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Hurricane Season 2012: Tropical Depression Funso (Southern Indian Ocean)
01.23.12
 
NASA's TRMM Satellite passed over the southwestern half of Tropical Storm Funso on January 21 at 0009 UTC (7:09 p.m. EST on Jan. 20) and captured rainfall rates in the storm. › View larger image
NASA's TRMM Satellite passed over the southwestern half of Tropical Storm Funso on January 21 at 0009 UTC (7:09 p.m. EST on Jan. 20) and captured rainfall rates in the storm. Funso's center was located on the coast of central Mozambique. TRMM saw light to moderate rainfall (blue and green) falling at a rate between .78 to 1.57 inches (20 to 40 mm) per hour. Heavy rainfall, occurring at 2 inches/50 mm per hour (red) was only occurring over the waters of the Mozambique Channel.
Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce

NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible look at the clouds in Tropical Cyclone Funso, January 22 at 1130 UTC (6:30 a.m. EST) as it was pulling away from the Mozambique coast, and noticed clouds were becoming more organized. › View larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible look at the clouds in Tropical Cyclone Funso, January 22 at 1130 UTC (6:30 a.m. EST) as it was pulling away from the Mozambique coast, and noticed clouds were becoming more organized.
Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
NASA Satellites See Tropical Storm Funso Still in Mozambique Channel

Two NASA satellites saw that Tropical Cyclone Funso was still meandering in the Mozambique Channel over the past weekend and will continue to live there as it heads south this week. NASA's Aqua satellite provided a look at cloud cover, while the TRMM satellite noticed rainfall rates becoming heavier as the storm strengthened.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible look at the clouds of Tropical Cyclone Funso January 22 at 1130 UTC (6:30 a.m. EST) and noticed clouds were more circular in nature now that it is pulling away from the coast. There's also a hint of an eye in the visible imagery.

NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Satellite passed over the southwestern half of Tropical Storm Funso on January 21 at 0009 UTC (7:09 p.m. EST on Jan. 20) and captured rainfall rates in the storm. Funso's center was located on the coast of central Mozambique. TRMM saw light to moderate rainfall (blue and green) falling at a rate between .78 to 1.57 inches (20 to 40 mm) per hour. Heavy rainfall, occurring at 2 inches/50 mm per hour (red) was only occurring over the waters of the Mozambique Channel.

On Sunday, January 21, 2012 at 2100 UTC (4 p.m. EST) Funso's maximum sustained winds were near 90 knots (103 mph/166 kmh). It was still right off the central Mozambique coast, near 17.8 South latitude and 39.1 East longitude. It was also 610 nautical miles northeast of Maputo, Mozambique, moving slowly eastward and away from the coast at 3 knots (4 mph/5 kmh).

Infrared satellite imagery on Sunday, Jan. 21 showed Funso strengthening and consolidating as it moved away from the coast. Satellite imagery also revealed a small eye with tight bands of thunderstorms spiraling into it.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasts Funso to turn southward along the western edge of a mid-level subtropical ridge (elongated) of high pressure over the next three days. Warm waters in the channel are expected to continue strengthening the storm.

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








Jan. 20, 2012

NASA's TRMM Satellite passed over the southwestern half of Tropical Storm Funso on January 19 at 1654 UTC (11:54 a.m. EST) and captured rainfall rates in the storm. › View larger image
NASA's TRMM Satellite passed over the southwestern half of Tropical Storm Funso on January 19 at 1654 UTC (11:54 a.m. EST) and captured rainfall rates in the storm. Funso was centered in the Mozambique Channel, which separates Mozambique (left) on the African mainland, from the island of Madagascar (right). TRMM saw light to moderate rainfall as depicted in blue and green. It was falling at a rate between .78 to 1.57 inches (20 to 40 mm) per hour.
Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
NASA Sees Cyclone Funso Meandering and Raining on the Mozambique Channel

Cyclone Funso continues meandering around the Mozambique Channel because of a lack of steering mechanisms in the atmosphere, and NASA's TRMM satellite noticed a developing eye yesterday hinting it would intensify. Today, January, 20, Funco did intensify from a tropical storm into a Cyclone and it is bringing moderate rainfall to the region.

NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) passed over Funso on January 19, and detected areas of moderate rainfall around the center, and north and east of the center of circulation, most over open water. Rainfall in those areas was occurring at a rate between .78 to 1.57 inches (20 to 40 mm) per hour. Some moderate to heavy rainfall was also occurring on January 19 over coastal Mozambique from Funso's outer thunderstorm bands and continued on January 20. The TRMM image also hinted at the development of an eye.

Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center using animated multispectral satellite imagery on January 20, noted the "period of rapid intensification has eased and the developing eye feature has filled for the time being. Tightly-wrapped deep convective banding persists in all quadrants of the system, with especially vigorous convection showing along the coast of Mozambique."

On January 20 at 0900 UTC (4 a.m. EST) Funso was about 655 nautical miles northeast of Maputo, Mozambique near 18.5 South latitude and 28.4 East longitude. Funso's center was sitting in the Mozambique Channel, which separates Mozambique on the African mainland, from the island of Madagascar. Funso's maximum sustained winds have reached hurricane force and are near 75 knots (86 mph/139 kmh). Funso has moved toward the west at 7 knots (8 mph/13 kmh) during the morning hours on January 20.

Forecasters expect Funso to go through another period of intensification because it is near a large area of moisture, trapped over the Mozambique Channel. In addition, sea surface temperatures are very warm, adding more fuel. Funco sits in a weak steering environment, so forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect it to meander southward through the Mozambique Channel over the weekend while strengthening.

Funso will likely bring showers and gusty winds to coastal Mozambique as it moves southerly through the Mozambique Channel over the weekend.

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



Jan. 19, 2012

NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible look at the clouds in Tropical Cyclone Funso › View larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible look at the clouds in Tropical Cyclone Funso, the eight depression in the Southern Indian Ocean this season, on January 19, 2012 at 11:03 UTC (6:03 a.m. EST) and noticed that it had developed a signature comma shape of a strengthening tropical storm.
Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response

NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared look at the temperatures of the clouds in Tropical Cyclone Funso on January 19, 2012 at 10:59 UTC (5:59 a.m. EST). › View larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared look at the temperatures of the clouds in Tropical Cyclone Funso on January 19, 2012 at 10:59 UTC (5:59 a.m. EST). The coldest cloud top temperatures and strongest thunderstorms appear in purple, and were mostly over the open waters of the Mozambique Channel.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA Sees Tropical Cyclone Funso Develop, Threaten Mozambique

Residents of Mozambique are still recovering from the flooding caused by Tropical Depression Dando earlier this week and now newly formed Tropical Cyclone Funso threatens to bring more rainfall to the country. NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Funso on January 19 and provided forecasters with two different views of the intensifying storm.

At 0600 UTC on January 19, Tropical Storm Funso was located in the Mozambique Channel and about 685 miles (1,102 km) northeast of Maputo, the capital and largest city of Mozambique. Mauputo is located in the extreme southeast of Mozambique. Funso's center was near 17.3 South latitude and 40.7 East longitude. It was moving to the northwest near 5 knots (6 mph/9 kmh). Maximum sustained winds were near 35 knots (40 mph/65 kmh) making it a minimal tropical storm.

Five hours later, NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Funso and captured visible and infrared data for forecasters.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible look at the clouds of Tropical Cyclone Funso (the eight depression in the Southern Indian Ocean this season) on January 19, 2012 at 11:03 UTC (6:03 a.m. EST).

The MODIS image showed Funso was developing a signature "comma shape" in its clouds - a sign of a strengthening tropical storm. In the image, Funso's highest, strongest thunderstorms were visible around the center of circulation. Those high clouds (powerful, towering thunderstorms) were casting shadows on the lower surrounding clouds.

At the same time, another instrument on Aqua gave forecasters important information about the cloud temperatures of Cyclone Funso. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument saw that the coldest cloud top temperatures and strongest thunderstorms were mostly over the open waters of the Mozambique Channel at 11:00 UTC. Funso is stretched across the Mozambique Channel from east to west, and the western-most edge of Funso was bringing some moderate rainfall over central coastal Mozambique and the eastern-most extent was raining on western Madagascar.

The forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect Funso to move west then loop around and strengthen just off the central Mozambique coastline. Forecasters and residents of Mozambique are watching Funso's movements closely while still cleaning up from Tropical Depression Dando.

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