Esther – South Indian Ocean

March 02, 2020 – NASA Finds Ex-Tropical Cyclone Esther Moving Back Inland

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Esther just won’t give up. The storm formed in the South Pacific Ocean, tracked across Australia’s Northern Territory and reached the Kimberley coast of Western Australia, and has now turned around. NASA’s Aqua satellite provided forecasters with a visible image of the storm turning back into Western Australia on March 2.

Aqua image of Esther
On Mar. 2, 2020, the MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible image of Esther’s remnant clouds that showed the storm moved back inland and away from the coast. Credit: NASA Worldview

On March 2, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible image of Esther’s remnant clouds that showed the storm moved back inland and away from the coast.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABM) issued a Flood Watch for the Tanami Desert, Central Desert, MacDonnell Ranges, Barkly, Georgina River and Simpson Desert on March 2. A flood warning is current for Sturt Creek District in Western Australia.

At 10:48 a.m. ACST on Monday, March 2, the ABM forecast said, “Rainfall is expected to increase from today with widespread daily totals of 50 – 80 mm [2 to 3.1 inches] and isolated falls of 150 mm [5.9 inches] expected for the northern Tanami Desert. Rainfall into Tuesday is expected to increase with widespread falls of 70 – 120 mm [2.8 to 4.7 inches] expected in the Central Desert and southeastern Tanami Desert. Isolated falls of 180 mm [7.0 inches] could also be possible in places.

Rainfall is expected to increase in the MacDonnell Ranges and southern Barkly during Tuesday with 40 – 100 mm [1.6 to 3.9 inches] daily totals expected into Wednesday. Rainfall extends to the upper Georgina River and Simpson Desert during Wednesday with daily rainfall totals 20 – 80 mm [0.8 to 3.14 inches] expected in many areas.”

Many roads including major transportation routes in the flood watch area can expect to be affected on Mar. 2 and become impassable with some communities and homesteads becoming isolated.

Later today, ex-Tropical Cyclone Esther is expected to move into the northern Tanami District from the west as a strong arc of tropical low pressure.

NASA’s Aqua satellite is one in a fleet of NASA satellites that provide data for hurricane research.

Tropical cyclones/hurricanes are the most powerful weather events on Earth. NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.

For updated forecasts from ABM, visit: http://www.bom.gov.au/

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Esther – South Indian Ocean

Feb. 28, 2020 – NASA Finds Ex-Esther Soaking Australia’s Kimberley Coast

Infrared imagery from NASA’s Terra satellite showed strong storms were soaking parts of Australia’s Kimberley coast on Feb. 28.

The Australia Bureau of Meteorology (ABM) issued a Severe Weather Warning for damaging winds and heavy rainfall for people in parts of Kimberley district. Locations which may be affected include Kununurra, Wyndham, Lake Argyle, Warmun, Mitchell Plateau, Troughton Island and Mount Burnett. ABM cautioned that widespread daily rainfall totals of 50 to 150mm (~2 to 6 inches) with isolated falls 250 to 300mm (~10 to 12 inches) are possible. Ex-Tropical Cyclone Esther may cause damaging winds, averaging 35 to 45 kph (22 to 28 mph) with wind gusts potentially reaching 90 kph (56 mph).

grid with land outlines, half painted with red and green hurricane data
On Feb. 28 at 12:55 a.m. EST (0555 UTC) the MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Terra satellite found coldest cloud top temperatures (yellow) in two areas around Esther’s center of circulation. They were as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 Celsius). One area of strong storms were off the coast and over the Southern Indian Ocean. That area stretched from Kalumburu in the northeast, southwest to off the coast of Prince Regent National Park. The second area of strongest storms were over land, from Prince Regent National Park stretching east to Drysdale River National Park. Credit: NASA/NRL

A Flood Watch has also been issued for parts of the Kimberley District. For further details please refer to http://www.bom.gov.au/wa/warnings/.

Tropical cyclones are made of up hundreds of thunderstorms, and infrared data can show where the strongest storms are located. They can do that because infrared data provides temperature information, and the strongest thunderstorms that reach highest into the atmosphere have the coldest cloud top temperatures. Convection is rising air that condenses and forms the thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone. When it is strong, it pushes clouds higher into the troposphere (the layer of atmosphere closest to Earth’s surface). The higher you go in the troposphere, the colder the air temperature gets, so colder cloud tops indicate stronger, higher storm cloud tops.

On Feb. 28 at 12:55 a.m. EST (0555 UTC) the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Terra satellite found coldest cloud top temperatures in two areas around Esther’s center of circulation. They were as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 Celsius). NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures that cold indicate strong storms with the potential to generate heavy rainfall.

One area of strong storms were off the coast and over the Southern Indian Ocean. That area stretched from Kalumburu in the northeast, southwest to off the coast of Prince Regent National Park. The second area of strongest storms were over land, from Prince Regent National Park stretching east to Drysdale River National Park.

At 3 a.m. EST (4 p.m. AWST) on Feb. 28, the center of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Esther was located about 78 miles (125 km) west of Wyndham. Esther was moving towards the west at about 9 miles per hour (15 kph).

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Esther is expected to continue moving in a westerly direction, through the northern Kimberley during Friday, Feb. 28.

ABM noted that the Severe Weather Warning is likely to extend further to the west and south later on Saturday, Feb. 29 as the Esther moves in a general southwesterly direction through the Kimberley.

Tropical cyclones are the most powerful weather event on Earth. NASA researches these storms to determine how they rapidly intensify, develop and behave. NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.

Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

 

Ferdinand – Southern Indian Ocean

Feb. 28, 2020 – NASA Finds Dry Air Sapping Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand’s Strength  

When NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over the Southern Indian Ocean on Feb. 28, it obtained water vapor data on Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand. The water vapor data indicated the storm was being eaten away by dry air.

NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand on Feb. 28 at 1:55 a.m. EST (0555 UTC) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument gathered water vapor content and temperature information. The MODIS image showed highest concentrations of water vapor and coldest cloud top temperatures had diminished in the last 24 hours, forming a compact area of strong storms around center of circulation. Microwave imagery even suggested an eye in the center.

red/black blob and arc suggest a hurricane on a field of bluegreen data
On Feb. 28 at 1:55 a.m. EST (0555 UTC), NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand, located in the Southern Indian Ocean and off Australia’s Pilbara coast. Aqua found highest concentrations of water vapor (brown) and coldest cloud top temperatures were shrinking around the center. Credits: NASA/NRL

The MODIS water vapor data revealed that small area of strong storms had cloud top temperatures as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). Storms with cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to produce heavy rainfall. There was also a small fragmented band of thunderstorms northeast of the center. The imagery showed dry air moving in from west of the center quelled thunderstorm development and precipitation in the western quadrant of the storm.

Water vapor analysis of tropical cyclones tells forecasters how much potential a storm has to develop. Water vapor releases latent heat as it condenses into liquid. That liquid becomes clouds and thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone. Temperature is important when trying to understand how strong storms can be. The higher the cloud tops, the colder and the stronger the storms.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABM) said on Feb. 28, “Ferdinand is a small tropical cyclone located well north of the Western Australia coast.”

On Friday, February 28 at 8:00 p.m. AWST, ABM said Ferdinand had sustained winds near the center of 95 kilometers (51 knots/59 miles) per hour. Ferdinand is located near 16.2 degrees south latitude and 112.8 degrees east longitude, about 650 kilometers (404 miles) north-northwest of Onslow and 760 kilometers (472 miles) northwest of Port Hedland.

Forecasters at the ABM expect Ferdinand to move further northwest and weaken below tropical cyclone strength over the next 24 hours. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center said Ferdinand is forecast to weaken steadily due to dry air continuing to funnel into the storm, and vertical wind shear persisting. Ferdinand is forecast to dissipate by Sunday, March 1, but could dissipate earlier.

NASA’s Aqua satellite is one in a fleet of NASA satellites that provide data for hurricane research.

Tropical cyclones are the most powerful weather event on Earth. NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.

Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Ferdinand – Southern Indian Ocean

Feb. 27, 2020 – NASA Finds Dry Air Affecting Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand

NASA’s Terra satellite revealed the bulk of Ferdinand’s strong storms were in its eastern quadrant. Dry air is moving into the storm, causing it to weaken.

On Feb. 27, the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Terra satellite provided a visible image of Ferdinand, located in the Southern Indian Ocean, and far off the Pilbara coast of Western Australia. Satellite imagery depicts a rapidly weakening system. A satellite image revealed a well-defined low-level circulation center with limited deep convection over the eastern quadrant of the storm.

On Feb. 27, 2020, the MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Terra satellite provided a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand far off the Pilbara coast of Western Australia. Credit: NASA Worldview

Animated total precipitable water imagery and recent visible imagery indicate a significant amount of dry air is moving into the storm, which is the main factor in the weakening trend. Dry air inhibits development of thunderstorms, which make up tropical cyclones.

At 10 a.m. EST (1500 UTC), Ferdinand had maximum sustained winds near 55 knots (63 mph/102 kph) and continued to weaken. It was centered near 16.9 degrees south latitude and 114.0 degrees east longitude, about 324 nautical miles north of Learmonth, Australia. Ferdinand was moving to the southwest.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasts Ferdinand to continue weaken and move on a westerly track, further away from land.

NASA’s Terra satellite is one in a fleet of NASA satellites that provide data for hurricane research.

Tropical cyclones are the most powerful weather event on Earth. NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.

Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Esther – Southern Pacific Ocean

Feb. 27, 2020 – NASA Follows Ex-Tropical Storm Esther’s Slow Trek

NASA’s Aqua satellite has been tracking the life of now Ex-Tropical Cyclone Esther since it developed in the Gulf of Carpentaria and made landfall on the eastern side of the Northern Territory on Feb. 24. Aqua continues to provide forecasters with imagery of the storm’s slow westerly movement through the Northern Territory.

On Feb. 27, the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible image of Esther that showed the storm’s center of circulation was nearing the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf and the border between the Northern Territory and Western Australia (NT/WA). Ex-Tropical Cyclone Esther’s strongest storms were in the western part of the Northern Territory where it has triggered a flood watch. However, Esther is a large system, so its clouds extended across the entire territory.

On Feb. 27, 2020, the MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible image of Ex-Tropical Storm Esther tracking slowly through Australia’s Northern Territory. Credit: NASA Worldview

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABM)  reported at 7 a.m. EST/9:30 p.m. ACST, Ex-Tropical Cyclone Esther was located over land about 68 miles/110 km west-northwest of Timber Creek and 70 km/43 miles east of the NT/WA border, moving west at about kph/6.2 mph.

ABM said, “The system is expected to continue moving west into the eastern Kimberley region on Friday [Feb. 28] morning. The low is expected to strengthen overnight as it draws in moisture from the Timor Sea.”

ABM cautions heavy rainfall may cause flash flooding over the Gregory and Daly Districts tonight [Feb.27] and Friday morning. Widespread rainfall of 50 to 150 mm/ ~2 to 6 inches with isolated amounts up to 200 mm/7.8 inches are expected, with the heaviest rainfall likely to develop tonight and tomorrow morning. “Damaging winds averaging 50 to 60 kph/31 to 37 mph with peak gusts of around 90 kph/56 mph are possible with thunderstorms in the western Gregory and southwest Daly District.

Areas of heavy rainfall and damaging winds are expected to contract westwards during Friday.”

A Flood Watch is in effect for the Carpentaria, Bonaparte and North West Coastal Rivers. Locations which may be affected include Darwin, Palmerston, Wadeye, Nauiyu, Kalkarindji and Pine Creek.

NASA’s Aqua satellite is one in a fleet of NASA satellites that provide data for hurricane research.

Tropical cyclones are the most powerful weather event on Earth. NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.

For updated forecasts from ABM, visit: http://www.bom.gov.au/nt/warnings/

Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Esther – Southern Pacific Ocean

Feb. 26, 2020 – NASA Tracking Ex-Tropical Cyclone Esther’s March

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Esther continues to march west through Australia’s Northern Territory and NASA’s Aqua satellite provided forecasters with a visible image of the low-pressure system.

On Feb. 26, the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible image of Esther’s clouds. The image showed that as the system weakened it has expanded over the Northern Territory. Clouds extend from the Gulf of Carpentaria in the east, almost reaching the western border shared with Western Australia.

On Feb. 26, 2020, the MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible image of Ex-tropical cyclone Esther’s clouds moving through the Northern Territory of Australia. Credit: NASA Worldview

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABM) noted 9:30 p.m. CST (7 a.m. EST) on Feb. 26, Ex-Tropical Cyclone Esther was located about 100 kilometers (62 miles) east northeast of Victoria River Downs, moving west northwest at about 15 kph (9 mph). The system is expected to continue moving west, moving across the Gregory District during Thursday as a deep tropical low-pressure area.

ABM forecasts heavy rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding to develop over the Gregory and southwest Daly Districts during Thursday. “The risk of widespread heavy rainfall has eased in the Carpentaria and Barkly Districts but isolated thunderstorms are expected to continue.” In addition, ABM noted “Damaging winds are possible with thunderstorms in the western Gregory and southwest Daly District. Locations which may be affected include Wadeye, Kalkarindji, Timber Creek, Daguragu, Palumpa and Peppimenarti.”

The low-pressure area is expected to strengthen further from Thursday afternoon as it draws in moisture from the Timor Sea.

NASA’s Aqua satellite is one in a fleet of NASA satellites that provide data for hurricane research.

Tropical cyclones are the most powerful weather event on Earth. NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.

For updated forecasts from ABM, visit:  http://www.bom.gov.au/nt/warnings/

Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.  

Ferdinand – Southern Indian Ocean

Feb. 26, 2020 – NASA Analyzes Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand’s Water Vapor Concentration 

When NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over the Southern Indian Ocean on Feb. 26, it gathered water vapor data that provided information about the intensity of Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand.

NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand on Feb. 26 at 1:05 a.m. EST (0605 UTC),) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument gathered water vapor content and temperature information. The MODIS image showed highest concentrations of water vapor and coldest cloud top temperatures were around the center of circulation.

On Feb. 26 at 1:05 a.m. EST (0605 UTC), NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand, located in the Southern Indian Ocean and off Australia’s Pilbara coast. Aqua found highest concentrations of water vapor (brown) and coldest cloud top temperatures were around the center. Credits: NASA/NRL

MODIS data also showed coldest cloud top temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius) in those storms. Storms with cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to produce heavy rainfall.

Water vapor analysis of tropical cyclones tells forecasters how much potential a storm has to develop. Water vapor releases latent heat as it condenses into liquid. That liquid becomes clouds and thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone. Temperature is important when trying to understand how strong storms can be. The higher the cloud tops, the colder and the stronger the storms.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABM) noted that no warnings were in effect for Western Australia as Ferdinand remains far from land areas. At 8:57 p.m. WST (7:57 a.m. EST), ABM noted that Severe Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand (Category 3) was located near 16.4 degrees south latitude and 114.8 degrees east longitude, about 530 km (329 miles) north-northwest of Karratha and 620 km (385 miles) north of Exmouth and moving southwest at 7 kilometers (4 miles) per hour. ABM forecasts that Ferdinand will move slowly toward the west-southwest over the next few days and remain well north of the Western Australia mainland. On Thursday, Feb. 27, the Ferdinand is expected to begin a weakening trend and may be below tropical cyclone intensity late in the week or early weekend. No significant impacts are expected over the Western Australia mainland.

NASA’s Aqua satellite is one in a fleet of NASA satellites that provide data for hurricane research.

Tropical cyclones are the most powerful weather event on Earth. NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.

For updates from ABM, visit: http://www.bom.gov.au/

Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Ferdinand – Southern Indian Ocean

Feb. 25, 2020 – NASA-NOAA Satellite Gets an Eye-opening Look at Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand

Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand has strengthened and developed an eye, as confirmed in imagery from NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite.

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard Suomi NPP provided a visible image of Ferdinand and showed that an eye opened as the storm continued to intensify. A thick band of powerful bands of thunderstorms circled the eye.

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite found that Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand has developed an eye as it continued to strengthen in the Southern Indian Ocean on Feb. 25, 2020. Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)

On Feb. 25 at 10 a.m. EST (1500 UTC), the Joint Typhoon Warning Center of JTWC noted that Tropical cyclone Ferdinand was located near 15.8 degrees south latitude and 116.5 degrees east longitude, approximately, 413 nautical miles north-northeast of Learmonth, Western Australia. Ferdinand was moving to the southwest and maximum sustained winds had increased to 90 knots (104 mph/167 kph). That is the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale.

JTWC forecasts that Ferdinand will move southwest and strengthen slightly more before starting to weaken. The storm is then expected to curve to the northwest through the Southern Indian Ocean.

Tropical cyclones are the most powerful weather event on Earth. NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.

Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Esther – Southern Pacific Ocean

Feb. 25, 2020 – NASA-NOAA Satellite Tracks Ex-Tropical Cyclone Esther in Northern Territory

The north central interior area of Australia’s Northern Territory is under warnings for heavy rainfall and gusty winds as Ex-Tropical Cyclone Esther moves on a westerly path. NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over Australia’s Northern Territory and found the remnants of former Tropical Cyclone Esther moving through the north central part of the territory and was blanketing the Carpentaria, Gregory and Barkley regions.

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard Suomi NPP provided a visible image of Esther’s remnants that showed clouds extend from the Gulf of Carpentaria to the east, and stretch to the Gregory district in the central part of the Northern Territory. NPP showed that strong thunderstorms circle the low-level center of circulation and bands of thunderstorms were still feeding into the center from the north and from the east, generating heavy rainfall as the system moves over land.

On Feb. 25, NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over Australia’s Northern Territory and found the remnants of former Tropical Cyclone Esther moving through the north central part of the territory. Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)

At 7 a.m. EST/U.S. (9:30 p.m. CST Australia local time) on Feb. 25, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABM) noted, “Ex-Tropical Cyclone Esther was located about 90 kilometers [55 miles] northeast of Elliott, moving west northwest. The system is expected to continue moving west through the northern Barkly District or southern Carpentaria District overnight and move into the eastern parts of the Gregory District on Wednesday morning as a deep tropical low. Squally thunderstorms and heavy rainfall are likely, particularly close to the system center.”

ABM said that damaging winds are expected over southern Carpentaria District and northern Barkly District tonight, extending to the eastern Gregory District on Wednesday morning. The strongest winds are likely to be associated with squally showers and thunderstorms. In addition, heavy rainfall may lead to flash flooding over the southern Carpentaria and northern Barkly Districts tonight, extending to the eastern Gregory District early on Wednesday. The heaviest rainfalls are likely to be associated with squally showers and thunderstorms. Locations which may be affected include Elliott, Kalkarindji, Larrimah, Daly Waters, Top Springs and Carpentaria District.

Tropical cyclones are the most powerful weather event on Earth. NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.

For updated forecasts from the ABM, visit:  http://www.bom.gov.au

Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Ferdinand – Southern Indian Ocean

Feb. 24, 2020 – NASA Aqua Satellite Sees Tropical Storm Ferdinand Strengthening

Tropical Storm Ferdinand formed in the Southern Indian Ocean and NASA’s Aqua satellite provided forecasters with a visible image of the strengthening storm.

Ferdinand formed on Feb. 23 by 4 p.m. EST (2100 UTC) as Tropical Cyclone 20S. By Feb. 24, it had been renamed Ferdinand.

On Feb. 24, 2020, the MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Ferdinand in the Southern Indian Ocean, far off the coast of Western Australia. Credit: NASA Worldview

On Feb. 24 at 4 a.m. EST (0900 UTC), the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) noted Ferdinand had maximum sustained winds near 55 knots (63 mph/102 kph). At that time, it was located near 14.9 degrees south latitude and 117.5 degrees east longitude about 484 nautical miles north-northeast of Learmonth, Australia.

On Feb. 24 at 4 a.m., EST (0900 UTC), the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible image of Ferdinand that showed strong bands of thunderstorms wrapping into the low-level center. In addition to the visible image, animated enhanced infrared satellite imagery revealed a rapidly consolidating system with a developing central dense overcast feature. A microwave image also revealed an eye feature.

The JTWC forecast calls for Ferdinand to move southwest and peak at 90 knots (104 mph/167 kph) on Feb. 26 before weakening. Ferdinand is not expected to affect mainland Australia as it if forecast to turn west and away from Western Australia.

NASA’s Aqua satellite is one in a fleet of NASA satellites that provide data for hurricane research.

Tropical cyclones are the most powerful weather event on Earth. NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.

Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.