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Hurricane Season 2007: Gamede (Western Pacific)
02.22.07
 
Tropical Cyclone Gamede Nearing Its Demise

Forecasters expect tropical cyclone Gamede to weaken and fully dissipate over the next couple of days as it remains in the open waters of the Indian Ocean.

At 4:00 a.m. EST (0900 UTC) on Fri., Mar. 2, tropical cyclone Gamede was located near 31.7 degrees south latitude and 48.8 degrees east longitude, or about 720 miles south-southwest of the island of La Reunion, and was moving toward the south-southeast at 8 knots (9 mph). Maximum sustained winds were near 50 knots (58 mph), with gusts to 65 knots (75 mph). Wave heights near the storm center were near 22 feet.

Gamede continues to track along the western periphery of a high pressure area that rests to its east. Recent data suggests Gamede is undergoing a rapid extratropical transition, more quickly than forecast. The amount of deep thunderstorms and thick cloud cover has greatly decreased near the storm center. A low pressure system is also developing northwestward from the low level circulation toward the southern coast of Madagascar. As a result, meteorologists now anticipate further weakening and Gamede should become fully extratropical by Sat., Mar. 3.

Satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Gamede
Click image to enlarge

This image of tropical cyclone Gamede was taken by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite at 8:23 a.m. EST (1323 UTC) on Fri., Mar. 2. It shows a top-down-view of rain intensity. Estimated rain rates of 25 to 40 millimeters (0.98 inches to 1.57 inches) per hour were common to the south and west of the center. TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA. Caption credit: Mike Bettwy, RSIS/Goddard Space Flight Center



Gamede Losing Some of Its Punch Near Madagascar

Once posing a threat to the Madagascar coastline, tropical cyclone Gamede has instead remained over the Indian Ocean and is expected to stay away from major land masses through at least Thurs., Mar. 1. Despite some recent weakening, another period of intensification is likely by Wed., Feb. 28.

At 10:00 a.m. EST (1500 UTC) on Tues., Feb. 27, tropical cyclone Gamede was located near 19.8 degrees south latitude and 52.4 degrees east longitude, or about 200 miles west-northwest of the island of La Reunion and was moving toward the south-southwest at 8 knots (9 mph). Maximum sustained winds were near 85 knots (98 mph), with gusts to 105 knots (121 mph).

Recent satellite imagery shows Gamede has lost intensity as thunderstorms near the eye have weakened considerably. The interaction between an area of high pressure near the equator and a trough (elongated region of low pressure) over Madagascar has begun to steer Gamede southward at an accelerated speed. This motion is expected to continue through Thurs., Mar. 1.

As the cyclone moves away from cooler sea surface temperatures, it will briefly intensify on Wed., Feb. 28, before again weakening as it moves into a region with high wind shear (changing wind speed and direction with height) that will alter its overall structure.

Satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Gamede
Click image to enlarge

This photo-like image of tropical cyclone Gamede was taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite at 4:50 a.m. EST (0950 UTC) on Mon., Feb. 26, as the storm was in the western Indian Ocean. At the time, Gamede had sustained winds of 96 knots (110 miles per hour). Image credit: MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption credit: Mike Bettwy, RSIS/Goddard Space Flight Center



Gamede Steadily Gaining Fury in the South Indian Ocean

As tropical cyclone Favio weakens over land, meteorologists are now closely monitoring tropical cyclone Gamede that has strengthened steadily over the past few days and may threaten Madagascar next week.

At 4:00 a.m. EST (0900 UTC) on Fri., Feb. 23, Tropical Cyclone Gamede was located near 16.2 degrees south latitude and 60.0 degrees east longitude, or about 420 miles northeast of the island of La Reunion and was moving toward the west-southwest at 11 knots (13 mph). Maximum sustained winds were near 90 knots (104 mph), with gusts to 110 knots (127 mph). Wave heights near the storm center were about 20 feet.

Forecasters expect Gamede to steadily intensify over the next two days as it remains well-organized and travels into an environment generally favorable for strengthening. An area of high pressure in the mid levels of the atmosphere near Madagascar should continue to steer Gamede westward over open waters through at least Mon., Feb. 26.

Satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Gamede on Feb. 21, 2007.


Tropical Cyclone Gamede was spinning in middle of the Indian Ocean when it was observed by the SeaWinds scatterometer on NASA's QuikSCAT satellite at 8:03 a.m. EST (1303 UTC) on Wed., Feb. 21. At the time, Gamede had maximum sustained winds of 45 knots (52 mph). This satellite records wind speed and direction at an altitude of 10 meters (33 feet) above the ocean’s surface. Wind speed is represented by color in this image, with the strongest winds in purple, and the calmest areas in blue. The barbs indicate both wind direction and rainfall. Areas of heavy rain are marked with white barbs. Gamede appeared as a well formed spiral of winds centered around a strong eye with less wind at its center. Image credit: NASA/JPL. Caption credit: Mike Bettwy, RSIS/Goddard Space Flight Center.



Forecasters Monitoring a New Tropical Cyclone in the Indian Ocean

Forming quickly on the heels of massive tropical cyclone Favio, forecasters are now also busy watching a new storm - Gamede - that is expected to slowly intensify over the next few days.

At 10:00 a.m. EST (1500 UTC) on Wed., Feb. 21, Tropical Cyclone Gamede was located near 14.3 degrees south latitude and 70.0 degrees east longitude, or about 430 miles south-southwest of Diego Garcia and was moving toward the west at 15 knots (17 mph). Maximum sustained winds were near 35 knots (40 mph), with gusts to 45 knots (52 mph).

Recent satellite data indicates the system has become more organized with deep, thick clouds and thunderstorms forming near the center of circulation. As the cyclone travels into an environment with very weak wind shear (changing wind speed and direction with height), it should slowly intensify. By Fri., Feb. 23, intensification may become more robust as atmospheric conditions allow its overall structure and organization to improve.

Satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Gamede on Feb. 21, 2007.


This satellite image of tropical cyclone Gamede, taken at 12:30 a.m. EST (0530 UTC) on Wed., Feb. 21, shows a strengthening storm. Deep, thick clouds (bright white) are clustered near the center (red marking) and the storm appears to be taking on a more symmetric shape, both signs of intensification. Image credit: JTWC/SATOPS. Caption credit: Mike Bettwy, RSIS/Goddard Space Flight Center.

 
 
Mike Bettwy
Goddard Space Flight Center