Aqua satellite sees Tropical Storm Bongani approaching Mozambique Channel

November 25, 2009
NASA's Aqua satellite captured this visible image of Bongani on Nov. 25. Central and southern Madagascar are clearly visible, while the northern end of the island is obscured by Bongani's clouds. Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen

NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Cyclone Bongani today and provided some important data that have helped forecasters figure out where the storm is headed, and helped them see that it has changed course.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's captured infrared, microwave and visible images of Tropical Cyclone Bongani, and provided data on cloud height and extent, cloud top temperatures, and pressure. The also showed that Bongani has elongated over the northern tip of Madagascar, indicating that its interaction with the land has weakened the storm.

High tops indicate a strong storm. When the thunderstorm cloud heights start dropping, they become less cold, and the thunderstorms are less powerful. Cloud-top temperatures are important because they tell forecasters how high thunderstorms are, and the higher the thunderstorm, the colder the cloud tops and the more powerful the thunderstorms. Today's (November 25) AIRS images showed high, cold, cloud tops as cold as -63F. Those thunderstorms were dropping heavy rainfall.

NASA's Aqua satellite captured cold thunderstorm cloud tops of Bongani in this infrared image of Nov. 25 at 5:25 a.m. ET, and showed the storm elongating over northern Madagascar. Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen

On November 25, Bongani had near 42 mph, with higher gusts. Its center was located about 480 miles north-northeast of Antananarivo, Madagascar, near 11.6 degrees South latitude and 50.2 East longitude. Bongani was moving west-southwest near 9 mph and generating waves 12 feet high at the entrance of the Mozambique Channel.

After Bongani passes Madagascar and emerges fully into the Mozambique Channel, it is expected to re-intensify briefly before weakening.

Bongani is now forecast to head south through the Mozambique Channel and parallel the coast of Madagascar over the next 5 days.

Source: JPL/NASA (news : web)

Explore further: Tropical Depression Erin Soaking East Texas

Related Stories

Tropical Depression Erin Soaking East Texas

August 16, 2007

Tropical Storm Erin quickly weakened to a tropical depression when she made landfall on the Texas coast near Lamar during the early morning hours of Thursday, August 16, 2007.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Danny form, US East Coast on watch

August 26, 2009

An area of low pressure east of the Bahamas has now powered up into Tropical Storm Danny, and NASA's Aqua satellite captured his strengthening thunderstorms in infrared imagery. Danny came together this morning, August 26, ...

Luzon expecting a Lupit landfall

October 20, 2009

Typhoon Lupit is closing in on northern Luzon, the Philippines, and is expected to make a brief landfall (of about 24 hours) there October 22 before heading into the South China Sea.

Recommended for you

Earth's mineralogy unique in the cosmos

August 26, 2015

New research from a team led by Carnegie's Robert Hazen predicts that Earth has more than 1,500 undiscovered minerals and that the exact mineral diversity of our planet is unique and could not be duplicated anywhere in the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.