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Cyclone Pierre Steers Just South of Papua New Guinea
Forming well after the typical peak period for cyclonic activity in the Southern Hemisphere, forecasters are monitoring cyclone Pierre as it travels the Coral Sea between Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Pierre

At 5:00 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC) on Fri., May 18, cyclone Pierre was located near 11.0 degrees south latitude and 152.5 degrees east longitude, or about 350 miles east-southeast of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Maximum sustained winds were near 35 knots (40 mph) with gusts to 45 knots (52 mph). Forward movement was toward the west at 11 knots (13 mph). Pierre remains a minimal tropical cyclone and recent satellite imagery shows rather disorganized clusters of thunderstorms surrounding portions of its circulation center.

Forecasters expect the storm to continue on a westward track as a region of high pressure builds to its south. Drier air and cooler ocean waters are expected to dampen any significant strengthening and only modest intensification is likely along its forecast track.

Mike Bettwy
Goddard Space Flight Center