NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of the very cold clouds that house powerful thunderstorms within the Southern Indian Ocean's newest tropical depression, number 10S. The depression quickly strengthened into a tropical storm and continues to affect the northern coast of Western Australia.
When Aqua passed over the Tropical Storm 10S on January 25 at 05:53 UTC (12:53 a.m. EST), the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument captured an infrared image of the storm's clouds. The image showed that most of the coldest cloud tops (-63 Fahrenheit/-52 Celsius) and strongest thunderstorms over appeared over the Southern Indian Ocean, and some along the extreme northern coast of Western Australia. The infrared image also showed the contrasting heat of the land.
A Cyclone Warning is current for coastal and island communities from Cape Leveque to Coral Bay. At 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST) on January 25, Tropical Storm 10S had maximum sustained winds of 35 knots (40 mph / 64 km/hr). Tropical Storm 10S was located about 525 miles ENE of Learmonth, Australia near 17.4 South latitude and 121.8 East longitude. It was moving southwest near 15 knots (17 mph/27 km/hr). Waves along coastal areas could reach 10 feet, so beach erosion is likely, and low level flooding is possible. At 17:30 UTC (2:30 p.m. EST), moderate to heavy rains were moving toward Port Hedland, in advance of the center of Tropical Storm 10S.
TD 10S is moving southwest and is forecast to move parallel to the western coastline of Australia. The storm is expected to strengthen to hurricane force but not threaten land areas.
Explore further: More than 2,200 confirmed dead in Nepal earthquake