New Cyclone Cliff Forms Over the South Pacific's Warm Waters
After forming in the South Pacific on Tues., Apr. 3, tropical cyclone Cliff is already showing signs of weakening, and is not expected to threaten any major land masses.
At 5:00 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC) on Thurs., Apr. 5, Cliff was located near 21.7 degrees south latitude and 176.8 degrees west longitude, or about 380 miles southeast of Nadi, Fiji. Movement was toward southeast at 10 knots (12 mph) and maximum sustained winds were near 50 knots (58 mph) with gusts to 65 knots (75 mph).
Recent satellite imagery shows the strongest thunderstorms over the southern half of the circulation center. Forecasters believe the cyclone has reached its peak intensity, and will fully dissipate by late Fri., Apr. 6, as it encounters cooler sea surface temperatures and strong wind shear (changing wind speed and direction with height). An area of low pressure near New Zealand is also expected to accelerate Cliff's forward movement over the next day.
Image above: This satellite image of tropical cyclone Cliff, taken at 1:30 a.m. EDT (0530 UTC) on Thurs., Apr. 5, reveals deep, thick clouds (bright white), especially near and to the south of the storm center (red marking). Cliff has a circular rather than symmetrical shape, typical of a weaker storm. Image credit: JTWC/SATOPS