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Tracking Typhoon Hagibis from space

29 October 2019

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Hagibis was the biggest typhoon to hit Japan in decades. With extreme events like this likely to increase in number and in severity as a consequence of climate change, satellites are playing an increasingly important role in understanding and tracking huge storms.

Different satellites carry different instruments that can provide a wealth of complementary information to understand and to respond to a single event.

After making landfall on 12 October 2019 on Shizuoka Prefecture's Izu Peninsula, Hagibis brought record-breaking rainfall, triggered mudslides and caused severe flooding.

While the storm was still over the ocean, both Copernicus Sentinel-1 and ESA's SMOS missions were used to track what was going on within and beneath the storm at the sea surface, and Copernicus Sentinel-3 imaged from above.

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