Featured Images

Hurricane Season 2010: Tropical Storm Hubert (Southern Indian Ocean)
03.11.10
 
March 11, 2010

NASA's AIRS instrument captured this infrared view of Hubert's frigid clouds, seen here in blue and purple. > View larger image
NASA's AIRS instrument captured this infrared view of Hubert's frigid clouds, seen here in blue and purple. Purple indicates high and strong thunderstorms with cloud-top temperatures as cold is -63 Fahrenheit.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
AIRS image of Hubert showing half of the storm is over land, and half is still over the Southern Indian Ocean. > View larger image
NASA's AIRS instrument captured this visible image of Hubert showing half of the storm is over land, and half is still over the Southern Indian Ocean earlier today, March 11.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
Hubert's Remnants Still Raining on Southern Madagascar

Hubert may not be a tropical storm now that it has made landfall in southeastern Madagascar, but it's still a formidable and large storm system. NASA's Aqua satellite revealed that there are still some very high, strong thunderstorms in Hubert's remnants as it continues to bring rains and gusty winds to southeast and south-central Madagascar.

NASA's Aqua infrared satellite imagery from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument confirmed that some deep convection (rapidly rising air that creates the thunderstorms that power tropical cyclones) is still occurring in the storm, even though the center is over land.

The infrared image of Hubert captured on March 11 at 1053 UTC (5:53 a.m. ET) and showed some high, cold thunderstorms around the center of the storm, and that the eastern edge of Hubert was still over the Southern Indian Ocean. Hubert is expected to continue moving inland and grow weaker.

At 1 p.m. ET, March 11, heavier rains stretched from the city of Vavtenina southward through the cities of Mahanoro, Nosy Varika, Mananjary and Fianarantsoa. Most of the heaviest rains remained to the east and south of the capital city of Antananarivo.

Residents in southern and central Madagascar can continue to expect some moderate to heavy rainfall from this system over the next couple of days.

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










March 10, 2010

NASA's Aqua satellite captured cold thunderstorm cloud tops of Hubert in this infrared image of March 10 at 5:11 a.m. ET. Hubert's western edge is already raining on Madagascar. > View larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite captured cold thunderstorm cloud tops of Hubert in this infrared image of March 10 at 5:11 a.m. ET. Hubert's western edge is already raining on Madagascar.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
Low Strengthens Into Hubert, Making Landfall in Madagascar

The low that forecasters were watching for development yesterday, March 9, strengthened into Tropical Storm Hubert, and is already making landfall in eastern Madagascar.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured Tropical Storm Hubert's cold thunderstorm cloud tops on March 10 at 5:11 a.m. ET as the western edge of the storm was already raining on eastern Madagascar. The infrared imagery showed two areas where convection was strong in Hubert: the northeastern and southern quadrants of the storm. It is in those two areas that the highest, coldest thunderstorm tops were revealed by AIRS infrared imagery. Those thunderstorm cloud tops were as cold as -63 Fahrenheit!

Hubert has maximum sustained winds near 39 mph (35 knots) and is moving west-southwest near 6 mph (5 knots). At 10 a.m. ET (1500 UTC) on March 10, Hubert was located about 160 nautical miles southeast of the capital city of Antananarivo, Madagascar near 20.9 South and 48.8 East.

As Hubert continues moving inland over the next two days, forecasts for the capital city and other areas in south central Madagascar will continue to experience periods of moderate to heavy rainfall, and gusty winds.

Animated multispectral satellite imagery showed a loss of central convection as Hubert's center moves closer to a landfall. Once Hubert's center is over land, forecasters expect Hubert will quickly fall below tropical storm strength.

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



March 09, 2010

Tropical Cyclone Formation Likely Near Madagascar

AIRS image of System 90S in the Southern Indian Ocean > View larger image
This infrared image from AIRS shows how the high cold clouds (blue) are starting to band, or wrap around the low's center of circulation on March 8 at 5:23 a.m. ET.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
Forecasters are watching a low pressure area located off the east coast of Madagascar that appears ripe for development in the Southern Indian Ocean. If it becomes a tropical storm, it would be named Hubert.

On March 9 the low, currently named "90S" is located near 20.1 South latitude and 50.8 East longitude is approximately 225 nautical miles east-southeast of the capital city of Antananarivo (which is located 145 miles inland from the east coast). The low's winds are estimated to be between 28- 34 mph (25 to 30 knots). The system is moving south-southeastward at 5 mph (4 knots). Minimum sea level pressure is estimated to be near 1000 millibars.

Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that "Formation of a significant tropical cyclone is possible within the next 12 to 24 hours." There are a couple of factors helping this low become tropically organized: warm waters and improved banding of thunderstorms around the storm (indicating circulation and good convection, rapidly rising air that creates thunderstorms).

Animated multispectral satellite imagery shows improved organization with curved convective banding around a low level circulation center. Another satellite showed a tightly wrapped low level center of circulation.

NASA's Aqua satellite flew over 90S on March 8 at 5:23 a.m. ET and captured an infrared image from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument. AIRS infrared instrument measures cloud top and sea surface temperatures and showed that bands of convective thunderstorms are wrapping around 90S's low-level center.

Forecasters believe that the low known as "90S" has a good chance of growing up to become "Hubert."

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