NASA sees large tropical cyclone Yasi headed toward Queensland, Australia

Jan 31, 2011
NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of Yasi on Jan. 30 at 23:20 UTC (6:20 p.m. EST/09:20 a.m., Monday, January 31 in Australia/Brisbane local time). Although the image did not reveal a visible eye, the storm appears to be well-formed and also appears to be strengthening. Credit: NASA Goddard / MODIS Rapid Response Team

(PhysOrg.com) -- Tropical Storm Anthony made landfall in Queensland, Australia this past weekend, and now the residents are watching a larger, more powerful cyclone headed their way. NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image of the large Tropical Cyclone Yasi late yesterday as it makes its way west through the Coral Sea toward Queensland.

The (MODIS) instrument that flies aboard NASA's captured an image of Cyclone Yasi on Jan. 30 at 23:20 UTC (6:20 p.m. EST/09:20 a.m., Monday, January 31 in /Brisbane local time). Although the image did not reveal a visible eye, the storm appears to be well-formed and also appears to be strengthening.

Warnings and watches are already in effect throughout the Coral Sea. The currently have a Tropical Cyclone warning for the provinces of Temotu, Rennell& Bellona, Makira and Guadalcanal. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has already posted a Tropical Cyclone Watch from Cooktown to Yeppoon and inland to between Georgetown and Moranbah in , Australia. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology expects damaging winds to develop in coastal and island communities between Cooktown and Yeppoon Wednesday morning, and inland areas on Wednesday afternoon. Updates from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology can be monitored at the Bureau's website at www.bom.gov.au.

On January 31 at 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST/ 1:00 a.m. Tuesday February 1, 2011 in Australia/Brisbane local time), Tropical Cyclone Yasi had maximum sustained winds near 90 knots (103 mph/166 kmh). Yasi is a Category Two Cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

It was centered about 875 miles E of Cairns, Australia, near 13.4 South latitude and 160.4 East longitude. It was moving west near 19 knots (22 mph/35 kmh). Cyclone-force winds extend out to 30 miles (48 km) from the center.

Animated infrared satellite imagery, such as that from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) that flies on NASA's Aqua satellite, showed deep convective (thunderstorm) bands wrapping tighter into the low level circulation center. Wrapping bands of thunderstorms indicate strengthening.

Yasi is forecast to move west then southwestward into an area of low vertical wind shear (strong wind shear can weaken a storm). Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) expect Yasi to continue strengthening over the next 36 hours. JTWC forecasts a landfall just south of Cairns as a large 100-plus knot (115 mph/185 kmh)n system by Wednesday. Residents along the Queensland coast should now be making preparations now for the storm's arrival.

Explore further: NASA sees Tropical Depression Polo winding down

Related Stories

Recommended for you

NASA sees Tropical Depression Polo winding down

2 hours ago

Infrared satellite imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite showed only a swirl of low-level clouds some deep clouds around Polo's weakening center on Sept. 22 as the storm weakened to a depression.

TRMM satellite tallies Hurricane Odile's heavy rainfall

3 hours ago

During the week of Sept. 15, Hurricane Odile and its weakened remnants produced heavy rainfall that caused dangerous flooding over Mexico's Baja California peninsula and southwestern United States. NASA's ...

Arctic sea ice helps remove CO2 from the atmosphere

5 hours ago

Climate change is a fact, and most of the warming is caused by human activity. The Arctic is now so warm that the extent of sea ice has decreased by about 30 pct. in summer and in winter, sea ice is getting ...

User comments : 0