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Amara (Southern Indian Ocean)
December 23, 2013

NASA Sees Tropical Cyclone Amara Spinning Down [image-188]

Tropical Cyclone Amara ran into wind shear, and dropped from Category four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale to a minimal tropical storm on December 23.

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Amara in the Southern Indian Ocean on Dec. 21 at 0940 UTC/4:50 a.m. EST when it was still at cyclone force and had an eye. 

On December 23 at 1500 UTC, Amara's maximum sustained winds dropped to near 35 knots/40 mph/62 kph. It was located near 22.8 south latitude and 68.7 east longitude, about 657 nautical miles east-southeast of Port Louis, Mauritius. Amara was moving to the east at 5 knots/5.7 mph/9.2 kph.

Amara has ceased to qualify as a tropical cyclone and it is expected to become a remnant low pressure area in the next day or two.

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

 

 

 


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Dec. 20, 2013 - NASA Satellites See Tropical Cyclone Amara Affecting Rodrigues Island

When NASA's Terra satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Amara on December 20, its western quadrant was already moving over Rodrigues Island, Mauritius. Warnings are already in effect for the island, where residents are expecting hurricane-force winds.

A Class 3 tropical cyclone warning was in effect for the island on Dec. 20 and 21 as Amara brings heavy rains, hurricane-force winds, and strong storm surge to the island. Rodrigues Island is part of the Republic of Mauritius, and is located in the Southern Indian Ocean.  

The MODIS instrument, also known as Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, that flies aboard NASA's Terra captured a visible image of Amara that showed the western edge of the storm's clouds had already moved over Rodrigues Island at 06:10 UTC/1:10 a.m. EST. The MODIS image also revealed an eye that was more cloudless than the day before.

At 0900 UTC/4 a.m. EST on December 20, Amara's maximum sustained winds were near 110 knots/126.6 mph/203.7 kph. It was centered near 18.3 south latitude and 65.3 east longitude, about 565 miles/650.2 miles/1,046 km east-northeast of La Reunion Island. Amara was just 68 miles/110 km north of Rodrigues Island. It was moving to the west-southwest at 6 knots/6.9 mph/11.1 kph and generating wave heights up to 32 feet/9.7 meters. For updated Rodrigues Island warnings (in French or Creole only), visit the Mauritius Meteorological Services website: http://metservice.intnet.mu/cyclone-bulletin-french-rodrigues.php

Amara is expected to be at its closest approach Rodrigues Island on December 21 and curve southeast while its eye remains just east of the island. Amara will start to weaken as it turns southeast. The tropical cyclone is then expected to dissipate after 4 to 5 days.

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

 

 


Dec. 19, 2013 - NASA Sees Heavy Rain Continue in Tropical Cyclone Amara [image-36]

NASA's TRMM satellite saw heavy rainfall was happening in Tropical Cyclone Amara on December 16, and still occurring on December 19, although it moved from east to southeast. Warnings are already in effect for Mauritius' Rodrigues Island.

NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite can measure rainfall rates from space, and that's what it has been doing over Tropical Cyclone Amara since it was born. On Dec. 16, at 2043 UTC/3:43 p.m. EST TRMM data showed scattered bands of moderate to heavy rain falling at a rate of over 76.9 mm/3 inches per hour spiraling into Amara's center. Cloud tops reached 13 km/8 miles high near the center and eastern side.

[image-126]On Dec. 19 at 0441 UTC, the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. combined TRMM satellite rainfall data with a visible image of Amara's clouds from Japan's METEO-7 satellite to provide a complete picture of the storm. The image revealed that the heaviest rain was falling southeast of the center at 1.6 inches/40 mm per hour.

By 0900 UTC/4 a.m. EST, Tropical Cyclone Amara's maximum sustained winds were near 105 knots/120.8 mph/194.5 kph, making it hurricane-strength. Amara was still about 740 nautical miles east-northeast of La Reunion Island, centered near 17.2 south latitude and 68.3 east longitude.

Amara does, however, threaten Rodrigues Island. The Mauritius Meteorological Service or MMS has already put a cyclone class 2 warning in effect for Rodrigues Island. The island is part of the Republic of Mauritius and is located about 350 miles/560 kilometers east of Mauritius.

Amara was moving to the west-southwest at 9 knots and over the next several days is expected to take a more southern route. Occasional showers from Tropical Cyclone Amara are likely on Dec. 20 at night (local time) and will become more frequent, according to the MMS. MMS warns that sustained winds can be expected between 18.6 to 24.8 mph / 30 to 40 kph with gusts to 68.3 mph/75 kph. Amara is also expected to generate rough seas and ocean swells. Maximum significant wave heights can reach 9.1 meters/30 feet.

Amara was moving to the west-southwestward at 9 knots/10.3 mph/16.6 kph. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects Amara to continue moving slowly west-southwestward while it remains in a weak steering environment, moving between two deep layer subtropical ridges (elongated areas of high pressure). 

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


Dec. 19, 2013 - NASA Catches Tropical Cyclone Amara's Stretched Out Eye [image-94][image-110]

Tropical Cyclone Amara's eye appeared elongated on satellite imagery from NASA on December 18.

Tropical Cyclone Amara is spinning in the Southern Indian Ocean along with Tropical Cyclone Bruce, and both share elongated shapes. Even Amara's 10 nautical-mile-wide eye appeared stretched out. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument took a visible picture of the storm on December 18 at 09:05 UTC/4:05 a.m. EST that showed that the eye was also cloud-filled. The MODIS image also showed bands of thunderstorms were wrapping into the center of circulation from the northeast and southwest.

At 0900 UTC/4 a.m. EST on December 18, Amara's maximum sustained winds had increased to 80 knots/92.0 mph/148.2 kph. Amara was centered near 16.0 south latitude and 70.5 east longitude, about 543 nautical miles/624.9 miles/1,006 km south of Diego Garcia. Amara has tracked to the west at 3 knots/3.4 mph/5.5 kph. 

Amara is in an environment of low wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures that will allow it to continue to intensify, even rapidly. Amara is moving between two subtropical ridges (elongated areas) of high pressure. In three days Amara is forecast to encounter increasing wind shear which will weaken the system. High pressure is also expected to build south of Amara, which should slow it down and bring in cooler, drier air, which will also weaken the tropical cyclone. 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Dec. 17, 2013 - NASA Satellites Get Double Coverage on Newborn Tropical Cyclone Amara [image-51][image-78]

System 93S strengthened into the third tropical depression of the Southern Indian Ocean cyclone season, which quickly became a tropical storm named Amara. NASA's TRMM and Aqua satellites flew overhead shortly after formation and provided visible and rainfall data on the intensifying storm.

Amara's maximum sustained winds were near 35 knots/40 mph/62 kph on December 17 at 0900 UTC/4 a.m. EST. Amara was located near 15.6 south latitude and 72.0 east longitude, about 500 nautical miles/575.4 miles/926 km south of Diego Garcia. Amara is crawling to the northwest at 1 knot/1.1 mph/1.8 kph, because it is moving between two sub-tropical ridges (elongated areas) of high pressure.  The storm's course is forecast to change, however, as a new steering influence comes into play.

NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite captured data on rainfall rates occurring in Tropical Cyclone Amara on Dec. 17 at 05:52 UTC/12:52 a.m. EST. TRMM saw heavy rain occurring around the center and northwestern quadrant of the tropical storm. Rainfall rates in those areas topped 50 mm/2 inches per hour.

Over two hours later, NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the storm from its orbit in space. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument captured a visible image of newborn Tropical Cyclone Amara at 08:20 UTC/3:20 a.m. EST that revealed the storm had good circulation.

Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center or JTWC noted that the banding structure of thunderstorms around the system remains tightly curved, while the 35-knot/40 mph/62 kph winds are concentrated in the northeast quadrant.

In four days, by December 21, a strong mid-latitude trough, or elongated area of low pressure is expected to pass south of the cyclone and slow it down and cause it to dip toward the southwest. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects that Tropical Cyclone Amara will continue to strengthen over the next 5 days reaching hurricane-strength by December 22 as it nears La Reunion Island. Residents of La Reunion Island should closely monitor the progress of Tropical Cyclone Amara. 

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

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TRMM satellite on Dec. 16, at 2043 UTC showed scattered bands of moderate to heavy rain falling at a rate of over 76.9 mm/3 inches per hour spiraling into Amara's center. Cloud tops reached 13km/~8 miles high near the center and eastern side.
Image Credit: 
NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
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[image-36]
MODIS image of Amara
NASA's Aqua satellite captured this visible image of newborn Tropical Cyclone Amara in the Southern Indian Ocean on Dec. 17 at 08:20 UTC/3:20 a.m. EST.
Image Credit: 
NRL/NASA
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TRMM image of Amara
NASA's TRMM satellite captured this image of rainfall rates occurring in Tropical Cyclone Amara on Dec. 17 at 05:52 UTC/12:52 a.m. EST, and heavy rain (red) was happening in the center and northwestern quadrants.
Image Credit: 
NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
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MODIS image of Amara
NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of Tropical Cyclone Amara in the South Indian Ocean on Dec. 18 at 09:05 UTC/4:05 a.m. EST and revealed the storm's cloud-filled, elongated eye.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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AIRS image of Amara
NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of Tropical Cyclone Amara in the South Indian Ocean on Dec. 18 at 09:05 UTC/4:05 a.m. EST and showed powerful thunderstorms (purple) around the storm's eye.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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TRMM image of Amara
This image of Amara combines TRMM satellite rainfall data and clouds from Japan's METEO-7 satellite on Dec. 19. Heaviest rain was southeast of the center at 1.6 inches per hour.
Image Credit: 
NASA/JAXA/NRL
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MODIS image of Amara
NASA's Terra satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Cyclone Amara in the Southern Indian Ocean on Dec. 20 at 06:10 UTC.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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AIRS image of Amara
This false-colored infrared image of Tropical Cyclone Amara was taken on Dec. 19 at 20:41 UTC from the AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite. The purple indicates the highest, coldest cloud top temperatures with areas of heavy rainfall.
Image Credit: 
NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
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MODIS image of Amara
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Amara in the Southern Indian Ocean on Dec. 21 at 0940 UTC/4:50 a.m. EST when it was still at cyclone force and had an eye.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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Page Last Updated: December 23rd, 2013
Page Editor: Lynn Jenner