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Hurricane Season 2009: Jasper (Southern Pacific Ocean)
AIRS image of Jasper> Click for larger image
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
March 25, 2009

Jumpin' Jasper! Cyclone Set to do a U-Turn in the Pacific

Jasper is the latest tropical cyclone to form in the southern Pacific Ocean, and he's forecast to do a U-turn away from the island of New Caledonia.

New Caledonia is located in the region of Melanesia in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It includes the main island called Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, and some smaller islands. It has a land area of 7,172 square miles.

Jasper formed on the morning of March 24 in the Coral Sea. On March 25 at 00:00 UTC (Mar. 24 at 8 p.m. EDT), Jasper was packing sustained winds near 40 knots (46 mph). He was located 205 nautical miles west-northwest of Noumea, New Caledonia, near 21.3 degrees south latitude and 163.0 degrees east longitude. Jasper is moving southeastward at 12 knots (14 mph), paralleling the coast of New Caledonia, but is forecast to do a U-turn toward the west and head in a northwesterly direction away from the island.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this visible image of Jasper on Mar. 24 at 2:41 UTC (Mar. 23 10:41 a.m. EDT) as the satellite flew overhead. The center of Jasper is in the top right corner of this image, and the storm has a long tail of clouds that are following behind it to the southeast.

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