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Tropical Cyclone Rusty (South Indian Ocean)
03.01.13
 
TRMM image of Rusty› Larger image
This rainfall analysis from NASA's TRMM satellite data shows Cyclone Rusty's heaviest rainfall of about 23.6 inches fell in the Indian Ocean. Rainfall totals of over 19.7 inches occurred along the coastal area where Rusty made landfall. Rusty spread over 2 inches of rainfall far inland. Rusty's approximate 0000Z and 1200Z positions are shown overlaid in white. Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
Cyclone Rusty's Heavy Rainfall Summed By NASA Satellite

Cyclone Rusty made landfall on Western Australia's Pilbara coast on Feb. 27 and dropped heavy rainfall over a large area. NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite measured that rainfall from space and a rainfall map was created that showed Rusty's wide effects.

Tropical Cyclone Rusty made landfall along the Pilbara coast at 0900 UTC (4 a.m. EST/U.S. and 5 p.m. WST local time) on Feb. 27, about 68.3 miles (110 kilometers) east-northeast of Port Hedland. After crossing the coast, Tropical Cyclone Rusty moved south and inland over the eastern Pilbara.

In addition to high winds, tropical cyclone Rusty's heavy rainfall caused flooding in north-western Australia.

The TRMM satellite's main purpose is the accurate measurement of tropical rainfall around the globe. TRMM is also used to calibrate rainfall estimates from other satellites. The TRMM-based, near-real time Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) conducted at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. provides estimates of rainfall over the global tropics.

TMPA rainfall totals in association with tropical cyclone Rusty for the period from February 21 to 28, 2013 were calculated and made into a rainfall map at Goddard.

The analysis indicated that the heaviest rainfall of close to 600mm (~23.6 inches) fell in the Indian Ocean off the Australian Coast. Rainfall totals of over 500mm (~19.7 inches) were also seen along the coastal area where Rusty made landfall. The NASA analysis showed that Rusty also spread rainfall totaling over 50mm (~2 inches) far inland from the center of tropical cyclone's circulation.

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



February 28, 2013

AIRS image of Rusty› Larger image
This infrared image of Cyclone Rusty was captured by the AIRS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite on Feb. 27 at 1717 UTC (12:17 p.m. EST/1:17 a.m. WST local time on Feb. 28). The center of Rusty appears circular with strong (purple) thunderstorms dropping heavy rainfall. Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA Watches Cyclone Rusty Track Through Western Australia

Ex Tropical Cyclone Rusty has weakened below cyclone strength but continues to be a big rainmaker over inland areas in Western Australia as it moves south. Infrared satellite data from NASA showed the areas that contained the most powerful thunderstorms and heavy rainfall after Rusty made landfall.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of Rusty's cloud top temperatures on Feb. 27 at 1717 UTC (12:17 p.m. EST/1:17 a.m. WST local time on Feb. 28). At that time, the center of Rusty appeared circular, indicating that the circulation remained intact even over land. The cloud top temperatures of the thunderstorms surrounding Rusty's center were as cold as -63 Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius) indicating that heavy rainfall was occurring around the center.

AIRS showed that a band of strong thunderstorms extended from northeast of the center to the northwest and over the open waters of the Southern Indian Ocean. Another band of thunderstorms seen on AIRS imagery extended southeast of the center to the Great Victoria Desert in southeastern Western Australia.

On Feb. 28 at 0600 UTC (1 a.m. EST/U.S.; 2 p.m. WST local time), Rusty's center was near 22.0 degrees south latitude and 120.6 degrees east longitude. The center of cyclone Rusty's remnants were south of Nulligane and Telfer. Rusty is moving to the south-southeast at 9 knots (10.3 mph/ 16.6 kph) and still had maximum sustained winds near 30 knots (34.5 mph/55.5 kph).

As the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABOM) had forecast, major flooding is occurring in the De Grey catchment and ABOM expects the flooding to continue as Rusty's remnants move slowly to the south. The De Grey River is a river located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It flows in a west-northwesterly direction into the Indian Ocean northeast of Port Hedland.

According to ABOM, 6.9 inches (177 millimeters) of rain had fallen at Telfer in the 24 hours between Wednesday, Feb. 27 and Thursday, Feb. 28. and rainfall totals of above 3.9 inches (100 mm) have been observed in surrounding areas.

United Press International reported that the town of Pardoo received about 10 inches (254 mm) of rainfall in six hours, and was hit with 108 knot (125 mph/201 kph) wind gusts. Pardoo is a cattle community located about 75 miles (120 km) east of Port Hedland.

Rusty is expected to continue moving south and weakening until it dissipates over the next day or two.

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



February 27, 2013

MODIS image of Rusty› Larger image
This visible image of Cyclone Rusty making landfall near Port Hedland, Western Australia was captured on Feb. 27 at 02:00 UTC by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Terra satellite. Rusty's eye had become cloud-filled and its maximum sustained winds were near 80 knots (92 mph/148 kph). Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

TRMM image of Rusty› Larger image
On February 27, 2013 at 0559 UTC The TRMM satellite again saw tropical cyclone Rusty moving toward Australia's coastline north-west of Port Hedland. Rusty's eye, surrounded by light to moderate (green) rainfall falling at a rate of 30 mm (1.18 inches) per hour. Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
NASA Sees Cyclone Rusty Make Landfall on Australia's Pilbara Coast

NASA's Aqua and TRMM satellites provided data to forecasters as Cyclone Rusty made landfall along the Pilbara coast of Western Australia on Feb. 27.

Tropical Cyclone Rusty made landfall along the Pilbara coast at 0900 UTC (4 a.m. EST/U.S. and 5 p.m. WST local time), about 68.3 miles (110 kilometers) east-northeast of Port Hedland. After crossing the coast, Tropical Cyclone Rusty is now moving inland over the eastern Pilbara.

On February 27, 2013 at 02:00 UTC (10 a.m. WST local time /9 p.m. EST, U.S. on Feb. 26) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of Rusty just before it made landfall. At that time, Rusty's eye had become cloud-filled and its maximum sustained winds were near 80 knots (92 mph/148.2 kph).

By 0559 UTC (12:59 a.m. EST/U.S. 1:59 p.m. WST local time) NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite captured rainfall rates within Cyclone Rusty. TRMM had passed overhead just three hours before the storm made landfall and revealed that Rusty's eye was surrounded by light to moderate rain, falling at a rate of 30 mm (1.18 inches) per hour.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABOM) issued an update for Warnings and Watches on Cyclone Rusty at 11:57 p.m. WST local time (10:57 a.m. EST/U.S.; 1557 UTC) on Wednesday, Feb. 27. At that time a Cyclone Warning was in effect for coastal areas from Sandfire Roadhouse to Port Hedland and inland areas of the eastern Pilbara, northeastern Gascoyne and adjacent parts of the Interior, including Marble Bar, Nullagine, Newman and Telfer. A Cyclone Warning is also in effect for coastal areas from Sandfire Roadhouse to Port Hedland and inland areas of the eastern Pilbara, northeastern Gascoyne and adjacent parts of the Interior, including Marble Bar, Nullagine, Newman and Telfer.

At 11:00 p.m. WST local time (10 a.m. EST/U.S.; 1500 UTC) Tropical Cyclone Rusty was inland over northern Western Australia. ABOM said Rusty was centered about 90 kilometers (55.9 miles) north northeast of Marble Bar and 145 kilometers (90 miles) east of Port Hedland and was moving southeast at 10 kilometers per hour. Wind gusts of up to 125 kph (77.6 mph) as expected near Rusty's center before the storm weakens overnight. Because Rusty is a slow mover, heavy rainfall potential exists and ABOM expects major flooding in the De Grey catchment and significant flooding in the Upper Fortescue catchment and in remaining east Pilbara coastal streams.


This animation shows rainfall rates over Cyclone Rusty's cloud cover on February 27, 2013 at 0559 UTC. Moderate rainfall (green) circled the center, falling at a rate of 30 mm (1.18 inches) per hour. Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce

Rusty will continue to move south, just east of Nullagine and Newman and weakening steadily. Rusty is expected to dissipate over land in several days.

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



February 26, 2013

TRMM image of Rusty› Larger image
This 3-D image derived from NASA's TRMM satellite Precipitation Radar data on February 26, 2013 at 0654 UTC showed that the tops of some towering thunderstorms in Rusty's eye wall were reaching heights of over 12km (~7.5 miles). Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce.

MODIS image of Rusty› Larger image
This visible image on Feb. 26 at 0545 UTC was taken by the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite, and shows the eye of Tropical Cyclone Rusty very close to making landfall near Port Hedland, Western Australia. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

AIRS collage of Rusty› Larger image
This image shows the development of Cyclone Rusty on Feb. 24 at 0553 UTC (left), Feb. 25 at 1728 UTC (center) and Feb. 26 at 0535 UTC (right). The AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured infrared data showing coldest temperatures (purple) and highest cloud tops (and strongest thunderstorms). Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA Satellites See Slow-Moving Cyclone Rusty Before Landfall

Cyclone Rusty has been moving very slowly over the last two days on its approach to landfall near Port Hedland in Western Australia, and NASA satellites have observed the storm's increase in power. NASA's TRMM and Aqua satellites provided rainfall, cloud height and temperature data that showed Cyclone Rusty intensified as it neared land.

Rusty is a large storm and its slow movement means more rainfall, more flooding potential, increasingly rough surf and a longer period of tropical-storm-force winds along the Pilbara coast.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABOM) noted on Feb. 26 that forecasters there expect Rusty to resume a southerly track towards the Pilbara coast during Wednesday, Feb. 27 local time. According to ABOM, wind gusts to 120 kilometers per hour (74.5 mph) have already been experienced in Port Hedland and ABOM expects conditions to degrade on Wednesday, Feb. 27.

NASA Satellites Provide Inside Look in Rusty

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Cyclone Rusty on on Feb. 24, 25 and 26 capturing two different views of the storm that showed forecasters that Rusty was maintaining organization as it nears the coast.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on Aqua gathered three days of infrared data that showed the development of Cyclone Rusty on Feb. 24 at 0553 UTC, Feb. 25 at 1728 UTC and Feb. 26 at 0535 UTC). The AIRS data showed that the storm became more circular and developed an eye on Feb. 26 while still remaining off-shore. AIRS infrared data also showed powerful thunderstorms with cloud top temperatures colder than -63 Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius) surrounding the eye of the storm and dropping heavy rainfall.

On Feb. 26, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument provided visible image and a clear view of Rusty's eye as it neared Port Hedland, Western Australia.

Tropical cyclone Rusty's winds had increased to hurricane intensity when NASA's TRMM satellite flew directly above on Feb. 26, 2013 at 0654 UTC (1:54 a.m. EST). A rainfall analysis derived from TRMM data found that the heaviest surface rain was coming down at a rate of over 138 mm (~5.4 inches) per hour. This intense band of rainfall was located within strong thunderstorms located in Rusty's western eye wall.

A 3-D image or Rusty's rainfall and cloud heights was created by the TRMM team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The data used was from TRMM's Precipitation Radar (PR) data and showed that the tops of some towering thunderstorms in Rusty's eye wall were reaching heights of over 12 km (~7.5 miles).

Where is Rusty?

At 0900 UTC (4 a.m. EST) on Feb. 26, slow-moving Rusty had maximum sustained winds near 75 knots (86.3 mph/138.9 kph). It was centered near 19.4 south and 119.2 east, about 335 nautical miles (385.5 miles 620.4 km) east-northeast of Learmonth, Australia and crawling to the south-southeast at 3 knots (3.4 mph/5.5 kph). Hurricane-force winds extend out 25 miles (28.7 miles/ 46.3 km) from the center, while tropical-storm-force winds extend over 100 nautical miles (115 miles/185 km) from the center making the storm 200 miles (230 miles/370 km) in diameter. Rusty is currently generating 19-foot (5.8 meter)-high-seas.


This 3-D image derived from NASA's TRMM satellite Precipitation Radar data on February 26, 2013 at 0654 UTC showed that the tops of some towering thunderstorms in Rusty's eye wall were reaching heights of over 12km (~7.5 miles). Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce.

Watches and Warnings in Effect

On Feb. 26 at 1551 UTC (10:51 a.m. EST/11:51 p.m. WST local time/Australia), the ABOM website noted the following warnings and watches for Cyclone Rusty:

"DFES State Emergency Service (SES) advises of the following community alerts: RED ALERT: People in or near communities between Pardoo and Whim Creek, including Port Hedland and South Hedland need to go to shelter immediately; YELLOW ALERT: People in communities between Wallal and Pardoo, extending inland to Marble Bar need to take action and get ready to shelter from a cyclone; BLUE ALERT: People in communities between Bidyadanga and Wallal and between Whim Creek and Mardie, including Karratha and extending to inland areas including Nullagine and Millstream, need to prepare for cyclonic weather."

Rusty is now moving along the western edge of a subtropical high pressure system that's centered over central Australia. Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that Rusty may intensify over the next 12 hours as the eye nears the coast.

The cyclone will make landfall near Port Hedland and begin to weaken as it interacts with land and wind shear increases.

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


February 25, 2013

MODIS image of Rusty› Larger image
On Feb. 25 at 0215 UTC (9:15 p.m. EST, Feb. 24) the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured this visible image of Cyclone Rusty closing in on the northwestern coast of Western Australia. Rusty's outer band of thunderstorms stretched from Broome to Port Hedland. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

TRMM image of Rusty› Larger image
NASA's TRMM satellite viewed Tropical Cyclone Rusty on Feb. 25, 2013 at 0750 UTC. A rainfall analysis from TRMM showed that Rusty had an extensive area of rainfall surrounding its very large eye. TRMM PR and TMI instruments found that rain within wide bands of intense rain was falling at a rate of over 50mm/hr (~2 inches). Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
NASA Sees Cyclone Rusty Threatening Western Australia

Tropical Cyclone Rusty formed on Feb. 24 and has already caused warnings up for the residents of northwestern West Australia, including Port Hedland. NASA's Terra satellite saw that outer bands of this quick-forming tropical cyclone were already affecting land.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABOM) has posted cyclone warnings and a yellow and blue alert for Western Australia as Rusty approaches for a landfall. A Cyclone Warning is in effect from Broome to Mardie, and adjacent inland areas of the Pilbara, including Marble Bar, Nullagine and Millstream. A Cyclone Watch is in effect for adjacent inland areas of the Pilbara including Tom Price, Newman and Telfer.

A Yellow Alert is in effect for communities between Wallal and Whim Creek, including Pardoo, De Grey and Port Hedland. ABOM has also issued a Blue Alert for communities between Broome and Wallal including Broome and Bidyadanga, between Whim Creek and Mardie, including Karratha and extending to adjacent inland areas including Marble Bar, Nullagine and Millstream.

On Sunday, Feb. 24, soon after Rusty formed warnings were already being posted. At 1200 UTC (7 a.m. EST) on Feb. 24, Rusty's maximum sustained winds had quickly climbed to near 60 knots (69 mph/111 kph). Rusty's center was located near 17.7 south and 118.3 east, about 160 nautical miles from Port Hedland, Australia and was slowly moving to the south-southwest

Microwave satellite data on Feb. 24 showed that Rusty was consolidating rapidly and had already developed a 20-nautical mile wide eye despite being a tropical storm.

On Feb. 25 at 0215 UTC (9:15 p.m. EST, Feb. 24) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image of Cyclone Rusty closing in on the northwestern coast of Western Australia. Rusty's outer band of thunderstorms stretched from Broome to Port Hedland. Satellite data showed that the bands of thunderstorms have intensified and are wrapping more tightly into the low level circulation canter than they did 24 hours prior.

On Feb. 25 at 0900 UTC (4 a.m. EST/ 5 p.m. local time WST), Cyclone Rusty's maximum sustained winds were near 65 knots (74.8 mph/120.4 kph). Rusty was located near 18.4 south latitude and 119.0 east longitude and moving to the southeast at 5 knots (5.7 mph/9.2 kph). At 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST/11:00 p.m. WST local time) Tropical Cyclone Rusty was estimated to be 210 kilometers north northeast of Port Hedland, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center caution that Rusty is expected to intensify quickly over the next day because of warm waters and low wind shear.

Rusty is a large tropical cyclone and its slow movement is likely to result in higher than usual rainfall in the Pilbara and western Kimberley coasts. Because of the storm's slow track, heavy rainfall and flooding are likely over the next couple of days. Very rough surf, high waves and coastal erosion are also likely as Rusty slowly heads for landfall. For updated warnings, watches and alerts from the ABOM, visit: http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/warnings/index.shtml.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center now projects that landfall will occur sometime near 1800 UTC (1 p.m. EST/U.S.) on Feb. 26 or 2 a.m. WST local time on Feb. 27, just east of Port Hedland.

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