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Tropical Cyclone Mahasen (Northern Indian Ocean)
05.17.13
 
TRMM image of Mahasen› Larger image
When NASA’s TRMM satellite passed over Cyclone Mahasen on May 15 at 2133 UTC (5:33 p.m. EDT), the TRMM Microwave imager showed the heaviest rainfall was occurring in a band of thunderstorms north of the center of circulation. That band of thunderstorms was already over southern Bangladesh and dropping as much as 2 inches/50 mm of rain per hour along the coast. Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce

TRMM image of Mahasen› Larger image
When NASA’s TRMM satellite passed over Cyclone Mahasen on May 16 at 0406 UTC (12:04 a.m. EDT), the TRMM Microwave imager showed the heaviest rainfall was occurring in a band of thunderstorms north of the center of circulation. That band of thunderstorms was already over southern Bangladesh and dropping as much as 2 inches/50 mm of rain per hour along the coast. Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
NASA Sees Cyclone Mahasen Hit Bangladesh

NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite known as TRMM measured Cyclone Mahasen’s rainfall rates from space as it made landfall on May 16. Mahasen has since dissipated over eastern India.

Tropical Cyclone Mahasen hit southern Bangladesh on May 16, causing the reported deaths of at least 13 people and the destruction of many homes. Mahasen brought heavy rains and tropical storm force winds when it came ashore, but the winds quickly weakened.

NASA's TRMM satellite had two very informative views as deadly Tropical Cyclone Mahasen was moving toward and then over Bangladesh. TRMM passed above Mahasen on May 15, 2013 at 2133 UTC (5:33 p.m. EDT) and saw Mahasen again on May 16, 2013 at 0406 UTC (12:06 a.m. EDT) after the tropical cyclone's center passed over Bangladesh's Ganges Delta. With the first orbit, TRMM's Precipitation Radar found rain within Mahasen falling at a rate of over 67 mm (~2.6 inches) per hour and at a rate of over 57mm (~2.25 inches) per hour with the later view.

BBC News reported that predicted storm surge was avoided because it hit at low tide on Thursday morning, May 16. Mahasen made landfall in Patuakhali district in southern Bangladesh. According to the Bangladesh Meteorological Deparment, Mahasen’s sustained winds were only near 16 mph (25 kph) near Chittagong and Cox's Bazar.

The Bangladesh Meteorological Department said Cyclone Mahasen had weakened and moved over the Sitakunda and Feni regions of Bangladesh, then into India's Tripura state.

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
















May 16, 2013

TRMM image of Mahasen› Larger image
When NASA’s TRMM satellite passed over Cyclone Mahasen on May 16 at 0406 UTC (12:04 a.m. EDT), the TRMM Microwave imager showed the heaviest rainfall was occurring in a band of thunderstorms north of the center of circulation. That band of thunderstorms was already over southern Bangladesh and dropping as much as 2 inches/50 mm of rain per hour along the coast. Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce

MODIS image of Mahasen› Larger image
The MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this visible image of Cyclone Mahasen on May 16 at 6:50 UTC (2:50 a.m. EDT) when its clouds extended over India, Bangladesh, and Burma. Credit: NASA Goddard/MODIS Rapid Response Team
NASA Sees Heavy Rainfall as Cyclone Mahasen Made Landfall

NASA’s TRMM satellite identified areas of heavy rainfall as Cyclone Mahasen made landfall today, May 16, in southern Bangladesh. NASA's Aqua satellite also captured an image of the storm and showed the extent of Cyclone Mahasen's clouds over three countries.

When NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite passed over Cyclone Mahasen on May 16 at 0406 UTC (12:04 a.m. EDT), the TRMM Microwave imager showed the heaviest rainfall was occurring in a band of thunderstorms north of the center of circulation. That band of thunderstorms was already over southern Bangladesh and dropping as much as 2 inches/50 mm of rain per hour along the coast. TRMM measured the highest cloud tops near 7.4 miles / 12 km high.

Mahasen made landfall northwest of Chittagong around 0600 UTC (2 a.m. EDT) on May 16, as a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds near 45 knots (51.7 mph/83.3 kph). Mahasen is moving further inland in a north-northeasterly direction at 22 knots (25.3 mph/45.7 kph). At 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT), Mahasen was located near 23.7 north and 91.7 east, about 53 nautical miles (61 miles/98.1 km)southeast of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Just 50 minutes after TRMM captured the rainfall rates within Mahasen, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Cyclone Mahasen that showed the extent of its clouds over India, Bangladesh, and Burma.

As of 12:38 UTC (8:38 a.m. EDT), the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) maintained a Signal Number 3 warning for maritime ports of Chittagong, Cox's Bazar and Mongla. For a look at Bangladesh radar, visit the BMD web page: http://tinyurl.com/c5vbs35.

The interaction with the land is causing Mahasen to fall apart rapidly, according to forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. The system became disorganized just hours after it made landfall.

Mahasen is forecast to track across northeastern India while weakening, especially as it tracks over rugged terrain. Mahasen is also expected to encounter strong wind shear which will help speed the weakening and drop it below tropical storm status later in the day.




This animation shows a simulated 3-D analysis of NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite's multisatellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA). It shows rainfall that occurred with tropical cyclone Mahasen during the period from May 6-16, 2013 as tropical cyclone Mahasen was making it's deadly transit through the Bay Of Bengal. Rainfall from Mahasen is only adding to flooding rainfall that had already occurred in the area. TRMM's Precipitation Radar (PR) found rain within Mahasen falling at a rain of over 67mm/hr (~2.6 inches) on May 15 and at a rate of over 57mm/hr (~2.25 inches) on May 16. Rainfall totals of about 544mm (~21.4 inches) were found with this analysis over Bangladesh and north-east India. Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce

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



May 15, 2013

MODIS image of Mahasen› Larger image
NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Cyclone Mahasen on May 15 at 07:45 UTC (3:45 a.m. EDT) and showed the western edge of the storm skirting the coast of central India on its way to Bangladesh. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
NASA Satellites Eye Cyclone Mahasen as Bangladesh Prepares for Landfall

Tropical Cyclone Mahasen has been strengthening and expanding as it moves through the northern Bay of Bengal for a landfall on Thursday, May 16. NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over the cyclone as it was hugging the central India coastline. Rainfall data from NASA’s TRMM satellite was compiled in an animation to reveal large rainfall totals as the storm tracked through the Bay of Bengal earlier this week.

Mahasen is being pushed to the northeast by a trough (elongated area) of low pressure and is expected to make landfall in Bangladesh. BBC News reported on May 15 that an evacuation is under way for hundreds of thousands of residents in coastal areas of Bangladesh. The cyclone is expected to affect low-lying areas of Burma's Rakhine state, where tens of thousands reside in camps.

Although Mahasen is not a strong cyclone, it is large and will generate a storm surge over a large area along the coastline. The storm surge poses the greatest danger to residents of Bangladesh.

NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Cyclone Mahasen on May 15 at 07:45 UTC (3:45 a.m. EDT) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument captured a visible image of the storm. The MODIS image showed that the storm has expanded over the last several days. In the MODIS image, strong, high thunderstorms are visible north and northeast of the center, as they cast shadows on surrounding storms that make up the cyclone.

This animated TRMM Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis shows the rainfall that occurred with Tropical Cyclone Mahasen during the week of May 6 through 13, 2013 as it moved through the Bay of Bengal. Rainfall from Mahasen has fallen mainly over the open waters of the northern Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. Rainfall totals of about 500 mm (~19.7 inches) are shown (in red) west of Indonesia in this analysis. Credit: Hal Pierce, SSAI/NASA Goddard

NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) multisatellite Precipitation Analysis was animated at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. to show the rainfall that occurred with Tropical Cyclone Mahasen during the week of May 6 through 13, 2013. The animation depicted Mahasen as it moved through the Bay of Bengal. The bulk of Mahasen’s rain had fallen mainly over the open waters of the northern Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal during that period. The TRMM analysis showed that rainfall totals of about 500 mm (~19.7 inches) fell west of Indonesia in this analysis.

On May 15 at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT), Cyclone Mahasen’s maximum sustained winds were near 45 knots (51.7 mph/83.3 kph). Mahasen’s center was located near 17.9 north latitude and 88.2 east longitude, about 308 nautical miles (354 miles/570 km) south of Kolkata, India. Mahasen is tracking to the north-northeast at 12 knots (13.8 kph/22.2 kph).

The exact location of landfall is still uncertain, but using three different computer models, forecasters interpolate between them and have an idea of the general area where Mahasen will hit the coast. The American GFS computer model takes Mahasen the farthest west, the Indian Met Service model brings Mahasen further south, and the U.K. Met Service model takes it even further south, so forecasters are interpolating the storm’s track.

Warnings are already in effect for Bangladesh. As of 9:51 a.m. EDT (13:51 UTC) on May 15, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) issued Danger Signal Number 7 for Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar and Danger Signal Number 5 for Mongla. Because Mahasen is expected to bring very heavy rainfall, the BMD warns that in addition to flooding, landslides are possible in the elevated regions of the Chittagong division. For specifics on the effects for the Danger Signal areas, go to: http://www.bmd.gov.bd/Content.php?MenuId=41&SubMenuId=59.

All ocean vessels in North Bay have been warned to remain in port or find shelter until further notice. For updates from the Bangladesh Meteorological Department, visit: http://www.bmd.gov.bd/.

Regardless of where exactly the center comes ashore this is a large cyclone. As a result of its size it is expected to bring a large storm surge above 2 meters, according to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department. So many live a few meters above sea level, which makes them more subject to flooding.

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



May 14, 2013

MODIS image of Mahasen› Larger image
NASA’s Terra satellite flew over Mahasen on May 14 at 05:35 UTC (1:35 a.m. EDT). The MODIS instrument aboard Terra captured a visible image of the cyclone, revealing that it was a tightly wound, compact storm. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

AIRS image of Mahasen› Larger image
NASA’s Aqua satellite flew over Cyclone Mahasen on May 13 at 20:05 UTC (4:05 p.m. EDT) and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument took the temperature of its cloud tops using infrared light. AIRS showed a large area of strong thunderstorms (purple) around the center of circulation. Credit: NASA JPL/Ed Olsen
NASA Satellites See Cyclone Mahasen Make the Curve

Tropical Cyclone Mahasen is moving northward through the Bay of Bengal and is now being pushed by a trough of low pressure, curving the storm’s track to the northeast. NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites recently captured visible and infrared imagery as the storm began to curve.

NASA’s Aqua satellite flew over Cyclone Mahasen on May 13 at 20:05 UTC (4:05 p.m. EDT) and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument took the temperature of its cloud tops using infrared light. AIRS showed a large area of strong thunderstorms around the center of circulation where cloud top temperatures were as cold as -63 Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius). The heaviest thunderstorms remained over water and just skirted the southeastern coast of India.

NASA’s Terra satellite flew over Mahasen on May 14 at 05:35 UTC (1:35 a.m. EDT). The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard Terra captured a visible image of the cyclone, revealing that it was a tightly wound, compact storm. Satellite imagery shows that strong convection has developed around the storm’s center, visible in the MODIS image as high thunderstorm cloud tops that cast shadows on surrounding lower thunderstorms.

On May 14, Tropical Cyclone Mahasen continues moving through the Bay of Bengal. At 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT) Mahasen’s center was near 15.1 north and 86.4 east, about 484 nautical miles (557 miles/896 km) south-southeast of Kolkata, India. Mahasen was moving to the northeast at 7 knots (8 mph/13 kph) and it had maximum sustained winds near 45 knots (51.7 mph/83.3 kph).

Sea surface temperatures in the Bay of Bengal are warm enough to support a tropical cyclone. They are currently near 29 to 30 Celsius (84.2 to 86 Fahrenheit) along the forecast track toward Bangladesh. Vertical wind shear has also decreased, which will allow Mahasen to strengthen over the next couple of days.

Mahasen is forecast to intensify to 70 knots before making landfall near Chittagong, Bangladesh on Thursday, May 16.



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



May 13, 2013

MODIS image of Tropical Cyclone Mahasen› Larger image
NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this visible image of a well-rounded Tropical Cyclone Mahasen in the Northern Indian Ocean on May 15 at 07:55 UTC (3:55 a.m. EDT). Mahasen is northeast of Sri Lanka and moving northward. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
NASA Sees a Strengthening Tropical Cyclone Mahasen

The first tropical cyclone in the Northern Indian Ocean this season has been getting better organized as seen in NASA satellite imagery. Tropical Cyclone Mahasen is projected to track north through the Bay of Bengal and make landfall later this week.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Mahasen in the Northern Indian Ocean on May 15 at 07:55 UTC (3:55 a.m. EDT). The image was created by NASA’s MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland and showed Mahasen had consolidated over the last two days. Mahasen appeared rounded and its strongest thunderstorms appeared to be surrounding the center of circulation. The center also appears to be topped with a large dense overcast. The image showed Mahasen’s center was northeast of Sri Lanka, although a band of strong thunderstorms south of the storm’s center were affecting the island nation at the time of the image.

On Monday, May 13 at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) Mahasen had maximum sustained winds near 50 knots (57.5 mph/92.6 kph). Those winds are expected to increase of the next couple of days. Mahasen was centered near 12.1 north latitude and 86.3 east longitude in the Bay of Bengal, and about 660 nautical miles (759.5 miles/ 1,222 km) south of Kolkata, India. Mahasen is moving to the northwest at 4 knots (4.6 mph/7.4 kph), but is expected to move in a more northerly direction as a result of interaction with a mid-latitude trough (elongated area) of low pressure moving in from the west.

The storm is expected to reach hurricane force by May 15 as it curves northwest. The current forecast track from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center takes the center of Mahasen just north of Chittagong early on May 17 and into northern Burma. Residents in Bangladesh and Burma should begin making preparations for storm surge, heavy rain and strong winds.

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



May 10, 2013

The TRMM satellite passed above a well-organized Tropical Cyclone 01B, west of Indonesia on May 9, 2013 at 2211 UTC. TRMM's Precipitation Radar saw heavy rain was falling at a rate over 178 mm/hr (~5.8 inches) in an area around the storm's center. A few powerful storms reached heights of over 17km (~10.6 miles) near the forming storm's center of circulation. Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce.


MODIS image of Cyclone 01B› Larger image
NASA’s Terra satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Cyclone Jamala in the southern Indian Ocean (bottom) and the much larger Tropical Cyclone One B (01B) in the Northern Indian Ocean on May 10 at 04:25 UTC (12:25 a.m. EDT). Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
NASA Sees Two Tropical Cyclones Competing in the Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean is alive with tropical activity today, May 10, as there’s a tropical storm in both the northern and southern oceans. Tropical Cyclone Jamala (formerly 24S) and newborn Tropical Cyclone 01B were both captured on one image from NASA’s Terra satellite today.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this visible image of compact Tropical Cyclone Jamala in the southern Indian Ocean and the much larger Tropical Cyclone One B (01B) in the Northern Indian Ocean on May 10 at 04:25 UTC (12:25 a.m. EDT).

On May 10 at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT), Tropical Cyclone Jamala (formerly Cyclone 24S) had maximum sustained winds near 40 knots (46 mph/74 kph). It was centered near 8.7 south latitude and 86.2 east longitude, about 805 nautical miles (926.4 miles/1,491 km) east of Diego Garcia. Jamala is crawling to the south-southeast at 3 knots (3.4 mph/5.5 kph). Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect Jamala to shift westward in movement and intensify up to hurricane strength.

A different look at Tropical Cyclone Jamala, using multi-spectral satellite imagery revealed a partially-exposed low-level circulation center and a large area of deep convection displaced over the western side of the storm.

North of the equator in the Northern Indian Ocean, newborn Tropical Cyclone 01B developed from low pressure System 92B. 01B formed near the northern tip of Sumatra. On May 10 at 0900 UTC Tropical Cyclone 01B had maximum sustained winds near 35 knots (40.2 mph/64.8 kph). It was located 1,052 nautical miles (1,211 miles/1,948 km) south of Chittagong, India, centered near 4.8 north latitude and 93.6 east longitude. Tropical Cyclone 01B was moving to the northeast at 4 knots (4.6 mph/7.4 kph) and is forecast to move northwest into the central Bay of Bengal.

Multi-spectral satellite imagery shows that the fragmented bands of thunderstorms that were seen yesterday, May 9, have now solidified, strengthened and have become tightly wrapped around 01B’s center.

Residents of northwestern Burma and eastern Bangladesh should keep a watch on Tropical Cyclone 01B. Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect 01B to intensify into hurricane force and make landfall on May 14 or 15 in northwestern Burma and eastern Bangladesh.

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