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Hurricane Season 2008: Tropical Cyclone Elisa (Southern Pacific)

Jan. 11, 2008

Short-Lived Tropical Cyclone Elisa in the South Pacific

Satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Elisa Credit: NASA/JPL
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Tropical Cyclone Elisa formed in the early morning hours of Thursday, January 10, in the South Pacific Ocean and won't make it through the weekend, according to forecasters.

Elisa's strongest sustained winds of 45 knots (52 mph) occurred on January 10 at 9:00 GMT (4:00 a.m. EST). At that time it was located 415 miles southeast of Suva, on the island of Fiji. By Friday, January 11, it was already weakening and will remain at sea until dissipation.

NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of Elisa. Elisa is seen in the middle of this image, toward the right-hand edge of the swath. Fiji is in the center of the image and Elisa is just south of the island of Tonga, which is actually just west of the International Date Line.

This infrared image from January 10 at 13:23 UTC (8:23 a.m. EST) was created with data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA's Aqua satellite and shows Elisa's clouds and rains in the blue and purple areas. Unfortunately, while passing overhead in space, the Aqua satellite's swath was only able to capture one half of the storm (the purple and blue circular area), thus, only part of the storm is seen in this image.

This AIRS image shows the temperature of the cloud tops, or the surface of the Earth in cloud-free regions. The lowest temperatures (in purple) are associated with high, cold cloud tops that make up the top of the storm. The infrared signal does not penetrate through clouds. Where there are no clouds the AIRS instrument reads the infrared signal from the surface of the Earth, revealing warmer temperatures (red).

Forecasters anticipate that by the end of the day on Saturday, January 12, Elisa will dissipate into a remnant low pressure area.

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