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Hurricane Season 2010: Tropical Storm Jal (N. Indian Ocean)
11.10.10
 
November 10, 2010

NASA Infrared Data Shows Warmer Clouds as Jal Falls Apart

AIRS captured an infrared image of clouds (blue) from the remnants of tropical cyclone Jal on Nov. 10. › View larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite's AIRS instrument captured an infrared image of clouds (blue) from the remnants of tropical cyclone Jal on Nov. 10 at 08:59 UTC (3:59 a.m. EDT) and the thunderstorms were weaker and limited to a small area. AIRS imagery showed that convection in the system is waning.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
Warmer cloud temperatures in infrared satellite data are signs that a tropical cyclone is losing its energy and that's what an instrument onboard NASA's Aqua satellite revealed in today's image of the remnants of tropical cyclone Jal. However, Jal's remnants continue to generate some rain over the state of Gujarat in western India.

Cloud top temperatures indicate the strength of the storm to forecasters. The colder the cloud top temperatures, the stronger the convection (rapidly rising air that forms the thunderstorms that power a tropical cyclone) and uplift. When cloud top temperatures rise (warm up), as they did in Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) imagery captured on Nov. 10 at 08:59 UTC (3:59 a.m. EDT) it indicates the storm is weakening because there's not as much power in the rising air to form thunderstorms.

Today's AIRS image showed that remnants of tropical cyclone Jal's highest clouds as a small area over the state of Gujarat. Gujarat is located in western India and borders the Arabian Sea.

The Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) of Indianoted that the center of Jal's remnants are located near 20.5 North latitude and 70.0 East longitude. It is generating "broken and intermittent rainfall" over the Arabian Sea and the state of Gujarat today.

The images from AIRS showed that although the remnants of Jal are maintaining a structure they do not show much convection. Currently there are no expectations that Jal will regenerate and it appears to be losing its punch.

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



November 9, 2010

NASA Watching Jal's Remnants in the Arabian Sea for Possible Rebirth

On Nov. 9 the strongest convection and thunderstorms are now occurring to the west of the center of circulation. › View larger image
The AIRS instrument captured this infrared image of Cyclone Jal's remnants on Nov. 9 at 1:30 p.m. local time/India that showed the strongest convection (purple) and thunderstorms are now occurring to the west of the center of circulation over the open waters of the Arabian Sea.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
Visible image of Cyclone Jal's remnants on Nov. 9; it appears that there is circulation occurring in this image. › View larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite captured this visible image of Cyclone Jal's remnants off the coast of Mumbai, India on Nov. 9. It appears that there is circulation occurring in this image.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
Infrared and visible imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite today hinted that the low pressure area formerly known as Cyclone Jal may have new life soon. Jal has emerged into the warm waters of the Arabian Sea after crossing India this past weekend.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument that flies onboard Aqua captured infrared and visible images of Jal's remnants on Nov. 9 at 1:30 p.m. local time/India.

Today's AIRS imagery hints that circulation is still occurring in Jal's remnants. The circulation was particularly apparent in the AIRS visible image. The AIRS infrared satellite image showed that the strongest convection and thunderstorms are now occurring to the west of the center of circulation and over the open waters of the Arabian Sea.

At 900 GMT (4 a.m. EST) on Nov. 9, the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Jal was over the waters of the eastern Arabian Sea. The Arabian Sea is located in the northwestern part of the Indian Ocean and covers a total area of about 1,491,000 square miles.

Relative to land and the nearest city in India, Jal's remnant low was about 70 miles east-southeast of Mumbai near 17.4 North and 71.9 East. Mumbai is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra and is located on India's west coast. It is the most populous city in India with 14 million residents.

The forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center are monitoring Jal's remnants for possible regeneration later today.

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









November 8, 2010

NASA Sees Tropical Depression Jal's Remnants Entering and Leaving India

Tropical Cyclone Jal on Nov. 7 as it was making landfall and its eastern half was still in the Bay of Bengal. › View larger image
NASA's Terra satellite flew over Tropical Cyclone Jal at 05:30 UTC (1:30 a.m. EDT) on Nov. 7 as it was making landfall and its eastern half was still in the Bay of Bengal.
Credit: NASA/MODIS Rapid Response Team
Photo from Nov. 5 of Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India a day before Jal's effects started to reach the area. › View larger image
This photo was taken on Nov. 5 of evening sky over Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India a day before Tropical Cyclone Jal's effects started to reach the area.
Credit: S.S./"friend of NASA"
This image of Tropical Cyclone Jal was captured as its center was moving into the Arabian Sea. › View larger image
This infrared image of Tropical Cyclone Jal's cold thunderstorm cloud tops was captured from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite on Nov. 7 at 20:41 UTC as its center was moving into the Arabian Sea. Strongest thunderstorms (purple) remained over land.
Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
Jal was a tropical storm when it made landfall this weekend on the east coast of India and tracked across the country while weakening into a remnant low pressure area. NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of Jal's center as it was entering eastern India and NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image as it was departing the country.

This weekend, Tropical Cyclone Jal made landfall in east central India and crossed the northern coast of Tamil Nadu and southern coast of Andhra Pradesh, north of Chennai. It dropped heavy rainfall and created some flooding. Gusty winds were also reported.

NASA's Terra satellite flew over Tropical Cyclone Jal at 05:30 UTC (1:30 a.m. EDT) on Nov. 7 just as it was making landfall and its eastern half was still in the Bay of Bengal.

In the southern coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh evacuations occurred before Jal made landfall. Fortunately, Jal weakened before it made landfall near Chennai.

On Nov. 7 at 1800 UTC (11:30 p.m. local time/India) Tropical Cyclone Jal was about 20 nautical miles north-northeast of Chennai, India near 13.4 North and 80.4 East. It was moving west-northwest near 11 mph and its maximum sustained winds were down to 39 mph (minimum tropical storm-force).

On Sunday, November 7 at 6 p.m. EDT (4:30 a.m. local time/India on Nov. 8) a weather observer in Mahabaleshwar, India (located on the west side of India) emailed NASA and reported gusty winds from Tropical Cyclone Jal had been occurring for two hours even though its center was located near the east coast. Jal weakened into a tropical depression and heavy rainfall moved into Mahabaleshwar as Jal continued moving inland.

Mahabaleshwar is a city and a municipal council in Satara district in the Indian state of Maharashtra, located in the Western Ghats range.

On Monday, Nov. 8 at 2:30 a.m. local time/India, Jal's center was still over land and clouds on is eastern extent were over the Arabian Sea. Jal was centered 25 miles north of Hospet, Karnataka, India.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of Tropical Cyclone Jal's cold thunderstorm cloud tops on Nov. 7 at 20:41 UTC (7:11 a.m. local time/India on Nov. 8) as its center was moving into the Arabian Sea. At that time, some of the strongest thunderstorms remained over land in western India.

By 8 a.m. EDT (6:30 p.m. local time/India) Nov. 8, the same weather observer who emailed NASA on Nov. 7 reported that the remnants of Jal had not cleared yet. He reported that the entire day was overcast and there were some sprinkles.

The remnants of tropical cyclone Jal are moving into the northeastern Arabian Sea so forecasters are watching it for possible regeneration.

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



November 5, 2010

NASA Sees Moderate Rainfall in Tropical Storm Jal's Fringes as it Nears India Landfall

Combination image from the MeteoSat-7 and with the precipitation radar data from NASA's TRMM satellite. › View larger image
This combination satellite image has a visible image from the MeteoSat-7, combined with the precipitation radar data from NASA's TRMM satellite. TRMM's flight overhead captured rainfall in the northwestern edge of Tropical Storm Jal, and showed rain rates between .2 (blue) and 1.0 inches (orange) per hour.
Credit: JTWC/NRL/NASA
Tropical Storm Jal, formerly known as System 99W continues to intensify in the Bay of Bengal and is headed for a landfall in eastern India this weekend. NASA's TRMM satellite captured a look at the rainfall rates on the fringes of the storm and found those to be light-to-moderate, but the forecast calls for Jal to intensify over the next day or two.

In a combination satellite image from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) on the morning of Nov. 5, light-to moderate rainfall was occurring on the northwestern edge of Tropical Storm Jal. JTWC combined a visible image from the MeteoSat-7 with precipitation radar data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite. TRMM's flight overhead captured rainfall in the northwestern edge of Tropical Storm Jal, and showed rain rates between 0.2 and 1.0 inches per hour. TRMM is managed by NASA and the Japanese Space Agency JAXA.

On Nov. 5 at 1500 UTC (8:30 p.m. local Asia/Kolkata time), Tropical Storm Jal had maximum sustained winds near 45 knots (52 mph) with higher gusts. Jal's center was about 450 nautical miles east-southeast of Chennai, India near 9.7 North and 86.7 East. It wsa moving west-northwest near 10 mph.

Tropical Storm Jal is dealing with moderate easterly wind shear, which is inhibiting intensification. However, the vertical wind shear is forecast to weaken in the next two days as Jal nears landfall. The other factor that affects Jal's strength is the warm waters in the Bay of Bengal. The waters are warmer than the 80 degree Fahrenheit (27 Celsius) threshold needed to maintain a tropical storm.

The Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre (RSMC) in New Delhi, India is the forecast authority for India, and has issued cyclone warnings. The RSMC's bulletin on Nov. 5 noted "Rain/thundershower[s] would occur at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy [rain]falls over north coastal Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south coastal Andhra Pradesh from morning of Nov. 6. The intensity would increase with heavy to very heavy [rain]falls at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls (‚Č•25 cm) over north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema from morning of Nov. 7."

The RSMC warns that tropical-storm force winds reaching 55-65 kmph (34-40 mph) with higher gusts will be experienced along and off North Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and the southern Andhra Pradesh coast from the morning Nov. 6. The RSMC also noted that winds may increase up to hurricane-strength at120-130 kmph (74-80 mph) during landfall and ocean conditions will be very rough along coastal areas.

The RSMC expects Tropical Storm Jal to move west-northwestwards and cross north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coasts between Puducherry and Nellore close to Chennai by the evening of Nov. 7 After the system makes landfall, it is forecast to dissipate over interior India.

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



November 4, 2010

Northern Indian Ocean's System 99W Has Strong Thunderstorms in NASA Imagery

System 99W's clouds have already reached Sri Lanka (blue) and has strong convection and thunderstorms. › View larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite AIRS instrument captured an infrared image of System 99W's clouds (right) on Nov. 4 at 07:53 UTC 3:53 a.m. EDT. The western extent of System 99W's clouds have already reached Sri Lanka (blue). System 99W has strong convection and thunderstorms (in purple) in its center that were as cold as -63F.
Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
Infrared satellite imagery of System 99W in the Northern Indian Ocean today shows some strong convection around the center of the storm as it continues moving toward Sri Lanka.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of System 99W's clouds on Nov. 4 at 07:53 UTC (3:53 a.m. EDT). The clouds in the center of System 99W were as cold as or colder than -63 Fahrenheit, indicating strong convection and thunderstorms. The western extent of System 99W's clouds have already reached Sri Lanka.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center is the organization that forecasts tropical cyclones in that region, and has noted that "formation of a significant tropical cyclone is possible within 200 nm either side of a line from 8.2 North and 94.0 East to 8.8 North and 87.1 East within the next 12 to 24 hours."

Maximum sustained winds are between 25 and 30 knots, and satellite data indicated that the center of circulation appears to be near 8.0 North and 92.7 East. That's about 790 miles east-southeast of Chennai, India.

System 99W is moving westward near 14 mph (12 knots) and NASA satellites are watching the storm for further development.

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



November 3, 2010

NASA's TRMM Satellite Sees Tomas' Power Fluctuate

Tomas' center of circulation wasn't evident on Nov. 3 so a tropical storm symbol was overlaid to show its location. › View larger image
Tomas' center of circulation wasn't evident when TRMM passed over Tomas on Nov. 3 at 2005 UTC (4:05 p.m. EDT) so a tropical storm symbol was overlaid to show its location. The yellow and green areas indicate moderate rainfall between .78 to 1.57 inches per hour.
Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite traveled over Tomas twice on Tuesday, Nov. 2. The second time was at 2005 UTC (4:05 p.m. EDT) when it was still classified as a tropical storm. During TRMM's second overpass, Tomas' center of circulation wasn't evident. Today, Nov. 3 that center is reforming.

During the morning hours on Nov. 3, an Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft found no tropical storm force winds so Tomas was downgraded by the National Hurricane Center to a tropical depression.

At 2 p.m. EDT on Nov. 3, Tomas was undergoing some changes, and its center was re-forming farther to the northeast from where it was before. The center is now located near 14.8 North and 75.0 West, about 245 miles south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica and 315 miles southwest of Port Au Prince, Haiti. Maximum sustained winds were still at 35 mph, making Tomas still a depression. It was moving to the north-northwest near 7 mph and had a minimum central pressure of 1006 millibars. A turn toward the north and north-northeast is expected over the next 48 hours.

A Tropical Storm Watch has now been posted for Jamaica, and Haiti, the Dominican Republic, southeastern Cuba, the southeastern Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands should watch Tomas' track.

Tomas is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 5 to 10 inches over much of Haiti with possible isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches.

Tomas is now predicted to strengthen into a tropical storm and not reach hurricane strength. An upper level trough is predicted to steer a stronger Tomas through the Windward Passage between Cuba and Haiti by Friday.

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



NASA Satellite Sees Tomas Weaken to a Tropical Depression… For Now

Remaining strong, high thunderstorm cloud tops (purple) appear scattered around the depression's center of circulation. › View larger image
This infrared image of Tropical Depression Tomas was captured by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite on Nov. 3 at 06:17 UTC (2:17 a.m. EDT). Remaining strong, high thunderstorm cloud tops (purple) appear scattered around the depression's center of circulation.
Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
Tomas was producing many strong thunderstorms with heavy rainfall (red) of over 2 inches per hour › View larger image
The TRMM satellite passed over Tomas at 0515 UTC (1:15 a.m. EDT and revealed that Tomas was producing many strong thunderstorms with heavy rainfall (red) of over 2 inches per hour over a large area of the Caribbean Sea.
Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
NASA infrared satellite data from this morning revealed that Tropical Storm Tomas has weakened into a tropical depression.

Tomas is in the central Caribbean Sea headed for Haiti this weekend, and forecasters are calling for a re-intensification before it makes landfall.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, Fla. reported at 5 a.m. EDT on Nov. 3 that hurricane hunter aircraft found an "ill-defined and elongated circulation with no tropical storm-force winds at the flight level or the surface." Thus, the status of Tomas was changed from a tropical storm to a tropical depression.

When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tomas on Nov. 3 at 06:17 UTC (2:17 a.m. EDT), the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument onboard captured an infrared image of the cold thunderstorms within the system. The image showed that strong, high thunderstorm cloud tops appeared disorganized and scattered around the depression's center of circulation. The cloud tops have also warmed, indicating that the convection is not as strong as it was the day before.

What a difference 24 hours can make with a tropical cyclone. On the previous day, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite passed over Tomas at 0515 UTC (1:15 a.m. EDT). At that time, TRMM noticed that vertical wind shear (winds that can weaken a tropical cyclone) relaxed allowing Tomas to temporarily re-strengthen a little. At that time, data from TRMM's Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) revealed that Tomas was producing many strong thunderstorms over a large area of the Caribbean Sea. Since that time, the strength of Tomas' thunderstorms has waned.

Tomas is now a disorganized depression, and is moving at 5 mph toward the west-northwest. Tomas' maximum sustained winds were down to 35 mph. It was centered about 305 miles south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica and 410 miles southwest of Port Au Prince, Haiti. The NHC estimates that Tomas' center is near 13.7 North and 75.8 West.

The National Hurricane Center's forecast still calls for Tomas to re-intensify into a hurricane before reaching Haiti late Friday, so residents should prepare for its arrival.

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



November 2, 2010

GOES-13 Catches Tropical Storm Tomas' Early Morning Strengthening

GOES-13 captured a strengthening Tropical Storm Tomas this morning, Nov. 2 at 0845 UTC in infrared imagery. › View larger
The GOES-13 satellite captured a strengthening Tropical Storm Tomas this morning, Nov. 2 at 0845 UTC (4:45 a.m. EDT) in infrared imagery. Tomas appears as the rounded area of clouds (bottom right) about 310 miles due south of Port Au Prince, Haiti. In the larger image, the clouds over northwestern Louisiana (top left) are from a low and associated cold front stretching southwest to north-central Mexico.
Credit: NOAA/NASA GOES Project
The GOES-13 satellite keeps a continuous eye on the eastern half of the U.S. and Atlantic Ocean basin, and has provided meteorologists with an infrared look at a strengthening Tropical Storm Tomas this morning.

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites like GOES-13 are managed by NOAA. The NASA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. creates images and animations from the GOES satellite data. When GOES-13 provided an infrared image (because it was taken at night) today, Nov. 2 at 0845 UTC (4:45 a.m. EDT), Tropical Storm Tomas showed a little more organization in its clouds after battling wind shear yesterday.

Infrared satellite data also showed that convection (rapidly rising air that form the thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone) has increased or deepened in Tomas. This morning most of that convection and thunderstorm activity is occurring over the eastern and northeastern areas around the center of circulation.

The wind shear over the south-central Caribbean Sea has weakened which has allowed Tomas to gradually re-strengthen. The waters are also much warmer than the 80 degree threshold needed to maintain or strengthen a tropical cyclone. Because of these improving conditions, the National Hurricane Center forecasts that Tomas will continue strengthening until Friday when an upper-level trough (elongated area of low pressure) will push Tomas north-northeastward toward the Windward Passage and parts of Hispaniola.

At 5 a.m. EDT, Tropical Storm Tomas had maximum sustained winds near 50 mph (up from 45 mph on Nov. 1). Tomas is moving west near 12 mph and has a minimum central pressure of 1003 millibars. The center of Tomas is located about 355 miles south of Port-au-Prince, Haiti near 13.5 North and 72.0 West. Tomas is being steered along the southern and southwestern edge of ridge (an elongated area) of high pressure which is moving Tomas west.

To visualize Tomas' movement, picture a penny on a table and move your finger from the bottom of the penny to the left. The penny is the area of high pressure, and your finger would be Tomas. High pressure areas act as a wall that tropical cyclones can't penetrate, so they move around the edges.

Tomas is forecast to become a hurricane on Thursday, Nov. 4 and turn to the northeast, threatening Haiti. Currently there are no watches and warnings in effect, but that's likely to change later this week.

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



November 1, 2010

TRMM Satellite Sees a Weaker Tropical Storm Tomas

The TRMM satellite passed over Tomas on Sunday, Oct. 31 measuring intense rainfall, falling at about 2 inches per hour. › View larger image
The TRMM satellite passed over Tomas on Sunday, Oct. 31 at 2021 UTC (4:21 p.m. EDT). The red areas represent intense rainfall, falling at about 2 inches per hour. The yellow and green areas indicate moderate rainfall between .78 to 1.57 inches per hour. Red areas are heavy rainfall at almost 2 inches per hour.
Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
Tomas reached hurricane strength over the weekend, and has been weakening since and is currently a tropical storm. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite passed over Tomas on Oct. 31 and captured its rainfall rates.

On Nov. 1 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT) Tomas was located over the south-central Caribbean Sea and its maximum sustained winds were down to 45 mph. It was located about 90 miles north-northeast of Curacao and 420 miles southeast of Port Au Prince, Haiti near 13.6 North and 68.7 West. It was moving west-southwest near 14 mph and had a minimum central pressure of 1005 millibars.

When the TRMM satellite passed over Tomas on Sunday, Oct. 31 at 2021 UTC (4:21 p.m. EDT), it was still a minimal hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 75 mph.

During its short time as a hurricane Tomas caused widespread destruction, injuries and possibly deaths in Barbados, St. Vincent and St. Lucia. TRMM's rainfall analysis was created from TRMM's Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) instruments. The analysis showed that Tomas was causing a large area of moderate to heavy rainfall, with some areas receiving as much as 2 inches per hour.

By 0300 UTC (11 p.m. EDT) on Sunday, Oct. 31 Tomas had weakened and was downgraded to a tropical storm. Westerly vertical wind shear has been predicted to further weaken Tomas in the next 24 hours.

The National Hurricane Center forecasts Tomas to strengthen again within two days and threaten the nation of Haiti.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro and Hal Pierce
NASA TRMM Team NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD



NASA's CloudSat satellite Views Hurricane Tomas' Powerful Thunderstorms

NASA's CloudSat satellite's Cloud Profiling Radar captured a look across Tomas on Oct. 31 › View larger image
NASA's CloudSat satellite's Cloud Profiling Radar captured a look across Tomas on Oct. 31 at 0549 UTC (1:49 a.m. EDT). The blue areas along the top of the clouds indicate cloud ice. The wavy blue lines on the bottom center indicate intense rainfall. Where the solid line along the bottom disappears there is intense rainfall exceeding 30mm/hr (1.18 inches/hour). Tomas' highest clouds were over 9 miles high.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Colorado State Univ./NRL-Monterey
Tomas formed quickly this past weekend in the eastern Caribbean Sea, grew into a hurricane and lashed Hispaniola before weakening. NASA's CloudSat satellite captured a look at Tomas' cloud heights and heavy rainfall when it was a hurricane.

NASA's CloudSat satellite's Cloud Profiling Radar captured a look across Tomas on Oct. 31 at 0549 UTC (1:49 a.m. EDT). At that time, Tomas' maximum sustained winds were near 85 knots (97 mph) and it had a minimum central pressure of 982 millibars. CloudSat revealed that the top of Tomas' clouds reached up to 15 kilometers (over 9 miles) high. CloudSat also measured the cloud top temperatures are as cold as or colder than minus 60 degrees Celsius (minus 76 degrees Fahrenheit)!

At 5 p.m. EDT on Friday, Oct. 29 the nineteenth named storm formed southeast of the Windward Islands about 200 miles southeast of Barbados. On Saturday, Oct. 30 Tomas dropped heavy rainfall on Barbados and caused damages as it neared hurricane strength. By 11 a.m. EDT Oct. 30, Tomas had grown into the twelfth hurricane of the Atlantic Ocean season and was bearing down on St. Lucia and St. Vincent with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. By 11 p.m. that day, Tomas' maximum sustained winds had reached 90 mph.

On Sunday, Oct. 31, Tomas' winds had strengthened to 100 mph, and it continued to lash the Windward Islands and much of the Lesser Antilles with heavy rainfall. By 5p.m. Tomas had weakened because of westerly wind shear and the maximum sustained winds were down to 75 mph.

At 5 a.m. EDT today, Nov. 1, Tomas' maximum sustained winds were down to 50 mph, and it was moving west near 14 mph. Tomas is expected to continue moving west until Wednesday, Nov. 3 when it is forecast to turn to the north-northwest.

Westerly wind shear has increased today, and has pushed the deepest convection away from the center by 100 miles. Additional weakening is likely, according to the National Hurricane Center, as winds shear of 20 to 25 knots (23-29 mph) will continue battering Tomas for another day. Tomas is currently centered about 135 miles northeast of Curacao near 13.8 North and 67.7 West and will continue raining on the Windwards and Lesser Antilles today.

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