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Hurricane Season 2012: Tropical Storm Daphne (Southern Pacific Ocean)
04.04.12
 
TRMM showed heavy rainfall totals between Papua New Guinea and Fiji from March 26 to April 2, 2012. › View larger image
NASA's TRMM satellite showed heavy rainfall totals between Papua New Guinea and Fiji from March 26 to April 2, 2012 as a result of System 95P, which later became Tropical Storm Daphne. The heaviest rainfall—more than 600 millimeters, or 24 inches—appears in dark blue. The lightest rainfall—less than 75 millimeters or 3 inches—appears in light green. Trace amounts appear in pale yellow.
Credit: NASA/TRMM/Earth Observatory, Jesse Allen
Now Extra-Tropical Daphne Left Flooding Behind in Fiji on NASA Satellite Imagery

Tropical Storm Daphne has become an extra-tropical storm and is fading fast in the South Pacific Ocean, but not before making its mark on the Fiji Islands. NASA's TRMM satellite compiled rainfall data that revealed flooding rains fell in Fiji.

The low pressure area called System 95P strengthened into Tropical cyclone Daphne ( known in Fiji as 19F) at 0300 UTC on April 2, 2012. At that time, Daphne was near 19.8 South and 172.7 East, about 340 miles west-southwest of Suva, Fiji and bringing heavy rains to the islands. By April 2, those heavy rains had claimed at least three lives in Fiji and sent thousands of people to evacuation centers, news reports said. Heavy rains washed out roads, severed drinking water supplies, downed power lines, and hampered communications.

A rainfall image created using data from NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite showed totals between Papua New Guinea and Fiji from March 26 to April 2, 2012. The heaviest rainfall totaled more than 600 millimeters, or 24 inches. The lightest rainfall measured less than 75 millimeters or 3 inches.

Areas of intense rain occurred within a wide band of precipitation between the Pacific Ocean and the Coral Sea in late March and early April. Although much of the precipitation fell over open ocean, some of the heaviest rain fell on Fiji—in particular, on the large island of Viti Levu.

The rains left homes underwater and led to landslides, including one near a resort and another near a hospital. The government of Fiji requested that airlines stop flying travelers to the country until further notice, and planes began arriving empty at Fiji airports in order to evacuate stranded tourists.

As Fiji coped with floods, Tropical Cyclone Daphne threatened to inundate the islands again. A bulletin from the Fiji Meteorological Service reported that, as of 6:00 p.m. local time on April 2, 2012, Daphne was located roughly 540 kilometers (335 miles) west-southwest of Nadi, a city on the west coast of Viti Levu.

This map is based on data from the Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis produced at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, which estimates rainfall by combining measurements from many satellites and calibrating them using rainfall measurements from the TRMM satellite.

On April 3, 2012 the final warning on Tropical Storm Daphne was issued as it is being battered by wind shear and quickly weakening. At 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT), Daphne's maximum sustained winds dropped down to 40 knots (46 mph/74 kph), and the extent of the strongest winds shrank to 240 nautical miles (276 miles/444.5 km) from the center (it was as large as 300 nautical miles (345 miles/555.6 km) early in the day). Daphne's last location was near 32.0 South and 174.0 West, and it was speeding to the south at 25 knots (28.7 mph/46.3 kph). Daphne has transitioned into an extra-tropical storm, and is expected to fade in the next day or two.

Text Credit: Michon Scott/Rob Gutro
NASA's Earth Observatory/NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



Apr. 3, 2012

MODIS passed over Daphne at 1014 UTC (6:14 a.m. EDT or 10:14 p.m. local time, Auckland, New Zealand). › View larger image
NASA's Terra satellite passed over Daphne at 1014 UTC (6:14 a.m. EDT or 10:14 p.m. local time, Auckland, New Zealand), and used infrared imagery from the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument to visualize its cloud extent. The MODIS image showed Daphne to be more rounded and less elongated than it appeared in satellite imagery on April 2, indicating that wind shear had lessened.
Credit: NASA/JTWC
NASA Infrared Image Sees a Stronger Tropical Storm Daphne

Tropical Storm Daphne strengthened overnight and was captured in an infrared image from NASA's Terra satellite. Daphne moved away from the Fiji islands and remains north of New Zealand in the South Pacific on April 3, 2012.

NASA's Terra satellite passed over Daphne at 1014 UTC (6:14 a.m. EDT or 10:14 p.m. local time, Auckland, New Zealand), and used infrared imagery from the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument to visualize its cloud extent. Like the infrared goggles used to see at night infrared satellite imagery can see cloud cover of tropical cyclones from space. The MODIS image showed Daphne to be more rounded and less elongated than it appeared in satellite imagery on April 2, indicating that wind shear had lessened. At that time, its minimum central pressure was 986 millibars.

On April 3 at 0300 UTC (April 2 at 11 a.m. EDT/3 p.m. local time, Auckland, New Zealand time), Tropical Storm Daphne had maximum sustained winds near 50 knots (57.5 mph/92.6 kph), up from 35 knots (40 mph/64 kph) on April 2. Daphne was located 744 nautical miles (856 miles/1378 km) east of Kingston Island, near 27.8 South and 178.0 West. Daphne was speeding to the southeast at 25 knots (28.7 mph/46.3 kph). As Daphne has moved, it has grown in size. Tropical-storm-force winds now extend as far as 300 nautical miles (345.2 miles/555.6 km) from the center, especially in the east and southern quadrants. Tropical-storm-force winds in the other quadrants appear to extend just further than 100 nautical miles (115 miles/185 km).

All warnings have been dropped for Fiji land areas, but mariners can expect rough seas between Fiji and New Zealand as Daphne continues moving southeast.

Forecasters at the Fleet Weather Center in Norfolk, Virginia are currently maintaining forecasts for tropical cyclones in the South Pacific. The current forecast takes Daphne on a south-southeasterly track over the next several days and keeps it away from New Zealand. Forecasters expect Daphne to begin weakening as it continues to move southeast as wind shear will increase and sea surface temperatures will drop.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



Apr. 2, 2012

The MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Cyclone Daphne over the North Fiji Basin, South Pacific Ocean, on April 1, 2012 at 2300 UTC (7 p.m. EDT). › View larger image
The MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Cyclone Daphne over the North Fiji Basin, South Pacific Ocean, on April 1, 2012 at 2300 UTC (7 p.m. EDT).
Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
NASA Satellite Sees Tropical Storm Daphne Born Near Fiji Islands

Tropical Storm Daphne was born on April Fool's Day in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, as low pressure System 95P consolidated and organized. NASA's Terra satellite passed over Daphne after the storm was named. Daphne had already caused severe flooding in areas of Fiji.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Daphne when it was over the North Fiji Basin on April 1, 2012 at 2300 UTC (7 p.m. EDT).

Before Daphne had even become a tropical storm, warnings were in force throughout Fiji. The Fiji Meteorological Service noted today, April 2, that a gale warning remains in force for Viti Levu, Yasawa And Mamanuca Group, Southern Lau Group, Kadavu and Nearby Smaller Islands. Strong wind warnings are up for the other Fiji islands. In addition, a severe flood warning is in effect for all major rivers, streams and low-lying areas of Viti Levu. For additional warning information, visit: http://www.met.gov.fj/aifs_prods/20020.txt.

Sky news reported four people were killed from flash flooding in Fiji on April 1, and a state of emergency was declared.n The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that there were about 8,000 people in evacuation shelters and that air travel has resumed today after being grounded yesterday.

On April 2 at 0300 UTC (April 1, 11 p.m. EDT), Tropical Storm Daphne had maximum sustained winds near 35 knots (40 mph/64 kph). Those tropical-storm-force winds extend as far as 200 nautical miles (230 miles/370 km) from the center, making Daphne a good-sized storm, more than 400 nautical miles (460 miles/741 km) in diameter. Daphne's center was located about 340 nautical miles (391 miles/630 km) west-southwest of Suva, Fiji, near 19.8 South and 172.7 East. Daphne was moving to the east-southeast near 18 knots (20.7 mph/ 33.3 kph).

Forecasters expect Daphne to continue moving to the east-southeast and maintain strength over the next day or two.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.