Science and Technology News

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hurricane Season 2011: Tropical Storm Anthony (Southwestern Pacific)

NASA's TRMM Satellite Sees Moderate Rains in Tropical Cyclone Anthony

NASA's TRMM Satellite identified light to moderate rainfall in Tropical Cyclone Anthony as it continues to pull away from Queensland, Australia today. Forecasters are watching Anthony however, it is expected to do a U-turn in the Coral Sea and head back.

On Sunday, Tropical cyclone Anthony formed 190 nautical miles (218 miles/351 km) east-northeast of Cairns, Australia. That's when the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite flew over the tropical cyclone and noticed light to moderate rainfall around the center of Anthony's center of circulation, falling between .78 and 1.57 inches (20 and 40 mm) per hour. Early this morning, Monday, January 24 Anthony was already 420 nautical miles (483 miles/777 km) east of Cairns, Australia, out in the Coral Sea.

At 1500 UTC on January 24, Anthony had maximum sustained winds near 35 knots (40 mph/64 km) making it a tropical storm. It was located about 820 nautical miles (943 miles/1,519 km) east-southeast of Cairns, Australia near 19.3 South and 160.1 East.

An infrared satellite image from an Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) instrument showed convective banding of thunderstorms wrapping into Anthony's center from the northeastern quadrant today. AMSU is a multi-channel microwave radiometer installed on meteorological satellites. A version of AMSU flies on NASA's Aqua satellite. The instrument examines several bands of microwave radiation from the atmosphere to perform atmospheric sounding of temperature and moisture levels. The image also showed deep convection (rapidly rising air that condenses and forms the thunderstorms that power a tropical cyclone) reconsolidating over the low-level center of the storm indicating that the storm is maintaining strength or strengthening.

Strong vertical wind shear currently extends into the Coral Sea where Anthony is located which is expected to limit any strengthening. Anthony is expected to make a U-turn and head west in the next day as a ridge (elongated area) of high pressure takes over steering the storm and forecasters in Australia are keeping a close eye on the storm.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
This article was sponsored by Police Technology.

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