NASA sees some powerful 'overshooting cloud tops' in Cyclone Felleng

Jan 29, 2013
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured this false-colored night-time image of Cyclone Felleng during the night on Jan. 28, 2013. Felleng is northwest of Madagascar. The image revealed some pretty cold overshooting tops, topping at ~170K. The image shows some interesting gravity waves propagating out from the storm in both the thermal and visible imagery. Credit: Credit: William Straka, UWM/NASA/NOAA

NASA satellite imagery revealed that Cyclone Felleng is packing some powerful thunderstorms with overshooting cloud tops.

An overshooting (cloud) top is a dome-like protrusion that shoots out of the top of the anvil of a thunderstorm and into the troposphere. It takes a lot of energy and uplift in a storm to create an overshooting top, because usually vertical cloud growth stops at the tropopause and clouds spread horizontally, forming an "anvil" shape on top of the thunderstorms.

During the night-time hours (Madagascar local time) of Jan. 28, NASA-'s Suomi NPP satellite captured a night-time image of Cyclone Felleng when it was located northwest of Madagascar. The image was created at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was false colored to reveal temperatures. The image showed some pretty cold overshooting cloud tops, topping at ~170K (-153.7F/ -103.1C). The image also showed some interesting (waves in the atmosphere) propagating out from the storm in both the thermal (infrared) and visible imagery. The also showed that Felleng has strengthened significantly since the previous day as convective bands of thunderstorms are wrapping more tightly into the eye.

On Jan. 29, the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of Cyclone Felleng at 1015 UTC (5:14 a.m. EST) that showed strong thunderstorms around the center of circulation and a 22 nautical mile-wide-eye (25.3 mile/40.7 km) obscured by . The image clearly showed the western edge of the storm is approaching Madagascar.

Cyclone Felleng has continued to intensify, as NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP image indicated with the identification of overshooting cloud tops. On Jan. 29 at 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST), Felleng has near 90 knots (103.6 mph/166.7 kph). Felleng was located near 14.3 south latitude and 54.6 east longitude, about 420 nautical miles (483.3 miles/777.8 km) north of La Reunion. Felleng is moving west-southwestward at 8 knots (9.2 mph/14.8 kph).

On Jan. 30, a trough (elongated area) of low pressure is expected to turn Felleng southward. The storm is expected to continue intensifying as it moves parallel to the eastern coast of Madagascar.

Explore further: NASA balloons begin flying in Antarctica for 2014 campaign

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA sees Cyclone Dumile moving over open ocean

Jan 04, 2013

Cyclone Dumile is on a solo journey in a southeasterly direction over the open waters of the Southern Indian Ocean over the weekend of Jan. 5 and 6. NASA's Aqua satellite captured a stunning visible image ...

Recommended for you

Strong quake hits east Indonesia; no tsunami threat

7 hours ago

A strong earthquake struck off the coast of eastern Indonesia on Sunday evening, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, and authorities said there was no threat of a tsunami.

Scientists make strides in tsunami warning since 2004

Dec 19, 2014

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

Dec 19, 2014

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.