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Hurricane Season 2010: Tropical Storm Abele (Southern Indian Ocean)
12.03.10
 
December 3, 2010

NASA Imagery Sees Tropical Storm Abele's Thunderstorms Displaced by Wind Shear

Tropical Storm Abele on Dec. 3 at as it continues to churn in the open waters of the Southern Indian Ocean. › View larger image
NASA's MODIS instrument onboard the Terra satellite captured this image of Tropical Storm Abele on Dec. 3 at 0721 UTC (2:21 a.m. EST) as it continues to churn in the open waters of the Southern Indian Ocean. Most of the cloud cover appears over the southern and eastern sides of the storm because of strong northwesterly wind shear, while outer bands of thunderstorms are visible to the north and west of the center.
Credit: NASA/NRL
Wind shear is pushing Tropical Storm Abele apart in the Southern Indian Ocean today, and the storm is not expected to survive the weekend in that hostile environment.

On Dec. 2 at 4 p.m. EST, Abele had reached peak wind speed with maximum sustained winds near 75 knots (86 mph) making it a Category One Cyclone. By 0900 UTC (4 a.m. EST) on Dec. 3, Abele's maximum sustained winds were down to 50 knots (57 mph). At that time it was located about 530 nautical miles southwest of the Cocos Islands near 19.5 South and 91.7 East. It was moving southeasterly at 13 mph.

Since Dec. 2, wind shear has increased and Abele's low-level center of circulation has become exposed. NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument onboard the Terra satellite captured an image of Tropical Storm Abele on Dec. 3 at 0721 UTC (2:21 a.m. EST) as it continued to churn in the open waters of the Southern Indian Ocean. Most of the cloud cover associated with Abele appeared over the southern and eastern sides of the storm because of strong northwesterly wind shear, while outer bands of thunderstorms were visible to the north and west of the center. The strongest convection is now located to the southeast of the center of circulation where the largest area of cloudcover appeared in the MODIS image. Cooler sea surface temperatures are also adding to the weakening of the storm.

Abele is forecast to weaken further as the wind shear and cooler waters continue to sap its organization and strength, respectively. Abele is forecast to dissipate over the weekend.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD



December 2, 2010

Tropical Storm Abele Becomes More Powerful

satellite image of Abele › View larger image
NASA's TRMM Satellite noticed strong bands of thunderstorms wrapping into Tropical Storm Abele, signaling that it has become more organized and more powerful in the Southern Indian Ocean.
Credit: SSAI/NASA Hal Pierce
NASA's TRMM satellite noticed strong bands of thunderstorms wrapping into Tropical Storm Abele, signaling that it has become more organized and more powerful in the Southern Indian Ocean.

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite passed directly above tropical cyclone Abele in a remote area of the South Indian Ocean on December 1 at 0702 UTC (2:02 a.m. EST). This rainfall analysis from TRMM's Precipitation Radar (PR) and TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) shows that Abele had become much better organized. Increasingly well defined bands of rainfall spiraling into the center of the storm are an indication that ABLE had intensified.

The TRMM pass over Abele occurred during daylight hours so the rainfall analysis was overlaid on infrared and visible images from TRMM's Visible and InfraRed Scanner (VIRS). TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.

On Dec. 2 at 0600 UTC (1 a.m. EST), Abele's maximum sustained winds were near 60 knots (69 mph). It was about 610 nautical miles west-southwest of Cocos Islands and moving southeastward at 13 mph. Abele is about to run into cooler waters and increased wind shear and is expected to begin weakening in the next day.

Text credit: Hal Pierce, SSAI; Rob Gutro, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center



December 1, 2010

NASA's Terra Satellite Eyes Tropical Storm Abele

Tropical Storm Abele on Dec. 1 at 4 :45 UTC as it churns in the open waters of the Southern Indian Ocean. › View larger image
The MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Storm Abele on Dec. 1 at 4 :45 UTC as it churns in the open waters of the Southern Indian Ocean.
Credit: NASA Goddard/MODIS Rapid Response Team
Tropical Cyclone 3S has been renamed "Tropical Storm Abele" and NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image of it early today.

NASA's Terra satellite flew over the newly renamed storm today, December 1 at 04:45 UTC (Nov. 30 11:45 p.m. EST) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies aboard Terra captured a visible image of the storm. The image showed a rounded area of clouds, with no visible eye. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology is referring to Tropical Storm Abele as "02U."

At 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST), Abele had maximum sustained winds near 40 knots (46 mph). It was located about 675 miles west-southwest of Cocos Island, near 15.3 South and 85.9 East. It was moving south-southeast at 8 mph. Abele is generating 16-foot high waves in the Southern Indian Ocean, and is not threatening any landmasses.

Abele is expected to continue moving on an south-southeasterly track and wind shear (winds that can weaken or tear a storm apart) is beginning to increase. As wind shear increases, Abele will have a difficult time maintaining intensity. Abele is expected to move east of 90 E by Friday and once it gets there, the forecasting responsibilities will then lie with the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia/Perth.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD



November 30, 2010

NASA's TRMM Satellite Sees Heavy Rainfall in Tropical Cyclone 03S

Tropical Cyclone 03S producing moderate to heavy rainfall of over 50mm per hour (~2 inches) in red. › View larger image
TRMM captured rainfall data from Tropical Cyclone 03S and it showed some powerful thunderstorms that were producing moderate to heavy rainfall of over 50mm per hour (~2 inches) in red.
Credit: NASA/SSA, Hal Pierce
Tropical Cyclone 03S showed some thunderstorms that were extending to heights above 15km (~9.3 miles). › View larger image
This vertical cross section through Tropical Cyclone 03S showed that some thunderstorms were extending to heights above 15km (~9.3 miles). The image was created using TRMM satellite data.
Credit: NASA/SSA, Hal Pierce
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone 03S yesterday and data showed heavy rainfall and high, powerful thunderstorms.

Tropical Cyclone 03S is spinning in the open waters for the Southern Indian Ocean today, November 30, and is about 740 miles west of Cocos Island, near 12.6 South and 84.3 East. It has maximum sustained winds near 39 mph and is moving southwest near 7 mph.

The TRMM satellite flew over tropical cyclone 03S November 29 at 1707 UTC (12:07 p.m. EDT). The TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) data collected with this pass showed that this tropical cyclone contained some powerful thunderstorms that were producing moderate to heavy rainfall of over 50mm per hour (~2 inches).Tropical Cyclone 03S is expected to remain a tropical storm while moving harmlessly over the open waters of this remote area of the South Indian Ocean. It is forecast to strengthen then weaken later in the week.

Data from the TRMM satellite's Precipitation Radar (PR) were used to create a 3-D view of 03S. A vertical cross section through 03S showed that some thunderstorms were extending to heights above 15km (~9.3 miles). This important feature of the PR enables TRMM to provide vertical profiles within storms from the surface to about 20km (~12 miles).

TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.

Text Credit: Hal Pierce
SSAI/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD








November 29, 2010

NASA Sees Tropical Cyclone 3 Form in the Southern Indian Ocean

Tropical Cyclone 3's cold cloud tops (purple) captured from NASA's Aqua satellite on Nov. 29 at 07:31 UTC (2:31 a.m. EDT). › View larger image
This infrared image of Tropical Cyclone 3's cold cloud tops (purple) was captured from NASA's Aqua satellite on Nov. 29 at 07:31 UTC (2:31 a.m. EDT). The purple area indicates strong convection and cloud tops as cold as or colder than -63 Fahrenheit, indicating strong thunderstorms.
Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the newly born third tropical cyclone of the Southern Indian Ocean season today and saw strong thunderstorms around its center of circulation.

An infrared image of Tropical Cyclone 3S's cold cloud tops was captured from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite on Nov. 29 at 07:31 UTC (2:31 a.m. EDT). The image showed strong convection and cloud tops as cold as or colder than -63 Fahrenheit, indicating strong thunderstorms.

Infrared satellite imagery also showed that the low level circulation center has consolidated (organized) and has improved convective banding (more organized bands of thunderstorms) this morning.

Tropical Cyclone 3S was located about 700 miles west of Cocos Island, near 11.9 South and 85.0 East. It was packing maximum sustained winds near 39 mph (35 knots) making it a weak tropical storm. It was moving west-southwest at 5 knots (6 mph). It's not threatening any land areas, but is kicking up 10-foot high seas.

The forecast calls for Tropical Cyclone 3S to intensify further, but then increased wind shear is expected to weaken it as it moves southeast. By Thursday, Tropical Cyclone 3S is expected to be located east of 90 East, so the forecast responsibility will fall under the Bureau of Meteorology in Australia.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD