NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Narelle approaching Western Australia coast

Jan 10, 2013
This visible image of Tropical Cyclone Narelle was captured by the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite on Jan. 10, 2013, at 0625 UTC. Narelle developed the tropical cyclone signature shape with a tight rounded center and bands of thunderstorms wrapping around. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

NASA's Aqua satellite looked at Cyclone Narelle in visible and infrared light to understand the behavior of the storm. NASA's MODIS and AIRS instruments provided those data, respectively, and they showed that Narelle is gaining strength as it approaches the northern coast of Western Australia.

Watches and Warnings are posted for the western coast of Western Australia over the next several days as Narelle continues to move on a southerly track, where it is expected to remain at sea, but parallel the coast.

Current Australian warnings include: a Cyclone Warning is in effect for from Whim Creek to Coral Bay, including Karratha, Dampier, Onslow and Exmouth. A Cyclone Watch is in effect for coastal areas from to Cape Cuvier. A Blue alert is in effect for the coastal and from Whim Creek to Mardie, including Wickham, Roebourne, Point Sampson, Karratha and DampiFor updated warnings and watches, visit the Australian Bureau of Meteorology web page: http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/warnings/index.shtml.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Narelle approaching Western Australia coast
NASA AIRS data of Cyclone Narelle on Jan. 9 at 1811 UTC showed that the largest area of powerful thunderstorms (purple) were around the center, north and northwest of the center of circulation, an indication of where the heaviest rain was falling. Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen

When 's Aqua satellite passed over Narelle on Jan. 9 at 1811 UTC (1:11 p.m. EST/2:11 a.m. on Jan. 10, local time, Perth, Australia), the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument captured data on the storm in . Infrared light shows temperature, and cloud top temperatures can indicate if clouds are reaching higher in the atmosphere (strengthening) or lower (weakening). AIRS data showed that the largest area of powerful thunderstorms were around the center, north and northwest of the center of circulation, an indication of where the heaviest rain was falling.

Another that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite called the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument captured a of Tropical Cyclone Narelle as it was approaching the northern coast of Western Australia. The image was taken on Jan. 10, 2013 at 0625 UTC (1:25 a.m. EST/2:25 p.m. local time, Perth, Australia). The image revealed that Narelle developed the signature shape of a tropical cyclone with a tight rounded center and bands of thunderstorms wrapping into the center.

On Jan. 10 at 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST/11 p.m. local time, Perth), Tropical Cyclone Narelle had maximum sustained winds near 80 knots (92 mph/148.2 kph). It was centered near 16.5 south latitude and 114.7 east longitude, about 370 nautical miles north of Learmonth, Australia. Narelle has been moving south-southwest at 10 knots (11.5 mph/18.5 kph). Narelle is churning up rough seas, as high as 32 feet (9.7 meters), which will likely cause coastal erosion and flooding. Narelle is expected to continue moving to the south-southwest toward Northwest Cape and gradually intensify.

Infrared imagery, such as what AIRS provides shows that a new feeder band of thunderstorms has formed to the south of the center. Infrared data showed that cloud tops around the center have cooled, indicating convection (rising air forming the that make up the cyclone) has strengthened, and cloud tops are higher and the storms more powerful. Microwave satellite data, which can see through clouds, showed that an eye was forming in the center. The JTWC forecasters call for Narelle to continue intensifying as it moves south, and peak around 115 knots (132.3 mph/213 kph) sometime on Jan. 12 before weakening again.

New forecast guidance from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) now calls for the west coast of Western Australia to experience Tropical Cyclone Narelle's rainfall, gusty winds and rough surf. The JTWC forecast now takes Narelle close to the coast from north of Learmonth to the peninsula south of Perth, where it is now expected to make landfall in the South West region of on Jan. 15 after tracking south through Geographe Bay.

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 Tropical Cyclone Narelle intensifying

Jan 09, 2013

Infrared and near-infrared NASA satellite imagery provided signs to forecasters that Tropical Cyclone Narelle is intensifying as it moves southwest paralleling Western Australia coastline. Warnings have been ...

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

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.