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Helen (was 04B Northern Indian Ocean)
November 22, 2013

NASA Sees Cyclone Helen Making Landfall in Eastern India [image-126]

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Cyclone Helen as it was making landfall in eastern India on November 22.

The AIRS instrument, or Atmospheric Infrared Sounder that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite, captured infrared data on Helen on November 21 at 20:05 UTC/3:05 p.m. EST. At that time, Helen had just begun to make landfall and moderate rainfall from the storm's northwestern edge was over the coast. Helen's western cloud cover extended from Kolkata south to Chennai at the time.

By 0900 UTC/4 a.m. EST on November 22, animated multispectral satellite imagery showed a fully-exposed low level circulation as Helen was making landfall near Machillipatnam.

Warnings were still in effect for Andhra Pradesh and rainfall totals of up to 10 inches/~250 mm are possible. The warning also cautioned fishermen to stay in port.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued their final bulletin on Cyclone Helen on November 22 at 0900 UTC/4 a.m. EST. Maximum sustained winds were near 35 knots/40 mph/62 kph at the time of landfall. At that time, Helen was located near 16.2 north latitude and 81.0 east longitude, about 193 nautical miles/222.1 miles/ 357.4 km north-northeast of Chennai, India. Helen was moving to the west at 7 knots/8.0 mph/12.9 kph near Tenali while heading further inland. 

Helen is expected to continue moving westward and dissipate over land in the next day or two.

Text credit:  Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


Nov. 21, 2013 - NASA Sees Tropical Storm Helen Affecting Southeastern India [image-110][image-94]

NASA's Aqua satellite captured visible and infrared imagery of slow-moving Tropical Storm Helen as it was spreading its western clouds over parts of southeastern India on November 21.

On Nov. 21 at 07:55 UTC/2:55 a.m. EDT the MODIS or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Helen that showed clouds in the storm's western quadrant had already spread over eastern India. Two minutes before the MODIS instrument captured the visible image of Helen's clouds, the infrared instrument aboard Aqua called the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument used infrared light to gather data from the storm. The infrared data showed that the strongest thunderstorms with the coldest cloud top temperatures were still off-shore. The stretched around the center from northwest to southwest and wrapped around to the east. Only the bands of thunderstorms in the northern quadrant appeared to be fragmented, which could be a result of that area's interaction with land.

On Nov. 21 at 1500 UTC/10 a.m. EST, Tropical Cyclone Helen was located about 495 nautical miles/569.6 miles/ 916.7 km southwest of Calcutta, India, near 16.1 north and 83.0 east. Helen was moving a little faster than the previous day, now at 4 knots/4.6 mph/7.4 kph to the northwest. Helen's maximum sustained winds had increased slightly to 55 knots/63.2 mph/101.9 kph, and those tropical storm force winds extend out 65 nautical miles/74.8 miles/120.4 km from the center. Helen was also creating maximum wave heights of up to 20 feet/6.0 meters, and causing rough seas along the southwestern coast of India.

As a result of the strong waves and tropical-storm force winds, warnings are in effect for Andhra Pradesh that include: A storm surge of 1 to 1.5 meters/3.2 to 4.9 feet will occur at the time of landfall, Thatched roofs and huts will sustain damage and a call for fisheries to cease operations.  

Helen is expected to weaken as it nears the coast as it moves into cooler waters and continues to battle moderate wind shear. Helen is expected to make landfall near Tenali early on November 22. After landfall, Helen should weaken as it moves west where it is expected to dissipate in a couple of days.

Text credit:  Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


Nov. 20, 2013 - Tropical Cyclone Helen Headed for Landfall in India [image-78]

Tropical Cyclone 04B has strengthened and been renamed "Helen" as it slowly nears landfall in southeastern India.

On Nov. 20 at 1200 UTC/7 a.m. EST, Tropical Cyclone Helen had maximum sustained winds near 50 knots/57.5 mph/92.6 kph. It was centered near 15.5 north and 83.9 east, about 499 nautical miles/574.2 miles/924.1 km south-southwest of Calcutta, India. Helen was crawling to the northwest at 1 knot/1.1 mph/1.8 kph. A mid-level subtropical ridge (elongated area) of high pressure is expected to slowly build east of Helen and steer the storm on a more western track in the next day.   

Current warnings are in effect for fishermen along the coasts of Andhra Pradesh, who are advised to return to shore.

Animated multispectral satellite showed a resurgence of deep convection over the low-level center of circulation. Satellite data also showed that the band of thunderstorms that appeared strong to the north has weakened and become fragmented. Visible/short wave infrared data from ESA's METEO-7 satellite and rainfall data from NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite was combined at the Naval Research Laboratory to create a composite image of the storm on Nov. 20. The image showed the clouds associated with Helen were mostly still over the open waters of the Arabian Sea, and that south of the center, light rainfall was occurring. 

Helen is expected to intensify to 60 knots/69.0 mph/111.1 kph over the next two days and weaken before landfall.  Helen is forecast to pass just south of the Yelichetladibba Palem and Nachugunta Reserved Forests in Andhra Pradesh, located in the coastal plain of Krishna Delta. Helen is expected to make landfall in the vicinity of Chinnaganjam in southeastern India.

Text credit:  Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


Nov. 19, 2013  - Tropical Cyclone 04B Forms in Northern Indian Ocean [image-51]

The fourth tropical cyclone of the Northern Indian Ocean season formed and is headed for landfall in a couple of days in southeastern India. NASA's TRMM satellite saw broken bands of thunderstorms with moderate rainfall in the northern and eastern quadrants of Tropical Cyclone 04B on Nov. 19.

Tropical Cyclone 04B was located just 180 nautical miles south-southeast of Visakhapatnam, India near 15.0 north and 84.5 east at 1500 UTC/10 a.m. EST on Nov. 19. 04B had maximum sustained winds near 35 knots/40 mph/64 kph and is moving to the west at 8 knots/9.2 mph/14.8 kph.

Satellite imagery showed that the low-level center is organized and there is convection (building thunderstorms) flaring around the storm's center and there is broken bands of thunderstorms around the northern quadrant of the storm. TRMM satellite data showed rainfall rates were as high as 1.2 inches/30.4 mm per hour.

A microwave image from Nov. 19 at 1058 UTC/5:58 a.m. EST showed that the cyclone is well-defined and has curved bands of thunderstorms along the western quadrant.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center or JTWC expects 04B to track slowly west slowly intensify before making landfall in India as a tropical storm. The JTWC expects landfall between Ongole south to Nellore, both cities in the southern India state of Andhra Pradesh late on Nov. 21.

Text credit:  Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Image Token: 
[image-36]
Cyclone 04B
NASA's TRMM satellite saw broken bands of thunderstorms with moderate rainfall (yellow, orange) in the northern and eastern quadrants of Tropical Cyclone 04B on Nov. 19, 2013 in this image overlaid on ESA's METEO-7 Satellite.
Image Credit: 
NRL/NASA/ESA
Image Token: 
[image-51]
TRMM and METEO combined on this image of Helen
Visible/short wave infrared data from ESA's METEO-7 satellite and rainfall data from NASA's TRMM satellite was combined to create this image of Tropical Cyclone Helen on Nov. 20.
Image Credit: 
NRL/NASA/ESA
Image Token: 
[image-78]
AIRS image of Helen
NASA AIRS infrared data on Tropical Cyclone Helen showed that the strongest thunderstorms with the coldest cloud top temperatures (purple) were still off-shore on Nov. 21.
Image Credit: 
NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
Image Token: 
[image-94]
MODIS image of Helen
On Nov. 21 at 07:55 UTC the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Cyclone Helen over eastern India.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
Image Token: 
[image-110]
AIRS image of Helen
The AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured infrared data on Helen as it flew overhead on November 21 at 20:05 UTC/3:05 p.m. EST. Helen's western cloud cover (yellow) extended from Kolkata south to Chennai at the time.
Image Credit: 
NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
Image Token: 
[image-126]
Page Last Updated: November 22nd, 2013
Page Editor: Lynn Jenner