NASA sees strong thunderstorms still surround Cyclone Iggy's center

January 31, 2012
AIRS captured infrared images and cloud temperatures of Tropical Cyclone Iggy on Jan. 31 at 0623 UTC (1:23 a.m. EST). Purple areas indicate the coldest cloud tops and strongest thunderstorms. Most of the strong thunderstorms surround the center of circulation. Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Iggy on January 31 and the AIRS infrared instrument aboard showed that there is a large area of strong thunderstorms still surrounding Iggy's center of circulation.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder Instrument called AIRS that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captures and basically takes the temperature of in . That's a critical component of a tropical cyclone because the colder the cloud top, the stronger the uplift and energy in the storm. The threshold that indicates strongest thunderstorms and highest cloud tops is -63 Fahrenheit (-52.7 Celsius) in AIRS data, and cloud tops around Iggy's center were colder than that. That means there is still a lot of strength in the storm. AIRS data also shows there are tight bands of thunderstorms that are wrapping into the center of the storm. from NASA's Aqua satellite showed an eye in the storm, despite its status as a tropical storm.

On January 31 at 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST) Tropical Cyclone Iggy's had decreased to 50 knots ~58 mph/~93 kph). It was located 330 nautical miles (380 miles/611 km) west-southwest of Learmonth, Australia, near 24.5 South latitude and 108.3 East longitude. It is moving to the south-southwest at 13 knots (15 mph/24 kph). The storm is just over 220 nautical miles (~253 miles/~407 km) in diameter.

Iggy has begun moving to the south-southwest, and is expected to curve back later southeast towards southwestern Australia. Current forecasts expect Iggy to weaken as it runs into strong wind shear and cooler waters. Iggy may dissipate before making landfall.

Explore further: Tropical Storm Anggrek is tightly wrapped in NASA satellite imagery

Related Stories

NASA eyes cyclone Iggy's threat to western Australia

January 28, 2012

NASA satellites are providing valuable data to forecasters as Tropical Cyclone Iggy nears Western Australia. NASA's Aqua satellite provided visible and infrared data on Iggy, observing colder cloud tops and strengthening ...

Recommended for you

Ice sheets may be more resilient than thought

September 3, 2015

Sea level rise poses one of the biggest threats to human systems in a globally warming world, potentially causing trillions of dollars' worth of damages to flooded cities around the world. As surface temperatures rise, ice ...

Clues from ancient Maya reveal lasting impact on environment

September 3, 2015

Evidence from the tropical lowlands of Central America reveals how Maya activity more than 2,000 years ago not only contributed to the decline of their environment but continues to influence today's environmental conditions, ...

Climate ups odds of 'grey swan' superstorms

August 31, 2015

Climate change will boost the odds up to 14-fold for extremely rare, hard-to-predict tropical cyclones for parts of Australia, the United States and Dubai by 2100, researchers said Monday.

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.