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Lusi (Southern Pacific Ocean)
March 14, 2014

[image-158]NASA Sees an Extra-Tropical Lusi North of New Zealand

NASA's Aqua satellite caught an infrared picture of Tropical Cyclone Lusi after it transitioned into an extra-tropical storm, north of New Zealand. Gale Warnings are in effect in Northern New Zealand.

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Lusi on March 13 at 13:41 UTC/9:41 a.m. EDT and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument captured infrared data on the storm that revealed it had become a cold-core system. When a storm becomes extra-tropical and its core changes from warm to cold, the strongest winds spread out and the storm expands.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued their final bulletin on Lusi on March 13 at 2100 UTC/5 p.m. EDT. At that time, Lusi's maximum sustained winds were still near 50 knots/57.5 mph/92.6 kph. Lusi was centered near 26.7 south and 173.2 east, about 476 nautical miles/547.8 miles/881.6 km southwest of Suva, Fiji and the extra-tropical storm was moving to the south-southwest at 15 knots/17.2 mph/27.7 kph.

On March 14, the New Zealand Meteorological Service noted that Lusi had picked up speed to 35 kph. Lusi's current track is expected to bring the storm just to the northwest of North Cape around midday Saturday, March 15.

The Brett coastal forecast issued at 4:25 a.m. on Saturday, March 15 (local time)  includes a Gale Warning as the Met service expects "southeast winds of 45 knots/51.7 mph/83.3 kph turning northeast late morning and easing to 35 knots/40.2 mph/64.8 kph this evening. High sea easing. Northeast swell rising to 4 meters/13.1 feet. Poor visibility in heavy rain. "

The Met Service expects Lusi  to move southward over the ocean west of the North Island on March 15 and early on March 16 (local time) then cross the South Island to  just east of Canterbury Sunday night . For updates on the extra-tropical storm, visit: http://www.metservice.com/national/home

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


[image-142]Mar. 13, 2014 - NASA Sees Wind Shear Affecting Tropical Cyclone Lusi

Tropical Cyclone Lusi is battling vertical wind shear that has been pushing the bulk of precipitation away from its center. NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of the storm that showed the strongest thunderstorms were being pushed away from the center. 

On March 12 at 22:25 UTC/6:25 p.m. EDT, The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Lusi in the South Pacific Ocean. The image showed a concentration of thunderstorms just south of the center of circulation.

On March 13 at 0900 UTC Tropical Cyclone Lusi was at hurricane-force with maximum sustained winds near 65 knots/74.8 mph/120.4 kph. Lusi was centered near 24.2 south latitude and 173.9 east longitude, about 406 nautical miles/467.2 miles/751.9 km southwest of Suva, Fiji. Lusi is moving to the southeast at 17 knots/19.5 mph/ 31.4 kph.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that animated multispectral satellite imagery showed Lusi started to weaken as the deep convection has been pushed south of the center from vertical wind shear. The storm's low-level center still appears to be tightly wrapped, however.

Lusi is expected to track south for the next several days into cooler waters which will continue to weaken it, and help transition it into an extra-tropical storm.

The New Zealand Meteorological Service has already issued a watch for heavy rains from Lusi. Lusi is expected to move just west of the North Island on Saturday, March 15 before crossing the South Island late Sunday, March 16. The Met Service expects rain and easterly winds to start affecting northern New Zealand late in the day on Friday, March 14 and then expand.

According to the Watch, heavy rain can be expected in Northland, Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula late Friday or Saturday, and for Bay of Plenty and northern Gisborne on Saturday. For updated watches and warnings, visit: http://www.metservice.com.

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


[image-126]Mar. 12, 2014 - NASA Sees Tropical Cyclone Lusi Over Vanuatu

Tropical Cyclone Lusi reached hurricane force as NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead early on March 12.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Lusi that showed the storm's western quadrant affecting Vanuatu on March 12 at 02:05 UTC. In the MODIS image, Lusi had the distinct comma shape of a mature tropical cyclone, however no eye was visible. However, animated multispectral satellite imagery does show a ragged eye with tightly curved bands of thunderstorms wrapping into it.

At 11 a.m. EDT/1500 UTC on March 12, the Vanuatu Meteorological Service's forecast noted "Heavy rain and thunder with flooding associated with [Tropical Cyclone] Lusi will continue to affect Shefa and Tafea provinces. Gale to storm clockwise winds for Shefa and Tafea province, while fresh trades prevail elsewhere." A Severe Weather Warning remained in effect that noted showers and thunderstorms with heavy rainfall is expected over Northern and Central Islands with inland winds of 40km/h to 50km/h. Flash flooding is also expected over low lying areas and areas close to the river banks. For updates from the Vanuatu Met Service, visit: http://www.meteo.gov.vu.

On March 12 at 0900 UTC/5 a.m. EDT, Tropical Cyclone Lusi's maximum sustained winds were at 65 knots/74.8 mph/120.4 kph. Tropical-storm-force winds extend out about 80 nautical miles/92.0 miles/148.2 km from the center. Lusi was centered near 18.2 south latitude and 171.5 east longitude, about 395 nautical miles/454.6 miles/ 731.5 km west of Suva, Fiji. Lusi is moving to the southeast at 13 knots/14.9 mph/24.0 kph.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast calls for Lusi to intensify to 75 knots and then start to weaken on March 13 as it continues moving southward. Lusi is then expected to start transitioning into an extra-tropical storm.

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


[image-94][image-110]Mar. 11, 2014 - NASA Eyes Two Tropical Cyclones East of Australia

NASA's Aqua and TRMM satellites have been providing rainfall data, cloud heights and temperature and other valuable information to forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center as they track Tropical Cyclones Hadi and Lusi in the South Pacific.

NASA's Aqua satellite captured both storms in one infrared image on March 10 at 14:47 UTC/10:47 a.m. EST. At that time, Hadi was near the east Queensland coast while Lusi was several hundred miles north of New Caledonia. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument captured infrared data that was used to create a false-colored image at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The AIRS image showed that cloud top temperatures in weakening tropical cyclone Hadi were not as cold as those in strengthening tropical storm Lusi. Hadi also appeared to be almost a quarter of the size of Lusi on the infrared imagery.

NASA and JAXA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite captured data on rainfall rates occurring in both storms on March 10. The TRMM satellite when it flew above tropical storm Hadi on March 10, 2014 at 0528 UTC. TRMM found that almost all heavy rainfall with Hadi was located in the Coral Sea well off the northeastern coast of Australia.

By 0900 UTC/5 a.m. EST on March 11, Tropical Cyclone Hadi weakened to depression status. Maximum sustained winds had dropped to 25 knots/28.7 mph/46.3 kph. Hadi was about 306 nautical miles/352.1 miles/566.7 km east of Cairns, Queensland, Australia, near 17.2 south latitude and 151.2 east longitude. Hadi was moving to the north-northwest at just 4 knots/4.6 mph/7.4 kph.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center or JTWC noted that animated multispectral satellite imagery showed that the low-level circulation center became fully exposed and away from the deep convection. When JTWC did an analysis of the upper-level atmosphere they learned that mid- to upper-level wind shear had increased, which is what pushed the convection and thunderstorms away from the center of the storm.

The JTWC noted that there is a possibility that that the remnants will re-organized over the next day as it continues moving to the north-northwest.

Meanwhile Tropical Cyclone Lusi isn't experiencing wind shear issues. At 0900 UTC/5 a.m. EST on March 11, maximum sustained winds were near 50 knots/57.5 mph/92.6 kph with higher gusts. Lusi is located near 16.4 south and 168.2 east, near Vanuatu. It is centered about 362 nautical miles/416.6 miles/670.4 km north-northeast of Noumea, New Caledonia. Lusi is moving to the southeast at 6 knots/6.9 mph/11.1 kph. 

A tropical cyclone watch was in force on March 11 in the Solomon Islands for Temotu, Makira, Rennell and Bellona, Malaita and southern Guadalcanal provinces. Warnings continued for Vanuatu with gale force wind warnings still in effect for Malampa, Penama and Shefa provinces

Lusi is expected to strengthen to 75 knots/86/3 mph/138.9 kph in the next day and a half before becoming extra-tropical north of New Zealand.

Text credit:  Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


[image-51][image-78]Mar. 10, 2014 - NASA Satellites Eye Troublesome Tropical Cyclone Lusi

Tropical Cyclone Lusi has spawned warnings and watches in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and New Zealand as it moves through the South Pacific Ocean. NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites provided visible and infrared views of the storm that revealed it has become better organized.

NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Lusi over Vanuatu on March 9 at 23:30 UTC. The image showed towering thunderstorms surrounded the center and northwestern quadrants of the storm. 

The next day at 02:17 UTC, NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Lusi and captured infrared data on the storm that showed the thunderstorms rose high into the troposphere. The strongest thunderstorms had cloud top temperatures as cold as -63F/-52C.  Multispectral satellite imagery showed that Lusi continued to consolidate and strong thunderstorms continue to develop. Those thunderstorms are wrapping into the center of circulation. 

NASA and JAXA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite provided a microwave look at Lusi at 05:31 UTC/1:31 a.m. EST and showed the system continues to consolidate. TRMM data showed bands of strong thunderstorms had wrapped tightly around the center, and that the bulk of the deep convection is within the storm's northwestern quadrant.

Lusi has spawned several watches and warnings. In the Solomon Islands a tropical cyclone watch is in effect for Temotu, Makira, Rennell and Bellona, as well as the southern Guadalcanal and Malaita provinces.

In Vanuatu, gale force winds were expected to continue to affect Torba, Sanma, Penama and Malampa Provinces on March 10 and 11 as the storm pushes south. The Vanuatu Meteorological Service expects very rough seas and heavy swells throughout Vanuatu. They noted that heavy rainfall and flooding are also expected over low lying areas and areas close to river banks on March 10. For further updates from the Vanuatu Meteorological Services, visit: http://www.meteo.gov.vu.

Farther south, New Zealand is already anticipating effects from Lusi. The Met Service of New Zealand noted in their discussion on March 10, that once Lusi moves closer "it could bring a spell of wet and windy weather especially to parts of northern New Zealand by the weekend." For further updates from the New Zealand Met Service, visit: http://www.metservice.com/

On March 10 at 0900 UTC/5 a.m. EST, Tropical Cyclone Lusi had maximum sustained winds near 45 knots/51.7 mph/84.4 kph. It was centered near 15.0 south latitude and 166.7 east longitude, about 433 nautical miles/498.3 miles/801.9 km north of Noumea, New Caledonia. Lusi was moving to the west-southwest at 4 knots/4.6 mph/7.4 kph.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects Lusi to run into cooler waters and increasing vertical wind shear that will help weaken the storm and transition it into an extra-tropical storm.

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

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MODIS image of Lusi
NASA's Terra satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Cyclone Lusi over Vanuatu on March 9 at 23:30 UTC.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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AIRS image of Lusi
On March 10 at 02:17 UTC, NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Lusi and the AIRS instrument captured infrared data on the storm that showed the thunderstorms (with cloud top temperatures as cold as -63F/-52C) rose high into the troposphere.
Image Credit: 
NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
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TRMM Image of Lusi
Tropical storm Lusi was located near Vanuatu when TRMM flew overhead on March 10, 2014 at 0532 UTC. TRMM found rain falling over 89 mm/3.5 inches per hour northwest of Lusi's center, and near the center rain was falling at over 57mm/2.2 inches per hour.
Image Credit: 
SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
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AIRS image of Lusi and Hadi
NASA's Aqua satellite captured both storms in one infrared image on March 10 at 14:47 UTC. Hadi was near the east Queensland coast while Lusi was several hundred miles north of New Caledonia.
Image Credit: 
NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
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MODIS image of Lusi
The MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Cyclone Lusi's western quadrant affecting Vanuatu (top left) on March 12 at 02:05 UTC. Credit:
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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MODIS image of Lusi
On March 12 at 22:25 UTC/6:25 p.m. EDT, NASA's Terra satellite captured this image of Tropical Cyclone Lusi in the South Pacific Ocean.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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AIRS image of extra-tropical Lusi
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Lusi on March 13 at 13:41 UTC and infrared data revealed it had become a cold-core system.
Image Credit: 
NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
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Page Last Updated: March 14th, 2014
Page Editor: Lynn Jenner