Featured Images

Text Size

Hurricane Season 2008: Gene (Southern Pacific)
01.28.08
 
Feb. 4, 2008

Tropical Cyclone Gene Poised to Weaken

Tropical Cyclone Gene has caused a lot of problems in the southern Pacific Ocean, but has just spared New Caledonia from it's wrath. The islands of Fiji and Vanuatu, however, were not so fortunate last week as Gene brought flooding and structural damages.

At 9:00 a.m. GMT, or 4:00 a.m. EST, the center of Tropical Cyclone Gene, (also known as Cyclone 15P) was located near 27.4 degrees south latitude and 173.6 degrees east longitude, or 495 miles southeast of Noumea, New Caledonia. Gene had maximum sustained winds of 55 knots (63 mph) with maximum gusts to 70 knots (80 mph). It's creating seas 17 feet higher than normal. Gene is moving southeast at 13 knots (16 mph) and is currently not threatening any landmasses.

Gene is expected to continue weakening over the next 48 hours as it tracks east-southeast into an area of cooler sea surface temperatures and stronger vertical wind shear (winds blowing different directions that can rip a storm apart).

AIRS image of Tropical Cyclone Gene
> Click here for larger image

This image of Gene was created on Feb 4 at 13:53 UTC (8:53 a.m. EST) by data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), an instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite.

This AIRS image shows the temperature of the cloud tops or the surface of the Earth in cloud-free regions. The lowest temperatures (in purple) are associated with high, cold cloud tops that make up the top of Cyclone Gene.

The infrared signal of the AIRS instrument does not penetrate through clouds. Where there are no clouds the AIRS instrument reads the infrared signal from the surface of the Earth, revealing warmer temperatures (red).

Text credit: Rob Gutro/Goddard Space Flight Center



Feb. 2, 2008

Tropical Cyclone Gene Sets Sights on Loyalty Islands

Satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Gene Credit: NASA/JPL
> Larger image
Tropical Storm Gene has created flooding and damage in the island nations of Fiji and Vanatu, and is now moving toward the Loyalty Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean.

On the evening of Jan. 31, New Caledonia authorities raised the alert level for the northeastern Loyalty Islands, where Gene is expected to bring his effects over the weekend of February 2 and 3. Forecasters believe Gene could directly impact of the Loyalty group's islands: Lifou, Mare, Ouvéa, Tiga, located northeast of Grande Terre, the main island.

On Feb. 1 at 600 UTC (1:00 a.m. EST), Gene was located near 20.1 degrees south latitude and 170.7 east longitude, or 270 nautical miles east-northeast of Noumea, New Calendonia. Gene had maximum sustained winds near 90 knots (103 mph) with gusts to 110 knots (126 mph). Gene was moving southeastward at 3 knots (3 mph).

This image of Gene was created on Feb 1 at 1:53 UTC (8:53 p.m. EST, Jan. 31) by data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), an instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite.

This AIRS image shows the temperature of the cloud tops or the surface of the Earth in cloud-free regions. The lowest temperatures (in purple) are associated with high, cold cloud tops that make up the top of Cyclone Gene.

The infrared signal of the AIRS instrument does not penetrate through clouds. Where there are no clouds the AIRS instrument reads the infrared signal from the surface of the Earth, revealing warmer temperatures (red).

Gene's Wrath Felt in Vanuatu and Fiji

Radio New Zealand reported on January 31 that Cyclone Gene damaged houses on the island of Futuna in Vanuatu’s southern region. Prior to that, Gene created flooding and flattened homes in Fiji. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported six deaths in Fiji from Gene's wrath.

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



Jan. 28, 2008

Tropical Cyclone Gene Raining on Fiji in the Southern Pacific

Satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Gene Credit: NASA/JPL
> Larger image
Tropical Cyclone Gene has spun up in the Southern Pacific Ocean and is currrently affecting the island of Fiji.

At 6:00 Zulu Time, or 1:00 a.m. EST on Jan. 28, Tropical Cyclone Gene, also know as "15P" for the 15th cyclone in the southern Pacific Ocean, was packing maximum sustained winds of 45 knots (52 mph) with higher gusts. Gene was located approximately 95 nautical miles northeast of Suva, Fiji at 17.3 degrees south latitude and 178.5 degrees east longitude. Gene has been moving southwestward near 9 knots (10 mph) and is expected to track west-southwestward toward an area of slightly lower ocean heat content, so only a gradual intensification is expected.

Warnings Have Been Posted

A storm warning is now posted for southwestern Viti Levu. Viti Levu is the largest island in the Republic of Fiji, home to a large majority of the Nation's population and the location of Suva, the nation's capital.

A gale warning remains in force the rest of Viti Levu, Beqa, Vatulele, Kadavu, western Vanua Levu, Yasawa and Mamanuca group and nearby smaller islands. The cyclone will pass across Viti Levu tonight and will affect the island of Vanuatu on January 29. Vanuatu is an island nation located west of Fiji.

NASA's Aqua satellite is keeping an eye on Gene. Aqua carries the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument, which captured Gene's clouds 13:30 UTC (8:30 a.m. EST). The AIRS images show the temperature of the cloud tops or the surface of the Earth in cloud-free regions. The lowest temperatures (in purple) are associated with high, cold cloud tops associated with showers and thunderstorms. The infrared signal does not penetrate through clouds. Where there are no clouds the AIRS instrument reads the infrared signal from the surface of the Earth, revealing warmer temperatures (red).

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