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Christine (Southern Indian Ocean)
December 31, 2013

Tropical Cyclone Christine Makes Landfall and Maintains Its Cyclone Strength [image-126]

Christine made landfall 97 nautical miles west-southwest of Port Hedland, Australia and has moved in a southwest direction at 10 knots/hr. over the last six hours.  There has been a slight weakening trend as Christine has moved over land, but it continues to maintain winds of more than 63 knots/hr. and a 20-mile wide eye.

Radar imagery from Dampier, Austrlia reported maximum sustained 10-minute winds of 71 knots gusting to 93 at the Roeburne Airport.  Christine is forecast to accelerate southeastward and then rapidly erode and dissipate over land.  The Joint Typhoon Warning Center has issued its last warning for Christine, but will continue to monitor the storm for signs of regeneration.

A cyclone WARNING is in force from De Grey to Onslow, including Port Hedland, Karratha and Onslow, and extending inland to Paraburdoo, Tom Price, Newman, Three Rivers, Wiluna and Leinster.

A RED ALERT is in force between De Grey and Mardie, including Port Hedland, South Hedland, Whim Creek, Roebourne, Point Samson, Wickham, Karratha and Dampier also extending inland to Tom Price and Paraburdoo.

Text credit:  Lynn Jenner
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Dec. 30, 2013 - Tropical Cyclone 05S Strengthens Into Named Storm Christine[image-110][image-94]

Tropical Cycone 05S strengthened into named storm Tropical Cyclone Christine on December 29, 2013.  Currently Christine has maximum sustained winds of 85 to 105 knots which translates to a hurricane strength storm.  The cyclone is 45 miles west of Port Hedland and is moving south southwest at 10 knots over the past six hours.  It is threatening the coast of Western Australia and is expected to make landfall west of Port Hedland.  The storm is then expected to veer southeasat and dissipate in the Australian interior.  Maximum significant wave height is 27 feet.

From the Joint Typhoon Warning Center a cyclone WARNING is in force from Pardoo to Onslow, including Port Hedland, Karratha and Onslow, and extending inland to Paraburdoo, Tom Price, Newman, Jigalong and Three Rivers.

Text credit:  Lynn Jenner
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
















Dec. 27, 2013 - NASA's TRMM Satellite Sees New Tropical Depression Forming Near Australia's Kimberly Coast  [image-51][image-78]

Low pressure System 98S appears ripe to form into Tropical Cyclone 05S as NASA satellite imagery is showing some hot towering clouds in the storm and heaviest rains south of the center. System 98S is expected to become a tropical depression on Saturday, December 28, and alerts are already in effect.

NASA and the Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite passed over developing System 98S on December 26 at 1140 UTC/6:40 a.m. EST and noticed a "hot tower" thunderstorm reaching heights of about 17 km/10.5 miles.

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 9 miles/14.5 km high in the tropics.  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 shows that a tropical cyclone with a hot tower in its eye wall was twice as likely to intensify within six or more hours, than a cyclone that lacked a hot tower.

When TRMM passed over System 98S again on December 27 at 1222 UTC/7:22 a.m. EST, it observed heavy rainfall occurring falling at a rate of 1.4 inches/35.5 mm per hour. The heaviest rainfall appeared in a band of thunderstorms south of the center of circulation.

According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology or ABM, System 98S was 250 nautical miles north-northwest of Broome (located along the Kimberly coast), Australia. System 98S is centered near 14.1 south and 120.9 east according to an interpretation of MTSAT-2 satellite imagery, conducted at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Maximum sustained winds are between 25 and 30 knots/28.7 to 34.5 mph/ 46.3 to 55.5 kph.

System 98S is expected to develop into Tropical Cyclone 05S on Saturday as it moves southwest, roughly parallel to the Kimberly coast of northwestern Australia.

Satellite imagery shows that strong convection and thunderstorms are building over the large low-level circulation center. Microwave imagery from a NOAA-19 polar orbiting satellite showed improved strong bands of thunderstorms over the southern quadrant of the storm and wrapping into the center. Low wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures are expected to assist System 98S in development.

ABM issued a Blue Alert for residents in or near coastal areas between Cape Leveque and Broome. Those areas can expect gusty winds as high as 100 kilometers/62.1 miles per hour on Saturday, December 28 and extend further southwest to De Grey by Sunday morning, December 29. Heavy rain is expected on Saturday in coastal areas of the Kimberley north of Broome. As System 98S organizes and moves it is expected to bring heavy rainfall and gusty winds on Sunday into Monday from Port Hedland to Mardie and Karratha. For updated warnings and watches, visit the ABM page: http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/index.shtml

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

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TRMM hot towers of 05S
TRMM passed over System 98S on Dec. 26 at 6:40 a.m. EST and noticed a "hot tower" thunderstorm reaching heights of about 17 km/10.5 miles.
Image Credit: 
NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
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TRMM image of 05S
TRMM observed heavy rainfall occurring (purple) in System 98S over open ocean, northwest of Cape Leveque, Australia System 98S on Dec. 27 at 7:22 a.m. EST. This image includes infrared cloud data from the MTSAT-2 satellite.
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Tropical Cyclone Christine
Tropical Depression 05S has strengthened into Tropical Cyclone Christine. This satellite image from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center shows Christine about to make landfall in Australia.
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MODIS image of Christine
On Dec. 13, 2013 at 06:15 UTC (1:15 a.m. EST) the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Cyclone Christine heading into western Australia.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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JTWC image of Christine
This infrared image of Tropical Cyclone Christine was captured by the JTWC/SATOPS on December 30, 2013 at 3:00 pm.
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Page Last Updated: January 21st, 2014
Page Editor: Lynn Jenner