NASA infrared data revealed the birth of Tropical Storm Zane

Apr 30, 2013
This infrared image taken from the AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite on April 30 at 0317 UTC (11:17 p.m. EDT on April 29 shows that the strongest convection and thunderstorms (purple) around the center of circulation as System 92P organized into Tropical Storm Zane. Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen

Infrared data indicates temperatures of cloud tops and the surface of the sea beneath tropical cyclones, and NASA's AIRS instrument captured an infrared look at low pressure area System 92P in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean that hinted it was rapidly developing into Tropical Cyclone Zane. Zane is expected to make landfall in northeastern Queensland on May 1 at cyclone strength.

The of System 92P was taken from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite on April 29 at 1505 UTC (11:05 a.m. EDT). The AIRS data showed that strong convection and thunderstorms were wrapping into the center of circulation in a large band south of the center. The strong thunderstorms in that southern band and around the low pressure area's center of circulation had cloud top temperatures colder than -63 Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius), which indicated they were high in the troposphere and likely dropping heavy rainfall.

System 92P went on to consolidate and organize more since the AIRS image and by the early morning hours (EDT) of April 30, the storm strengthened into Tropical Storm Zane. from AIRS on April 30 indicated a 100 nautical-mile (115.1 mile/185.2 km) diameter central dense overcast feature with a 6-nautical mile (6.9 miles/11.1 km) cloud-filled eye, according to the Joint . Willis Island showed the eye feature with tightly-curved banding over the southern semi-circle.

This infrared image taken from the AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite on April 29 at 1505 UTC (11:05 a.m. EDT) shows that the strongest convection and thunderstorms (purple) wrapping into the center of circulation in a large band south of the center. Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen

At 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) on April 30, Tropical Storm Zane was packing near 60 knots (69 mph/111 kph), and is expected to strengthen before making landfall on May 1 on the Cape York Peninsula. Zane was located near 14.0 south latitude and 148.8 east longitude, about 135 nautical miles (155.4 miles/250 km) north-northwest of Willis Island, Australia. Zane is moving to the west-southwest at 7 knots (8 mph/13 kph).

Warnings are already in effect for Queensland, Australia as Zane begins its approach. A Cyclone Warning is in effect for coastal areas from Orford Ness to Cape Tribulation. A Cyclone Watch is in effect for coastal areas from Mapoon to Orford Ness, including the Torres Strait Islands.

The forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect Zane to track to the west-northwest and cross the Cape York Peninsula on May 1 and then emerge into the Gulf of Carpentaria. At this time, Zane isn't expected to make a second landfall in Australia and is forecast to pass through the Arafura Sea.

Explore further: NASA sees Tropical Storm Fung-Wong move through East China Sea

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Infrared NASA imagery shows a weaker Tropical Storm 13W

Aug 07, 2012

Infrared satellite imagery from shows how cold cloud top temperatures are in a tropical cyclone, and recent imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite shows the cloud-top temperatures have been warming in Tropical ...

Recommended for you

Study links changing winds to warming in Pacific

58 minutes ago

A new study released Monday found that warming temperatures in Pacific Ocean waters off the coast of North America over the past century closely followed natural changes in the wind, not increases in greenhouse ...

NASA image: Wildfires in Khabarovsk Krai, Russia

1 hour ago

Most of the fires captured in this image burn in Khabarovsk Krai, a territory occupying the coastline of the Sea of Okhotsk. Dozens of red hotspots, accompanied by plumes of smoke mark active fires. The smoke, ...

NASA sees Tropical Depression Polo winding down

4 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.

User comments : 0