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Hurricane Season 2009: Tropical System 19S (Southern Indian Ocean)
March 10, 2009

AIRS image of Tropical Storm 19S> Click for larger image
Credit: NASA
The Short and Hidden Life of Cyclone 19S

Cyclone 19S formed in the southern Indian Ocean on March 9, and by March 10, it was already being written into the history books. Because it stayed at sea, only satellites and forecasters knew of its short life.

The first warning for Cyclone 19S from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center was posted on March 9 at 15:00 Zulu Time (11:00 EDT). The second warning on March 10 at 0000 Zulu Time (Mar. 9 at 8 p.m. EDT) was the last one issued.

At that time, 19S had sustained winds near 30 knots (34 mph) and was fading already because it was under strong wind shear (winds at different levels in the atmosphere blowing in different directions that tear a storm apart). It was moving eastward near 4 knots (5 mph). It was located near 19.2 degrees south and 87.4 degrees east, approximately 690 nautical miles southwest of Cocos Island.

NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this visible image of 19S on Mar. 10 at 7:23 UTC (3:23 a.m. EDT). The center of circulation is located in the top left hand corner of this image, with a cloud train streaming to an extratropical low far to the South.

Text credit: Rob Gutro/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center