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Hurricane Season 2008: Cinda (Indian Ocean)
Dec. 19, 2008

Billy and Cinda, a Couple of Indian Ocean Tropical Cyclones

Tropical Cyclone Cinda seen by TRMM> Larger image
Credit: NASA/Hal Pierce
Tropical cyclones Billy and Cinda formed in the Indian Ocean in the last day. Billy is eyeing a weekend landfall while Cinda will spin in the ocean over the weekend of December 19-21.

Tropical Storm Cinda Weakening Far South of Diego Garcia

Tropical Cyclone 04S, also known as Cinda isn't a threat to land over the weekend of Dec. 19-21. Cinda was located 595 nautical miles southwest of the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

The tiny island of Diego Garcia is a 17-square-mile atoll of coral and sand in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The island is located about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) south of the southern coast of India. It is named after a Portuguese navigator because it was explored by the Portuguese in the 1500s. Between 1814 and 1965 it was a territory of Mauritius. After that, it joined the Chagos Archipelago, which belonged to the newly created British Indian Ocean Territory.

Cinda is far enough away from the tiny island not to affect it other than with high surf. It was located specifically near 13.9 degrees south latitude and 64.7 degrees east longitude. Cinda has been moving westward near 5 knots (6 mph) but will turn southwestward. Cinda has maximum sustained winds near 40 knots (46 mph).

Vertical wind shear (winds at different levels of the atmosphere that tear a storm apart) is moderate but is expected to increase, which means Cinda will weaken. Because Cinda is still over warm waters (which power tropical cyclones) it will weaken slowly.

NASA's TRMM Satellite Analyzes Cinda's Rainfall The image above was made from data captured by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite on Dec. 19 at 9:01 Zulu Time (4:01 a.m. EST). This TRMM image shows the horizontal pattern of rain intensity within Cinda and it doesn't look very organized here. It lacks the "circular look" of a tropical storm. The center is located near the yellow, green and red areas, which indicate rainfall between 20 and 40 millimeters (.78 to 1.57 inches) per hour. Red areas, (and there are none in Cinda) are considered moderate rainfall.

For more information about how TRMM looks at rainfall, visit NASA's TRMM website at: trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov. TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro/NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center