Science and Technology News

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hurricane Season 2010: Tropical Cyclone 3S (Southern Indian Ocean)

NASA Sees Tropical Cyclone 3 Form in the Southern Indian Ocean

This infrared image of Tropical Cyclone 3's cold cloud tops (purple) was captured from NASA's Aqua satellite on Nov. 29 at (). The purple area indicates strong convection and cloud tops as cold as or colder than -63 Fahrenheit, indicating strong thunderstorms.
Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the newly born third tropical cyclone of the Southern Indian Ocean season today and saw strong thunderstorms around its center of circulation.

An infrared image of Tropical Cyclone 3S's cold cloud tops was captured from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite on Nov. 29 at (). The image showed strong convection and cloud tops as cold as or colder than -63 Fahrenheit, indicating strong thunderstorms.

Infrared satellite imagery also showed that the low level circulation center has consolidated (organized) and has improved convective banding (more organized bands of thunderstorms) this morning.

Tropical Cyclone 3S was located about 700 miles west of Cocos Island, near 11.9 South and 85.0 East. It was packing maximum sustained winds near 39 mph (35 knots) making it a weak tropical storm. It was moving west-southwest at 5 knots (6 mph). It's not threatening any land areas, but is kicking up 10-foot high seas.

The forecast calls for Tropical Cyclone 3S to intensify further, but then increased wind shear is expected to weaken it as it moves southeast. By Thursday, Tropical Cyclone 3S is expected to be located east of 90 East, so the forecast responsibility will fall under the Bureau of Meteorology in Australia.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

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