Riley (Southern Indian Ocean)

Jan. 28, 2019 – Satellite Sees Tropical Cyclone Riley Pushing Further from Australia

Tropical Cyclone Riley continued to move west in the Southern Indian Ocean, and move away from Western Australia. NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite provided a visible image of the storm.

Suomi NPP Image of Riley
NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over the Southern Indian Ocean and captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Riley on Jan. 28, 2019. Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS).

Suomi NPP passed over Riley on Jan. 28 and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument provided a visible image of the storm. The VIIRS image showed a rounded area of storms in the northwestern quadrant of the storm. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) noted “A microwave image indicated the bulk of the deep convection is confined to the northwest quadrant with tightly-curved shallow banding wrapping into a defined low-level circulation center.”

On January 28, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology noted that “Tropical Cyclone Riley lies over open waters well to the northwest of the west Pilbara coast. Riley is forecast to move towards the west southwest over the coming days, continuing on its path away from the Western Australia mainland.” At 10 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC), Riley was near 18.4 degrees south longitude and 108.9 east latitude, about 375 nautical miles northwest of Learmonth, Western Australia. Maximum sustained winds were near 60 knots

Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that Riley will track west-southwest and will continue to weaken. Riley is expected to dissipate within 3 days.

By Rob Gutro 
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Riley (Southern Indian Ocean)

Jan. 22 – 24, 2019 – Tropical Cyclone Riley Triggers Australia Warnings

System 94S developed about 240 miles west-northwest of Darwin, Australia on Jan. 22, 2019. The next day, it had strengthened into a tropical cyclone, and was named Riley. NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite provided a look at Riley when it was closest to Australia.

Suomi NPP Image of Riley
On Jan. 24, 2018, NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over Riley on Jan. 23 at 1:18 a.m. EST (0518 UTC). The VIIRS instrument aboard captured a visible image that showed the storm off the northwest coast of Western Australia. The storm had taken on the comma shape of a developed storm, and the southern quadrant of the storm was lashing the coast.

When it developed on Jan. 22, the low pressure area known as System 94S had sustained winds near 35 kilometers per hour. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABM) posted a Cyclone Watch for the northwest Kimberley coast on that day.

On January 23, the ABM said Tropical Cyclone Riley continues tracking west, away from Kimberley coast. But the Tropical Cyclone Watch continued for the Pilbara coast. There was also a Blue Alert in effect for people between Whim Creek and Onslow including the towns of Roebourne, Wickham, Point Samson, Karratha, Dampier and Onslow.

On Jan 23, Riley had maximum sustained winds near 85 kph. It was centered near 17.0 degrees South and 119.5 degrees East, approximately 310 kilometers west northwest of Broome and it was moving west.

ABM said at the time “Tropical Cyclone Riley is expected to continue moving west southwest over open water, parallel to the Pilbara coast, throughout Friday and during the weekend. The cyclone may intensify to Category 2 overnight, and possibly to Category 3 on Friday to the north of the Pilbara coast. If the system takes a more southerly track then gales may develop along the Pilbara coast from Saturday morning.”

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Desmond (Southern Indian Ocean)

Jan. 20 – 21, 2019 – NASA Analyzes Water Vapor in Tropical Storm Desmond Near Mozambique

NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a look at the water vapor content within Tropical Storm Desmond as it was approaching landfall in Mozambique from the Mozambique Channel.

Aqua image of Desmond
NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Desmond in the Southern Indian Ocean on Jan. 21 and highest concentrations of water vapor (brown) and coldest cloud top temperatures were around the center and storms were already affecting Mozambique. Credits: NASA/NRL

Tropical Cyclone Desmond formed in the Southern Indian Ocean on January 20, 2019 as Tropical Depression 10S. It strengthened into a tropical storm later that day.

On January 21 at 4 a.m. EST (0900 UTC) Tropical cyclone Desmond was located near 20.1 degrees south latitude and 38.1 degrees east longitude, about 172 miles northwest of Europa Island. It was moving to the north-northwest and had maximum sustained winds near 35 knots (40 mph/65 kph). Desmond is moving toward Mozambique.

On Jan. 21 at 6:55 a.m. EST (1155 UTC) the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured imagery of water vapor within Desmond. MODIS saw coldest cloud top temperatures were as cold as minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius) in those areas. 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 they are.

The image showed that the western side of Desmond was already bringing rain and gusty winds over the coast of Mozambique as it moved toward a landfall.

Desmond moved northwest in the Mozambique Channel and made landfall in central Mozambique on Jan. 21 around 4 p.m. EDT (2100 UTC).

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

01W (Northwestern Pacific Ocean)

Jan. 05 – 22, 2019 – A Short-lived Tropical Depression 01W

Satellite imagery showed that Tropical depression 01 fizzled on January 6 after triggering a tropical storm watch on Jan. 5 for Mili, Ailinglaplap, Majuro, Kwajalein and Jaluit.

Aqua image of 01W
On Jan. 7 at 0200 UTC (Jan. 6 at 9 p.m. EST), the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a visible image of the dissipating storm. Credit: NASA/NRL

Tropical Depression 01W formed on Jan. 4 near 4.8 degrees north latitude and 174.0 east longitude, about 217 miles southeast of Majuro, Marshall Islands.

On Jan. 6 at 10 a.m. EST (1500 UTC) the Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued their final bulletin on 01W. At that time it was near 5.6 north latitude and 173.6 east longitude, about 169 miles east-southeast of Majuro. Maximum sustained winds dropped to 20 knots as it neared the Marshall Islands.

01W had weakened and no longer qualified as a tropical cyclone.

On Jan. 7 at 0200 UTC (Jan. 6 at 9 p.m. EST), the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a visible image of the dissipating storm.

On January 8, the storm was reduced to a remnant low pressure area located 190 miles south of Majuro. 01W continued to linger in the Northwestern Pacific as a low pressure area, struggling to regenerate. A week later, on January 15, the low pressure area was still hanging around!  The Joint Typhoon Warning Center still gave 01W a medium chance to regenerate. On that date, it was located about 160 miles south of Chuuk.

Five days later, 01W was still hanging around and was 305 nautical miles east-northeast of Manila, Philippines. It was close enough to the country that it was given the name Amang, and triggered warnings. At 4 a.m. EST (0900 UTC) warnings were posted for the remnants of tropical cyclone 01W.

Tropical cyclone warning signal #1 was in effect for the Visayas provinces of Northern and Eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran, Leyte.  Signal #1 was also in effect for the Luzon provinces of Sorsogon and Masbate, including Ticao Island. On Jan. 22, the warnings had been dropped and the remnants from System 01W were near 12.0 degrees north latitude and 125.5 degrees east longitude, about 302 nautical miles east-southeast of Manila.

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Pabuk (Northwestern Pacific Ocean)

Jan. 01 – 05, 2019 – NASA Caught Tropical Storm Pabuk in the Gulf of Thailand

Tropical Storm Pabuk formed and faded in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean. Pabuk was captured by NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP Satellite when it was a tropical storm in the Gulf of Thailand.

Suomi NPP image of Pabuk
NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Storm Pabuk on Jan. 3, 2019 in the Gulf of Thailand. Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS).

Tropical depression 36W formed 354 miles southeast Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam on Jan 1. By January 3 it strengthened into a tropical storm and was renamed “Tropical Storm Pabuk.”

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Storm Pabuk on Jan. 3, 2019 in the Gulf of Thailand. The image, taken from the VIIRS instrument showed the center of Pabuk’s circulation in the central Gulf as its western quadrant extended over the Malay Peninsula, while the eastern quadrant brought clouds over southwestern Cambodia.

On Jan. 3 at 4 a.m. EST (0900 UTC) Tropical Storm Pabuk was centered near 6.0 degrees north latitude and 104.8 degrees east longitude. It was about 287 miles south of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam and moving to the west. Maximum sustained winds were 35 knots (40 mph/65 kph). At that time, Pabuk was forecast to move west, later northwest into the Gulf of Thailand, and will peak at 50 knots (57 mph/92 kph).

On Jan. 4, Pabuk was approaching landfall on the Malay Peninsula.  The storm traversed the Malay Peninsula, and dissipated in the Bay of Bengal on Jan. 5.

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Mona (Southwestern Pacific Ocean)

Jan. 03 – 07, 2019 – NASA Caught Tropical Cyclone Mona Near Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Mona formed north of Fiji and triggered warnings. NASA’s Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of the storm providing cloud top temperatures.

Aqua image of Mona
On Jan. 3, 2019 at 12 a.m. EST (0500 UTC) NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over the Southern Pacific Ocean and the MODIS instrument captured an infrared image of Tropical Cyclone Mona. MODIS found some very powerful thunderstorms with cloud tops as cold as minus 90 degrees Fahrenheit (green). Credit: NASA/NRL

On Jan. 3, 2019, Regional warnings went into effect. A tropical cyclone alert was in force for Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Lau and Lomaiviti group of islands.

On Jan. 3 at 4 a.m. EST (0900 UTC), Tropical cyclone Mona was located near 12.6 degrees south latitude and 178.2 degrees east longitude, about 330 miles north of Suva, Fiji. Mona was moving to the south and had maximum sustained winds near 35 knots (40 mph/65 kph). Mona is threatening Fiji.

On Jan. 3, 2019 at 12 a.m. EST (0500 UTC) NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over the Southern Pacific Ocean and the MODIS instrument captured an infrared image of Tropical Cyclone Mona. MODIS found some very powerful thunderstorms with cloud tops as cold as minus 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

On Jan. 4, Mona continued tracking toward Fiji and a tropical cyclone alert remained in place for the Yasawa group, Vanua Levu, Taveuni and the rest of Fiji.

On Jan. 7, a tropical cyclone alert was in force for Vatoa and Ono-I-Lau. Mona’s maximum sustained winds were near 40 knots. At that time, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that Mona is veering round to the southwest, through the eastern parts of the Fijian archipelago. The system dissipated later that day.

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Penny (Southwestern Pacific Ocean)

Late Dec. 2018 – Jan. 08, 2019 – Tropical Storm Penny Tracked Through Southwestern Pacific Ocean

Several satellites provided imagery on Tropical Storm Penny in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean. NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of the storm after it developed an eye.

Suomi NPP image of Penny
On January 3, 2019 Suomi NPP captured an image of Tropical Cyclone Penny in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean. Penny had developed an eye.  Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)

Tropical cyclone Penny / 08P formed in late December, 2018 and It strengthened into a tropical storm. By January 3, 2019 at 4 a.m. EST (0900 UTC) Penny had strengthened to 40 knots. It was located near 15.0 degrees south latitude and 153.7 degrees east longitude, about 470 miles east-northeast of Cairns, Australia. Penny was moving to the east-southeast.

On January 3, 2019 Suomi NPP captured an image of Tropical Cyclone Penny in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean. Penny had developed an eye as it was moving across the Coral Sea.

The next day at 4 a.m. EST (0900 UTC) Penny’s maximum sustained winds increased to 50 knots.  By January 7, at 10 a.m. EST (1500 UTC) Penny was 347 miles east-southeast of Cairns, Australia and winds had decreased to 50 knots. Penny was moving west across the Coral Sea and on January 8, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued the final warning on the system as it was dissipating.

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

35W (Northwestern Pacific Ocean)

Dec. 26 – 29, 2018 – NASA Finds Soaking Storms in 35W that Affected the Philippines

 Tropical Depression 35W brought heavy rainfall and flooding to the Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions of the Philippines in late December 2018. Infrared imagery from NASA’s Aqua satellite found very cold cloud top temperatures in 35W, indicating powerful rain-making storms.

MODIS image of 35W
On Dec. 26, 2018 at 12:10 p.m. EST (1710 UTC) NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and the MODIS instrument captured an infrared image of Tropical Depression 36W. MODIS found some very powerful thunderstorms with cloud tops as cold as minus 90 degrees Fahrenheit (green). Credit: NASA/NRL

Locally in the Philippines, Tropical Depression 35W was known as Usman. On Dec. 26, Tropical Depression 35W had triggered warnings in the Philippines. Tropical cyclone warning signal #1 was in force in Eastern Samar in the Visayas region. At 10 a.m. EST (1500 UTC) 35W was located near 10.0 degrees north latitude and 130.6 degrees east longitude, about 627 miles east-southeast of Manila, Philippines. 35W was moving to the west and at that time had maximum sustained winds near 25 knots (28.7 mph/46.3 kph).

On Dec. 26, 2018 at 12:10 p.m. EST (1710 UTC) NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and the MODIS instrument captured an infrared image of Tropical Depression 35W. MODIS found some very powerful thunderstorms with cloud tops as cold as minus 90 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 67.7 degrees Celsius). NASA research has shown that cloud tops with temperatures that cold can generate very heavy rainfall.

On Dec. 27 at 4 a.m. EST (0900 UTC), Tropical Depression 35W was about 579 nautical miles east-southwest of Manila, Philippines. It was centered near 10.4 degrees north latitude and 129.9 degrees east longitude. 35W was moving west-northwest and maintained maximum sustained winds near 25 knots (28.7 mph/46.3 kph).

Philippines warnings were expanded on Dec. 27 to include: Tropical cyclone warning signal # in the Luzon provinces of Romblon, Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Masbate and Ticao Island; in the Visayas provinces of Eastern and Northern Samar as well as Samar, Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte and northern Cebu including Camotes Islands, Aklan, Capiz, northern Iloilo and northern Negros Occidental; and in the Mindanao province of Dinagat Island

35W moved west and made landfall on Dec. 29. It crossed the central Philippines where it dropped heavy rainfall, and created flooding and landslides. 61 people were reported killed from the flooding on Dec. 31. Tropical Depression 35W moved into the South China Sea where it dissipated.

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Cilida (Southern Indian Ocean)

December 21, 2018 – Satellite Sees Tropical Cyclone Cilida North of Mauritius

Tropical Cyclone Cilida appeared as a large and powerful hurricane on imagery from NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite on Dec. 21. Cilida is located north of the island of Mauritius in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Suomi NPP Image of Cilida
NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over the Southern Indian Ocean on Dec. 21 and captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Cilida north of the island of Mauritius. Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)

Mauritius has posted warnings for the approaching storm. A tropical cyclone warning Class 2 is in force in Mauritius, and a class 1 warning in Rodrigues.

Suomi NPP passed over Cilida on Dec. 21 and the VIIRS instrument provided a visible image. The VIIRS image showed Cilida continued to intensify rapidly. The VIIRS image showed an eye surrounded by powerful storms. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center or JTWC noted, satellite imagery shows the system continued to rapidly intensify as it maintained a 10 nautical mile wide eye and rain bands that wrapped tightly into the center.

At 10 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) Tropical Cyclone Cilida was located near 15.1 degrees south latitude and 57.7 degrees east longitude. That’s about 301 nautical miles north of Port Louis, Mauritius. Cilida is moving to the south-southwest and has maximum sustained winds near 135 knots (155 mph/250 kph). Cilida is a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

JTWC forecasters expect Cilida will move south, later southeast as it strengthens to 140 knots after today. Peak intensity will occur as the storm passes between Mauritius and Rodrigues Island. In four days, the storm should transition into an extra-tropical cyclone and rapidly weaken.

For updates from the Mauritius Meteorological Services, visit: http://metservice.intnet.mu/current-cyclone.php

By Rob Gutro 
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Kenanga (Southern Indian Ocean)

December 21, 2018 – NASA’s GPM Satellite Examines Weakening Tropical Cyclone Kenanga

Tropical Cyclone Kenanga is now on a weakening trend and NASA’s GPM core satellite provided a look at the rainfall and cloud heights within the storm.

GPM image of Kenanga
GPM observed powerful storms south of Kenanga’s center on Dec. 20, still producing very heavy rainfall at the rate of 214 mm (8.4 inches) per hour in that area. The rainfall in the northern half of the storm had decreased significantly. The storm tops of the eyewall which had remained intact on the western side of the cyclone were reaching heights of 12.7 km (7.9 miles). Credit: NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce

On December 20, 2018, NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core observatory satellite passed over the Tropical Cyclone Kenanga and captured the storm beginning to weaken as predicted.  The GPM satellite had an excellent view of the Kenanga when the tropical cyclone’s maximum sustained winds were at 90 knots (103.5 mph).  GPM’s pass showed the eye of the storm, visible the day before, had since filled in.

GPM’s instruments including the Microwave Imager (GMI) and the Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) revealed that the powerful storms south of Kenanga’s center are still producing very heavy rainfall at the rate of 214 mm (8.4 inches) per hour in that area.  The rainfall in the northern half of the storm had decreased significantly. This GPM 3-D view of Kenanga is looking southwest and was derived by the DPR Ku Band of the radar on the satellite. It showed extremely powerful storms south of Kenanga’s deteriorating eye were returning very strong reflectivity values which help to map the severity of the storm and the rainfall totals.  The storm tops of the eyewall which had remained intact on the western side of the cyclone were reaching heights of 12.7 km (7.9 miles).

GPM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA.

On Dec. 21 at 10 a.m. EST (1500 UTC) Tropical Cyclone Kenanga was located approximately 672 nautical miles southeast of Diego Garcia and has tracked westward. Maximum sustained winds dropped to 60 knots (69 mpg/111 kph), so it is now a tropical storm.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center predicts that Kenanga will continue to weaken rapidly as the dry air within the storm gets colder and heavier causing downdrafts. It is the dry air higher aloft that contributes to stronger convective wind gusts and therefore stronger storms. Kenanga is forecast to dissipate in the next 72 hours as it tracks within the northeast periphery of Tropical Cyclone Cilida.

By Hal Pierce/Lynn Jenner
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center