters in the South China Sea. The typhoon could make landfall in central Vietnam on September 27 or 28. Hundreds of thousands of people in Vietnam were preparing to evacuate in advance of the storm.

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