NASA sees strong thunderstorms still surround Cyclone Iggy's center

Jan 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: NASA balloons begin flying in Antarctica for 2014 campaign

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA eyes cyclone Iggy's threat to western Australia

Jan 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 ...

Recommended for you

Scientists make strides in tsunami warning since 2004

10 hours ago

The 2004 tsunami led to greater global cooperation and improved techniques for detecting waves that could reach faraway shores, even though scientists still cannot predict when an earthquake will strike.

Trade winds ventilate the tropical oceans

11 hours ago

Long-term observations indicate that the oxygen minimum zones in the tropical oceans have expanded in recent decades. The reason is still unknown. Now scientists at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research ...

User comments : 0

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.