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Nathan (Southern Pacific Ocean)
March 25, 2015

[image-380]NASA-NOAA Satellite Sees Remnants of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Nathan

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured an image of the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Nathan over the southern Top End of Australia's Northern Territory on March 25.

On March 25, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABM) issued a Severe Weather Warning for heavy rainfall for people in the Daly, Arnhem, Carpentaria and Gregory forecast districts of Top End. The Top End contains the region's capital city of Darwin, and is home to Kakadu National Park, the country's largest national park.  For updated watches and warnings, visit: http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/.

When Suomi NPP passed over Nathan on March 25 at 4:49 UTC (12:49 a.m.  EDT) the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite or VIIRS instrument aboard captured a visible image of the storm.

VIIRS is a scanning radiometer that collects visible and infrared imagery and "radiometric" measurements. Basically it means that VIIRS data is used to measure cloud and aerosol properties, ocean color, sea and land surface temperature, ice motion and temperature, fires, and Earth's albedo (reflected light). The Suomi NPP mission is a bridge between NOAA and NASA legacy Earth observing missions and NOAA's next-generation Joint Polar Satellite System, or JPSS.

The VIIRS image showed that the storm had basically unraveled and the bulk of clouds associated with the remnant low were southeast of the center.  At 10:44 p.m. CST local time, the ABM noted that Ex-Tropical Cyclone Nathan was over the northern Daly District, just south-southwest of Darwin.

ABM noted two large rainfall totals that occurred in 24 hours as of 9 a.m. local time CST included 10.2 inches (261 mm) at Fanny Creek and 8.1 inches (208 mm) at Snowdrop Creek. 

The remnant low is expected to move west into Timor Sea by early Thursday, March 26 (local time).

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


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Mar. 24, 2015 - NASA Sees Nathan Weakening Near Darwin, Australia

Tropical Cyclone Nathan has been weakening as it continued to move over land in Australia's Northern Territory on March 24. NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible picture of the storm over land. Just one day before the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite saw some heavy rainfall in Nathan.

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite captured rainfall rate and cloud height data when it passed above Nathan on March 23, 2015 at 0631 UTC (2:31 a.m. EDT) before Nathan moved inland. Nathan had intensified and had hurricane force winds of about 65 knots (75 mph). TRMM's Precipitation Radar (PR) data showed that Nathan had a few areas of very heavy precipitation along Australia's Arafura Sea coast.  TRMM's Precipitation Radar (PR) found that the tops of a few thunderstorms in intense rain bands rotating around Nathan's northwestern side reached heights above 15.5 km (9.6 miles).

On March 24 at 05:20 UTC (1:20 a.m. EDT), the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Nathan over the Top End of the Northern Territory, Australia. The storm appeared elongated with a concentration of strongest storms near the center, and a band of thunderstorms around the northwestern periphery.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) issued the final warning on Tropical Cyclone Nathan today, March 24 at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT). The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABM) noted Ex-Tropical Cyclone Nathan was moving across the northwest Arnhem district. The remnant tropical low is expected to track toward the west toward the Southern Indian Ocean.

ABM noted that Nathan's remnants will generate thunderstorms with gusty winds and heavy rainfall which may lead to flash flooding in the southern Arnhem forecast district and extending to parts of the Daly forecast district on Wednesday, March 25. ABM stated that locations that may be affected include Douglas River, Nauiyu, Peppimenarti, Barunga, Beswick, Bulman, Central Arnhem Plateau, Ngukurr, Numbulwar and Litchfield National Park. For updated information, visit: http://www.bom.gov.au/nt/warnings/.

Nathan's maximum sustained winds dropped to 30 knots (34.5 mph/55.5 kph) as it continued to move across land in the Top End of Australia's Northern Territory. Nathan was centered near 12.5 south latitude and 132.4 east longitude, just 88 nautical miles (101.3 miles/163 km) east of Darwin, Australia. It was moving to the west-southwest at 7 knots (8 mph/12.9 kph).

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Today, March 24, Nathan continues weakening inland and adverse conditions will prevent re-strengthening over the next few days as the remnant low moves. There is some potential for regeneration by the end of the week once it moves into the Southern Indian Ocean.

Harold F. Pierce / Rob Gutro
SSAI/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


[image-125][image-286][image-302]Mar. 23, 2015 - NASA Sees Tropical Cyclone Nathan Over Australia's Top End

Tropical Cyclone Nathan moved from Queensland, Australia west across the Gulf Carpentaria and is now crossing The Top End. NASA's Aqua and Terra satellite provided a day-to-day look at Nathan's western journey.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument flies aboard two NASA satellites: Terra and Aqua. MODIS provided images from each of those satellites over the course of three days that showed Nathan's western movement and second landfall in the Northern Territory of Australia.

On Saturday, March 21 at 04:50 UTC (12:50 a.m. EDT) MODIS aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured Tropical Cyclone Nathan moving west through the Gulf of Carpentaria. On March 22 at 01:05 UTC (March 21 at 9:05 p.m. EDT) the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite saw Tropical Cyclone Nathan making landfall near Arnheim Land, in the Northern Territory of Australia. 

On March 23 at 04:35 UTC (12:35 a.m. EDT), the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible mage of Tropical Cyclone Nathan over the Top End of the Northern Territory, Australia.  The Top End of northern Australia is the northernmost section of the Northern Territory.

At 09:00 UTC (5 a.m. EDT), Nathan's maximum sustained winds were near 65 knots (75 mph/120.4 kph), making it a category one hurricane. Nathan's center was located near 11.4 south and 134.1 east, about 210 nautical miles (241 miles/389 km) east-northeast of Darwin, Australia. Nathan was moving west at 6 knots (7 mph/11 kph).

On March 23, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has posted Warnings and watches for the Northern Territory.  The Tropical Cyclone Warning is in effect from Milingimbi to Cape Don and Point Stuart, including Croker Island, Goulburn Island, Gunbalanya, Jabiru and Maningrida. A Tropical Cyclone Watch is in effect from Cape Hotham to Point Stuart and Cape Don to Milikapiti and eastern Melville Island. For updated conditions, watches and warnings, visit: http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center using animated enhanced infrared satellite imagery, noted that Nathan had maintained overall convective signature as it drifted just offshore of the Northern Territory. 

Nathan is tracking along the northern edge of a deep-layered subtropical ridge (elongated area of high pressure) to the south, over central Australia. Later on March 23, the ridge will weaken as a mid-latitude trough (elongated area) of low pressure from the southwest approaches, causing Nathan to move southwestward toward Darwin before returning on a westward track. 

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) expects Nathan to continue tracking to the west over the next several days. JTWC's forecast track takes the center of Nathan just south of Darwin on March 25 around 0600 UTC (2 a.m. EDT) on its way into the Southern Indian Ocean.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


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Mar. 20, 2015 - NASA Sees Tropical Cyclone Nathan Crossing Cape York Peninsula

Tropical Cyclone Nathan made landfall in eastern Queensland, Australia's Cape York Peninsula and was moving west across it when NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead. The RapidScat instrument revealed that Nathan's strongest winds were south of the center before its landfall.

On March 19, from at 1:17 to 2:49 UTC, before landfall, the RapidScat instrument that flies aboard the International Space Station studied Nathan's winds. RapidScat data showed the strongest sustained winds reaching over 30 meters per second (108 kph/67 mph) were south of Cyclone Nathan's center. Winds in the other quadrants were not as strong.

Nathan made landfall on March 19 around 2200 UTC (6 p.m. EDT/March 20 at 4 a.m. local time Queensland) between Cape Flattery and Cape Melville on the Cape York Peninsula in northern Queensland.

The MODIS instrument aboard Aqua captured visible data on the storm that was used to create a picture of it at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The image was taken at 4:05 UTC (12:05 a.m. EDT) on March 20 and shows Nathan's clouds cover all of the Cape York Peninsula with the exception of the far northern tip. Bands of thunderstorms spiraled into the center of circulation from the south, where RapidScat had previously seen the storm's strongest winds. An eye was no longer visible as the friction encountered from landfall weakened the storm.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has issued warnings from Kowanyama to Aurukun, extending inland to Coen. A Tropical Cyclone Watch is in effect from Maningrida to Numbulwar.

At 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT), Tropical Cyclone Nathan's maximum sustained winds were near 75 knots (86 mph/138.9 kph). It was located near 14.5 south latitude and 143.2 east longitude, about 208 nautical miles (293.4 miles/385.2 km) northwest of Cairns, Australia. At that time, Nathan was moving to the west at 9 knots (10.2 mph/16.6 kph).

At 1200 UTC (8 a.m. EDT/10 p.m. local time Queensland), the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABM) noted that Nathan's maximum sustained winds were near 46.6 mph/ 75 kph. It had moved to 14.4 degrees south and 142.2 degrees east, about 75 miles/120 km west-southwest of Coen and 81 miles/130 kilometers north northeast of Kowanyama. Nathan was moving to the west at 9.7 knots (11.1 mph/18 kph). 

The ABM expects Tropical Cyclone Nathan to emerge into the Gulf of Carpentaria early on Saturday morning (local time) and continue moving west while intensifying. For updated forecasts, watches and warnings, visit ABM's website: http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) expects the storm to regenerate in the Gulf of Carpentaria, reaching up to 80 knots before making a second landfall late on March 21 (UTC) on the Gove Peninsula on the western side of the gulf. Nathan is then expected to pass along the coast of the Top End.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


[image-206][image-222]Mar. 19, 2015 - NASA Sees Cyclone Nathan Target Landfall in Queensland's Cape York Peninsula

NASA's Terra satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Nathan early on March 19 as it was headed for landfall in Queensland's Cape York Peninsula. NASA's RapidScat instrument saw those winds increasing late on March 18.

On March 18 from 12:56 to 14:29 UTC, the RapidScat instrument that flies aboard the International Space Station analyzed Nathan's strengthening surface winds. RapidScat showed sustained winds had increased to over 30 meters per second (108 kph/67 mph) around and south of Cyclone Nathan's center.   

Less than 12 hours later, Nathan had strengthened to hurricane force on March 19 as it moved through the warm waters of the Coral Sea. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible picture of the hurricane. The MODIS image showed that Nathan's center was surrounded by powerful thunderstorms. Despite the visible image not showing an eye because it is cloud-covered, microwave imagery revealed a 15 nautical-mile-wide (17.2 miles/27.7 km) eye. In the MODIS image, the majority of convection (rising air that forms the thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone) and a band of thunderstorms from the south of the center wrapped into the low-level center of circulation.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued a tropical cyclone warning from Lockhart River to Cape Tribulation, extending inland to areas including Laura and Palmerville. For updates and details on tropical cyclone warnings, visit: http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone.

At 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) on March 19, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that Nathan was poised for landfall north of Cairns. It was centered near 14.7 south latitude and 146.9 east longitude, about 146 nautical miles (168 miles/270.4 km) north-northeast of Cairns. Nathan's maximum sustained winds had increased to 90 knots (103.6 mph/166.7 kph). Hurricane-force winds extended up to 30 miles from the center. Tropical Storm-force winds extended 80 miles from the center, making Nathan a compact storm.

Nathan was moving to the west at 6 knots (6.9 mph/11.1 kph) and generating 28-foot high seas. Rough surf and coastal erosion are likely as Nathan comes ashore.

After crossing the Cape York Peninsula, Nathan is forecast to regenerate in the Gulf of Carpentaria to 70 knots (80.5 mph/120 kph) before making a second landfall in Arnhem Land.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


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Mar. 18, 2015 - NASA Sees Tropical Cyclone Nathan Sporting Hot Towers, Heavy Rainfall

The TRMM satellite revealed that Tropical Cyclone Nathan had powerful thunderstorms known as "hot towers" near its center which are indicative of a strengthening storm.

Cyclone Nathan is located in the Coral Sea off Australia's Queensland coast. Nathan formed on March 10 near the Queensland coast triggering warnings there before moving east. Once out at sea, Nathan made a loop and headed back to Queensland.

On March 18, Nathan was nearing the Cape York Peninsula of Queensland. As a result warnings were in effect from Cape Melville to Innisfail, extending inland to Laura. Under watch is the area from Lockhart River to Cape Melville, extending inland to areas including Palmerville.

NASA-JAXA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite showed that the heaviest rainfall occurring in Tropical Cyclone Nathan on March 18 at 0758 UTC (3:58 a.m. EDT) was falling at a rate of over 119 mm (4.7 inches) on the eastern side of Nathan's eye. At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, TRMM Precipitation Radar data were used to create a 3-D view of cyclone Nathan that showed storm heights in a rain band circling the storm's northwestern side reached heights of over 16 km (9.9 miles). Those data also showed "hot towers" or storm tops in Nathan's eyewall were reaching heights of over 13 km (8 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 nine 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 eyewall was twice as likely to intensify within six or more hours, than a cyclone that lacked a hot tower.

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On Mar. 18 at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT), the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) noted that Nathan had reached hurricane force with maximum sustained winds near 65 knots (75 mph/120.4 kph). It was centered near 14.9 south latitude and 148.9 east longitude, about 225 nautical miles (258.9 miles/416.7 km) east-northeast of Cairns, Queensland, Australia. It was moving to the west at 2 knots (2.3 mph/3.7 kph) and generating wave heights to 22 feet (6.7 meters).

The MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Nathan off the Queensland, Australia coast on March 18, 2015 at 04:15 UTC (12:15 a.m. EDT). The MODIS instrument showed a pinhole eye, about 5 nautical miles (5.7 miles/9.2 km) wide.

JTWC forecasters noted that Nathan is moving into an area of warm sea surface temperatures that will allow the storm to strengthen before making landfall on the Cape York Peninsula. JTWC forecasts call for Nathan to strengthen to 85 knots (97.8 mph/157.4 kph) by March 19 at 0600 UTC (2 a.m. EDT). For updated warnings and forecasts from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, visit: http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/.

It is forecast to make landfall north of Cairns on March 19 (by 1800 UTC) and move in a west-northwesterly direction across the Cape York Peninsula and into the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


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NASA Eyes Tropical Cyclone Nathan's Australian Comeback  

NASA's Aqua satellite saw Tropical Storm Nathan preparing for its Australian "comeback" as the storm made a loop in the Coral Sea and is headed back to Queensland.

Two instruments aboard Aqua, MODIS and AIRS captured data on Nathan as it was tracking back toward Queensland. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument captured a visible image of Nathan on March 17 at 03:35 UTC (March 16 at 11:35 p.m. EDT). Nathan appeared to have strong thunderstorms around the center with a band of thunderstorms wrapping into it from the south.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument gathered infrared data on Nathan. Infrared data shows temperatures, and the colder the cloud top temperatures, the higher the thunderstorms that make up the tropical cyclone. The cloud top temperatures around Nathan's center were near -63F/-52C, indicating strong storms with potential for heavy rainfall. The thunderstorms wrapping into the center from the south appeared to be a fragmented band.

At 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT), Tropical cyclone Nathan had maximum sustained winds near 45 knots (51.7 mph/83.3 kph). Nathan had moved south-southwest at 2 knots (2.3 mph/3.7 kph) and was centered near 14.6 south latitude and 149.5 east, about 254 nautical miles (292 miles/ 470 km) north-northeast of Cairns, Australia.    

Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) expect Nathan continue a slow crawl and slowly intensify to 75 knots, as it moves west. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABM) forecast now calls for Nathan to make landfall in Queensland between Cooktown and Cairns around 10 a.m. local time on March 20.

ABM has not yet issued warnings, but posted a tropical cyclone watch from Cape Melville to Cardwell. ABM noted "gales may develop in the 24 to 48 hour period between Cape Melville and Cardwell, most likely late on Thursday afternoon or evening. Coastal residents between Cape Melville and Cardwell are specifically warned of the possibility of a dangerous storm tide as the cyclone crosses the coast." For updated forecasts from ABM, visit: http://www.bom.gov.au/.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


[image-112]Mar. 16, 2015 - NASA Sees Tropical Cyclone Nathan Moving South and Strengthening

The MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Nathan east of the Queensland coast on March 16 at 0:00 UTC. The image showed a rounded circulation with bands of thunderstorms wrapping into the center of circulation.

At 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT), Tropical cyclone Nathan's maximum sustained winds were near 55 knots (63.2 mph/102 kph) and the storm was consolidating and organizing. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) forecasters expect Nathan to strengthen to 70 knots in two days.

Nathan was centered near 14.3 south latitude and 150.2 east longitude, about 298 nautical miles east-northeast of Cairns, Australia. It was moving to the southeast at 5 knots (5.7 mph/9.2 kph).

JTWC noted satellite imagery revealed "a slowly-consolidating low-level circulation center slightly to the east of the deepening convection."

Nathan is moving southeast. The Joint Typhoon Warning center expects Nathan to strengthen to about 70 knots (80.5 mph/120.6 kph) in a couple of days before weakening again and turning back to the west toward Queensland.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


[image-96]Mar. 13, 2015 - Tropical Cyclone Nathan Crawling in NASA Satellite Imagery

Tropical Cyclone Nathan has made its cyclonic loop in the Coral Sea near Queensland, Australia's Cape York Peninsula, and is headed away from land. However, satellite imagery reveals that Nathan's movement away from Queensland is a slow crawl.

On March 13 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT), Tropical Cyclone Nathan's maximum sustained winds were near 55 knots (63 mph/102 kph). It was centered near 13.1 south latitude and 145.5 east longitude, about 229 nautical miles (263 miles/424 kph) north of Cairns, Australia. Nathan has slowed down and was moving to the east-northeast at 2 knots (2.3 mph/3.7 kph).

In a visible image taken from the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite, Tropical Cyclone Nathan appeared to continue hugging the eastern coast of Queensland Australia's Cape York Peninsula as it did on March 12.

On March 13 (March 14 local time, Australia) a tropical cyclone warning was in effect from Lockhart River to Cape Flattery. For an updated forecast from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, visit: http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDQ65002.shtml

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) noted that the bulk of Nathan's convection was sheared to the west (from easterly winds). A microwave image showed tight spiral banding of thunderstorms wrapping into the low-level circulation center with weakened curved bands of thunderstorms wrapping around the western edge of the storm.

JTWC forecasts call for Nathan to move toward the east and intensify over the next two days as it will track over warm water and vertical wind shear is expected to ease.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


[image-51][image-80]Mar. 12, 2015 - NASA Measures Tropical Cyclone Nathan's Winds Near Queensland Coast

The RapidScat instrument aboard the International Space Station analyzed Tropical Cyclone Nathan's winds while NASA's Terra satellite provided an overall look at the extent of the storm along Queensland, Australia's Cape York Peninsula.

The International Space Station's RapidScat instrument captured data on Nathan's winds on March 11 from 15:55 to 17:28 UTC (11:55 a.m. to 1:28 p.m. EDT). RapidScat revealed sustained winds over 30 meters per second (108 kph/67 mph) occurring southeast and east of Tropical Cyclone Nathan's center making it a strong tropical storm. The next day, those sustained winds had weakened only slightly.

On March 12 at 00:30 UTC (March 11 at 8:30 p.m. EDT), the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite took a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Nathan in the Coral Sea, when it was hugging the eastern coast of Queensland's Cape York Peninsula from the Lockhart River south to Cape Flattery.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABM) noted on March 12 at 10 p.m. local time (8 a.m. EDT/1200 UTC) sustained winds near the center of 100 kilometers (62 mph) per hour. Nathan's center was near 13.8 degrees south and 145.0 degrees East, about 65 kilometers (40 miles) northeast of Cape Melville and 190 kilometers (119 miles) north of Cooktown. Nathan is moving to the northwest at 4 kph (2.4 mph) in its cyclonic loop and expected to slowly turn to the north.  At that time, Cyclone Nathan was moving off the northeast Queensland coast between Coen and Cape Flattery but is expected to start turning away from the coast on March 13.  

ABM's forecast noted "Areas of heavy rain will continue about parts of the Peninsula and North Tropical Coast and Tablelands districts overnight before gradually easing during Friday as the cyclone moves away from the coast." A Flood Watch was in effect for the North Tropical Coast catchments north of Innisfail. ABM cautioned that abnormally high tides could develop about coastal and island areas between Coen and Cape Flattery on March 13.

For updated forecasts from ABM, visit: http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


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Mar. 11, 2015 - Satellite Sees Tropical Cyclone Nathan Begin Circling Near Queensland Coast

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured an image of Tropical Cyclone Nathan as it was beginning to make a cyclonic loop near the eastern coast of Queensland's Cape York Peninsula on March 11.

Warnings and Watches were in effect on March 11 in Queensland Australia. A tropical cyclone warning was in effect from Coen to Port Douglas, and a tropical cyclone watch was in effect from Lockhart River to Coen. For updated watches and warnings from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, visit: http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/.

When Suomi NPP passed over Nathan on March 11 at 4:11 UTC (12:11 a.m.  EDT) the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite or VIIRS instrument aboard captured a visible image of the storm. The clouds surrounding center appeared rounded in the VIIRS image indicating it had good circulation. The center was located off-shore between Cape Melville and Cape Flattery and stirring up seas along those areas. The majority of thunderstorms and convection were occurring in the storm's northern quadrant.

Forecasters at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology expect Nathan to proceed to the southwest and turn north, then northeast and east, making a cyclonic loop over the next two days. That means that Nathan will stop heading toward the Cape York Peninsula and move away from it in an easterly direction.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) noted that Nathan will track to the east and intensify "due to a shortwave trough (elongated area of low pressure) passing to the south and the steering mechanism shifting to the strong westerlies."

VIIRS is a scanning radiometer that collects visible and infrared imagery and "radiometric" measurements. Basically it means that VIIRS data is used to measure cloud and aerosol properties, ocean color, sea and land surface temperature, ice motion and temperature, fires, and Earth's albedo (reflected light). The Suomi NPP mission is a bridge between NOAA and NASA legacy Earth observing missions and NOAA's next-generation Joint Polar Satellite System, or JPSS.

On Mar. 11 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT), the JTWC noted that Nathan had maximum sustained winds near 45 knots (51.7 mph/83.3 kph). It was centered near 13.4 south latitude and 146.1 east longitude, about 212 nautical miles (244 miles/392 km) north of Cairns, Queensland, Australia. It was moving to the north-northwest at 4 knots (4.6 mph/7.4 kph). Nathan formed less than 24 hours before on March 10 in the Coral Sea, Southern Pacific Ocean.

The JTWC noted that decreasing vertical wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures will allow Nathan to strengthen over the next day and a half as it continues in its cyclonic loop.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Suomi NPP image of Nathan
When Suomi NPP passed over Nathan on March 11 at 4:11 UTC the VIIRS instrument saw the rounded center off-shore between Cape Melville and Cape Flattery.
Image Credit: 
NASA/NOAA/NRL
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Aqua image of Nathan
NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of Tropical Cyclone Nathan still lingering off the east coast of Queensland, Australia on March 17, 2015.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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Aqua Image of Nathan
NASA's Aqua satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Cyclone Nathan off the Queensland, Australia coast on March 18, 2015.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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TRMM showed that the heaviest rainfall occurring in Nathan on March 18 at 0758 UTC (3:58 a.m. EDT) was falling at a rate of over 119 mm (4.7 inches) on the eastern side of Nathan's eye. TRMM Precipitation Radar data were used to create a 3-D view that showed storm heights of over 9.9 miles.
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NASA/JAXA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
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Aqua image of Nathan
The MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of Tropical Cyclone Nathan (18P) over Cape York Peninsula, Australia on March 20 at 04:05 UTC.
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NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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Aqua image of Nathan
On March 23 at 04:35 UTC, NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of Tropical Cyclone Nathan over the Top End of the Northern Territory, Australia.
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NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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The TRMM satellite saw some heavy rain (red) cloud tops above 15.5 km (9.6 miles) when it passed above Nathan on March 23, 2015 at 0631 UTC (2:31 a.m. EDT) before Nathan moved inland.
Image Credit: 
NASA/JAXA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
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Terra image of Nathan
On March 12 at 00:30 UTC NASA's Terra satellite took this image of Tropical Cyclone Nathan in the Coral Sea, just off the coast of Queensland, Australia's Cape York Peninsula.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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RapidScat image of Nathan
On March 11, RapidScat revealed sustained winds (in red) over 30 meters per second (108 kph/67 mph) occurring southeast and east of Tropical Cyclone Nathan's center.
Image Credit: 
NASA JPL, Doug Tyler
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Aqua image of Nathan
This March 13 image from NASA's Aqua satellite shows Tropical Cyclone Nathan hugging the eastern coast of Queensland Australia's Cape York Peninsula as it did on March 12.
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NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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Terra image of Nathan
NASA's Terra satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Cyclone Nathan east of the Queensland coast on March 16 at 0:00 UTC.
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NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response
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AIRS image of Nathan
This false-colored image shows infrared temperature data of Tropical Cyclone Nathan's clouds on March 17 at 03:29 UTC, as seen by the AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite.
Image Credit: 
NASA JPL
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TRMM Image of Nathan
NASA-JAXA's TRMM satellite showed that the heaviest rainfall was occurring in Tropical Cyclone Nathan's eastern side on March 18 at 0758 UTC, falling at over 119 mm (4.7 inches) where cloud tops reached 16 km (9.9 miles).
Image Credit: 
NASA/JAXA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
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RapidScat image of Nathan
From March 18 at 12:56 to 14:29 UTC, RapidScat showed sustained winds over 30 meters per second (in red) (108 kph/67 mph) around and south of Cyclone Nathan's center. Credit:
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NASA JPL, Doug Tyler
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Terra image of Nathan
On March 19 at 00:35 UTC, NASA's Terra satellite saw Nathan's center surrounded by powerful thunderstorms. A band of thunderstorms from the south of the center wrapped into the low-level center of circulation.
Image Credit: 
NASA MODIS Rapid Response Team
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RapidScat image of Nathan
From March 19 at 1:17 to 2:49 UTC, RapidScat showed strongest sustained winds over 30 meters per second (in red) (108 kph/67 mph) south of Cyclone Nathan's center.
Image Credit: 
NASA JPL, Doug Tyler
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Aqua image of Nathan
On March 23 at 04:35 UTC, NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of Tropical Cyclone Nathan over the Top End of the Northern Territory, Australia.
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NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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Terra image of Nathan
On March 22 at 01:05 UTC, NASA's Terra satellite saw Tropical Cyclone Nathan making landfall near Arnheim Land, in the Northern Territory of Australia.
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NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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Aqua Image of Nathan
NASA's Aqua satellite captured Tropical Cyclone Nathan moving west through the Gulf of Carpentaria on March 21 at 04:50 UTC.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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Aqua Image of Nathan
On March 24 at 05:20 UTC, NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of Tropical Cyclone Nathan over the Top End of the Northern Territory, Australia.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
Image Token: 
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TRMM Image of Nathan
The TRMM satellite saw some heavy rain (red) cloud tops above 15.5 km (9.6 miles) when it passed above Nathan on March 23, 2015 at 0631 UTC (2:31 a.m. EDT) before Nathan moved inland.
Image Credit: 
NASA/JAXA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
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Suomi NPP image of Nathan
When Suomi NPP passed over Nathan's remnants on March 25 at 4:49 UTC the VIIRS instrument saw the weak low pressure area centered in the southern Top End of the Northern Territory.
Image Credit: 
NASA/NOAA/NRL
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Page Last Updated: March 25th, 2015
Page Editor: Lynn Jenner