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Bakung (Southern Indian Ocean)
December 16, 2014

[image-96]NOAA-NASA's Suomi NPP Satellite Watching Cyclone Bakung's Remnants

The remnants of Tropical Cyclone Bakung continue to linger in the Southern Indian Ocean, and NOAA-NASA's Suomi NPP (Suomi NPP) satellite is one satellite keeping an eye on the storm for possible re-development. 

On Dec. 16, the remnant low pressure area formerly known as Bakung was centered near 7.4 south longitude and 83.8 east latitude. That's about 670 nautical miles (771 miles/1,241 km) east of the coral atoll known as Diego Garcia. The atoll is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory.

At 07:31 UTC (2:31 a.m. EST) NOAA-NASA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Bakung's remnants and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard captured a visible picture of the storm. The VIIRS instrument revealed fragmented thunderstorms southeast and northwest of the ill-defined and elongated low-level center of circulation.

Suomi NPP's job is to collect environmental observations of atmosphere, ocean and land for both NOAA's weather and oceanography operational missions and NASA's research mission to continue the long-term climate record to better understand the Earth's climate and long-term trends.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) noted that surface winds are estimated between 20 and 25 knots (23.0 and 28.7 mph/37.0 and 46.3 kph, and sea level pressure is near 1007 millibars.  JTWC gives this low pressure area a low chance for development. 

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


[image-69]Dec. 15, 2014 - NASA Catches Tropical Cyclone Bakung's Remnants

Tropical Cyclone Bakung ran into adverse conditions in the Southern Indian Ocean that weakened it to a remnant low pressure system when NASA's Aqua satellite spotted it on Dec. 15.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard Aqua captured a visible picture of Bakung's elongated remnants on Dec. 5 at 08:05 UTC (3:05 a.m. EST). The storm appeared to be stretched out from west to east in the visible image. 

The last advisory on the tropical cyclone came on Dec. 13 when the storm was still a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds near 35 knots (40 mph/62 kph), but weakening. Bakung was located near 9.1 south longitude and 89.6 east latitude or about 466 nautical miles (536 miles/863 km) west-northwest of Cocos Islands. It was still moving to the west-northwest at 8 knots (9.2 mph/14.8 kph).

By Dec. 15 the remnants still showed some low-level circulation but it was poorly defined. Bakung's remnant low pressure area was centered near 9.6 south longitude and 85.5 east latitude, 690 nautical miles (794 miles/1,278 km) west of Cocos Island. Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) noted that an analysis of the upper-level of the troposphere (the layer of atmosphere closest to Earth where weather occurs) showed unfavorable conditions with vertical wind shear blowing as strong as 30 to 40 knots (34 mph/55 kph to 46 mph/74 kph).

The JTWC gives Bakung a low chance of redeveloping in the  next day.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


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Dec. 12, 2014 - NASA's Watches Tropical Cyclone Bakung Over Open Ocean

Tropical Cyclone Bakung is moving in a westerly direction over the open waters of the Southern Indian Ocean and NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of the sea storm.

Aqua passed over Bakung on Dec. 12 at 07:35 UTC (2:35 a.m. EST) and the MODIS instrument aboard took a visible image of the storm. The image showed that deeper convection (stronger currents of rising air that form the thunderstorms that make up the tropical cyclone) was occurring around the low-level center of circulation, so the center was not apparent in the MODIS imagery. The bulk of the clouds associated with Bakung, however, were over the southeasterly quadrant as a result of low to moderate northwesterly vertical wind shear.

By 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST), Bakung was located near 9.7 north longitude and 92.4 east latitude, nor 1,214 nautical miles (1,397 miles/2,248 km) east of Diego Garcia. Diego Garcia is a coral atoll located in the south central Indian Ocean. It is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory/

Bakung was moving to the west-southwest at 6 knots (6.9 mph/11.1 kph) and is expected to continue in that general direction over the next several days.  Bakung's maximum sustained winds were near 40 knots (46 mph/74 kph). The cyclone is expected to slowly intensify over the next couple of days, nearing hurricane-force by Dec. 16 while remaining over open ocean.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

MODIS image of Bakung
NASA's Aqua satellite saw Tropical Cyclone Bakung in the Southern Indian Ocean on Dec. 12, 2014.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
Image Token: 
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MODIS image of Bakung
NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Bakung on Dec. 15 at 08:05 UTC (3:05 a.m. EST).
Image Credit: 
NASA/NRL
Image Token: 
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NPP VIIRS image of Bakung's remnants
NOAA-NASA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Bakung's remnants on Dec. 16 at 07:31 UTC (2:31 a.m. EST) and the VIIRS instrument captured this image of it.
Image Credit: 
NOAA/NASA/NRL
Image Token: 
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Page Last Updated: December 16th, 2014
Page Editor: Lynn Jenner