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Tropical Cyclone Claudia (Southern Indian Ocean)
12.13.12
 
AIRS flew over Claudia on Dec. 12 and noticed that showers and thunderstorms were pushed away from the center of circulation. › View larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite flew over extra-tropical cyclone Claudia on Dec. 12 at 0829 UTC (3:29 a.m. EST) and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument noticed that the bulk of showers and thunderstorms were pushed away from the center of circulation.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA Satellite Sees Tropical Cyclone Claudia Being Blown Apart

Tropical Storm Claudia transitioned into an extra-tropical storm early on Dec. 13 as wind shear slammed into the storm. NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of Claudia that showed the bulk of precipitation was pushed away from the center.

NASA's Aqua satellite flew over extra-tropical cyclone Claudia on Dec. 12 at 0829 UTC (3:29 a.m. EST) and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument noticed that the bulk of showers and thunderstorms were pushed away from the center of circulation. Cloud top temperatures also appeared to be warming, meaning that cloud heights were dropping and the thunderstorms that make up the tropical cyclone were weakening.

On Dec. 13 at 0300 UTC, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued their final advisory for Claudia. At that time, Claudia's maximum sustained winds had dropped to 35 knots (40 mph/64.8 kph). It was located far from land, about 1,215 nautical miles (1,398 miles, 2,250 km) south of Diego Garcia, near 27.6 south latitude and 75.3 east longitude.

Strong upper level winds near 30 knots (34.5 mph/55.5 kph) battered Claudia as the storm continued moving southward into cooler waters. Claudia became extra-tropical, and is expected to dissipate over the next couple of days.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center




Dec. 12, 2012

MODIS captured a visible image of Tropical Storm Claudia on Dec. 12 and revealed the eye had disappeared › View larger image
The MODIS instrument aboard NASAS's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Storm Claudia on Dec. 12 at 3:34 a.m. EST and revealed the eye had disappeared and the storm has elongated as it begins transitioning into an extra-tropical storm.
Credit: NASA/NRL
NASA Sees Cyclone Claudia Winding Down

Tropical Cyclone Claudia appears to be "winding down" in the Southern Indian Ocean on NASA satellite imagery today, Dec. 12.

Claudia weakened to a tropical storm today as wind shear and cooler waters continue to take their toll on the storm. When NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead at 0834 UTC (3:34 a.m. EST/U.S.) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument captured a visible image of the storm that revealed Claudia's eye had disappeared and the storm has elongated. According to forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, "Strong upper level winds are noticeably impacting the northwestern quadrant of the low level circulation center with high vertical wind shear near 30 knots (34.5 mph/55.5 kph).

At 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST) on Dec. 12, Claudia's maximum sustained winds were near 40 knots (46 mph/74 kph). It was centered near 25.8 south latitude and 74.3 east longitude, about 1,065 nautical miles (1,226 miles/1,972 km) south of Diego Garcia. Claudia is moving south-southeastward at 17 knots (19.5 mph/31.4 kph).

As Claudia moves further south, the wind shear is expected to increase and push the upper level strong convection (rising air that forms the thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone) away from the low-level center. Basically, when the top of the storm is no longer over the bottom of the storm, it falls apart.

Claudia is changing into an extra-tropical storm as it continues tracking southeast in cooler waters which will help bring about its dissipation in a couple of days.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center




Dec. 11, 2012

black and white image of spiraling clouds › Larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the western half of Cyclone Claudia on Dec. 11 at 0930 UTC (4:30 a.m. EST/U.S.) and captured a visible image of the storm, that showed it still had good circulation. The strongest thunderstorms were still south of the center.
Credit: NASA/NRL
NASA Sees Cyclone Claudia a Little More Disorganized

Cyclone Claudia continues to head southward in the South Pacific and has run into cooler waters and increased wind shear, which have weakened the storm. NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of the storm which showed it was starting to elongate.

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the western half of Cyclone Claudia on Dec. 11 at 0930 UTC (4:30 a.m. EST/U.S.) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument captured a visible image of the storm, that showed it still had good circulation. The image showed that the strongest thunderstorms were still south of the center.

On Dec. 11 at 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST/U.S.), Tropical cyclone Claudia's maximum sustained winds had dropped to 65 knots (75 mph/120.4 kph) making it a minimal cyclone (hurricane). Claudia's center is located about 775 nautical miles (892 miles/1,435 km) south of Diego Garcia, near 20.9 south latitude and 73.1 east longitude. Claudia is moving to the south at 8 knots (9.2 mph/14.8 kph).

Satellite imagery has shown that the low level center of the storm has become more disorganized during the morning hours of Dec. 11 and that Claudia has started to elongate from east to west as a result of wind shear. That wind shear is expected to continue, so the storm is expected to continue weakening.

In addition, Claudia is moving into sea surface temperatures below the 80 degree Fahrenheit (26.6 degree Celsius) threshold needed to keep it going. Sea surface temperatures around Claudia are near 24 to 25 degrees Celsius (75 to 77 Fahrenheit).

Claudia is expected to start transitioning into an extra-tropical storm and degenerate into a low pressure areas in a couple of days.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center




Dec. 10, 2012

On Dec. 10 AIRS captured this infrared view of Claudia showing a clear eye surrounded by powerful thunderstorms. › View larger image
On Dec. 10 at 0841 UTC (3:41 a.m. EST), NASA's Aqua satellite AIRS instrument captured this infrared view of Cyclone Claudia which showed a clear eye surrounded by powerful thunderstorms (purple).
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
MODIS passed over Cyclone Claudia on Dec. 10 at 0850 UTC (3:50 a.m. EST/U.S.) and captured this visible image. › View larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Cyclone Claudia on Dec. 10 at 0850 UTC (3:50 a.m. EST/U.S.) and captured this visible image of the storm using the MODIS instrument aboard.
Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
NASA Gets Eyeballed From Cyclone Claudia

NASA's Aqua satellite got "eyeballed" from Cyclone Claudia in the Southern Indian Ocean when two instruments captured the storm's eye in infrared and visible light. Satellite data indicates that Claudia's eye is about 10 nautical miles wide.

On Dec. 10 at 0841 UTC (3:41 a.m. EST), NASA's Aqua satellite's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument captured an infrared view of Cyclone Claudia which showed a clear eye surrounded by powerful thunderstorms. The thunderstorms that surrounded the eye were high in the troposphere and cloud top temperatures topped -63 Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius).

During that same overpass the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument also aboard Aqua captured a stunning visible image of Claudia that clearly showed an eye.

Claudia became a cyclone over the weekend of Dec. 8 and 9. On Dec. 8, Tropical Cyclone Claudia's winds increased to cyclone strength. During the early morning hours on Dec. 8 NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite passed overhead and identified that the heaviest rainfall lay south of the eye of the storm. Rain in that quadrant of the storm was falling at a rate of 30 millimeters (1.2 inches) per hour.

On Sat. Dec. 8, Claudia's maximum sustained winds were near 100 knots (115 mph/185 kph). Claudia was a category 3 cyclone and considered a major storm. It was centered near 14.7 south latitude and 74.6 east longitude, or about 450 nautical miles south-southeast of Diego Garcia. Claudia was moving to the southwest at 4 knots (5 mph).

On Monday, Dec. 10, Cyclone Claudia's maximum sustained winds increased to 105 knots (121 mph/194.5 kph). Claudia had moved about 175 nautical miles in two days and was centered near 18.0 south latitude and 73.8 east longitude, about 625 nautical miles south of Diego Garcia. Claudia continues to move southward at 7 knots (8 mph/13 kph) over open ocean.

Claudia is moving southward along the western edge of ridge (elongated area) of high pressure, and is expected to speed up and turn toward the southeast according to the forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Claudia may not be giving any NASA satellite the "eye" after another day or two when it runs into cool waters and an area of stronger vertical wind shear.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center




Dec. 7, 2012

AIRS showed the coldest, most powerful areas of the cyclone in purple, where cloud top temperatures exceeded � 63F › View larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Tropical Cyclone Claudia on Dec. 6 at 2:59 p.m. EST/U.S. and Dec. 7 at 3:11 a.m. EST/U.S. The AIRS instrument showed the coldest, most powerful areas of the cyclone in purple, where cloud top temperatures exceeded – 63F/-52C.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA Casts Infrared Eye on Southern Indian Ocean's Tropical Cyclone Claudia

The third tropical cyclone in the Southern Indian Ocean has been renamed Tropical Cyclone Claudia as NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead.The AIRS instrument on Aqua captured infrared imagery of Claudia over two days that showed the western quadrant is most powerful part of the cyclone.

Aqua flew over Tropical Cyclone Claudia on Dec. 6 at 1959 UTC (2:59 p.m. EST/U.S.) and Dec. 7 at 0811 UTC (3:11 a.m. EST/U.S.). The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument analyzes storms in infrared light, and revealed the temperatures of clouds and sea surface around the storm. On Dec. 6, the coldest cloud top temperatures (colder than -63F/-52C) were located in the northwestern quadrant of the storm. The next day, those strongest storms had shifted to the west and southwestern quadrants. The AIRS data on Dec. 7 also showed a much wider center of circulation, which was slightly exposed to outer winds. Thunderstorm development was also increasing around the center of circulation.

On Dec. 7 at 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST), newly renamed Tropical Storm Claudia, formely Tropical Storm 03S had maximum sustained winds near 45 knots. Claudia was moving in a southerly direction and away from Diego Garcia. Claudia was centered near 14.3 south latitude and 75.4 east longitude, about 445 nautical miles south of Diego Garcia. Claudia is on a south-southwesterly track, but is expected to shift more to the south over the next several days.

Claudia is currently in an area of moderate (10 to 20 knots) vertical wind shear and sea surface temperatures warm enough to keep it going. AIRS data indicates that sea surface temperatures were near 28 to 29 degrees Celsius.

Over the weekend of Dec. 8 and 9, however, Claudia will venture into cooler waters and the vertical wind shear is forecast to increase. Those two factors indicate that Claudia will weaken and become an extra-tropical storm over the weekend.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center




Dec. 6, 2012

On Dec. 6, TRMM data revealed that the heaviest rain in Tropical Storm 03S was occurring around the western side. › View larger image
TRMM data on Dec. 6 at 0401 UTC revealed that the heaviest rain (red) in newborn Tropical Storm 03S was occurring around the western side, where there were areas of rain falling at a rate of 2 inches (50 mm) per hour.
Credit: NASA/TRMM
NASA's TRMM Satellite Sees Tropical Storm 03S Form in Southern Indian Ocean

The third tropical cyclone of the Southern Indian Ocean season formed today, Dec.6, as NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite known as TRMM passed overhead. TRMM captured rainfall rate data from Tropical Storm 03S and noticed some powerful thunderstorms around the center of circulation that hinted it would intensify from a low pressure area into a tropical storm in a short time.

NASA's TRMM satellite passed over Tropical Storm 03S (TS03S) on Dec. 6 at 0401 UTC (Dec. 5 11:01 p.m. EST, U.S.). TRMM data revealed a hot towering thunderstorm higher than 9.3 miles (15 kilometers) around the center of circulation. A "hot tower" is a tall cumulonimbus cloud that reaches at least to the top of the troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere. It extends approximately nine miles (14.5 km) high in the tropics. The hot towers in Bopha were over 9.3 miles (15 km) high. These towers are called "hot" because they rise to such altitude due to the large amount of latent heat. Water vapor releases this latent heat as it condenses into liquid.

NASA research has indicated that the presence of hot towers typically means that the storm will intensify in the next six hours. After the TRMM pass, the low pressure area that was formerly System 98S did intensify into Tropical Storm 03S. TRMM data also revealed that the heaviest rain in the storm was occurring around the western side, where there were areas of rain falling at a rate of 2 inches (50 mm) per hour.

At 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST, U.S.) on Dec. 6, TS03S had maximum sustained winds near 35 knots (40 mph/64.8 kph). It was located about 385 nautical miles (443 miles/713 km) southeast of Diego Garcia, near 12.4 south latitude and 76.8 east longitude. TS03S was moving to the west at 8 knots (13.5 mph/14.8 kph).

Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect TS03S to intensify over the next couple of days before it hits adverse atmospheric conditions. TS03S is currently no threat to land.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center