NASA sees powerful Tropical Cyclone Bruce staying away from land

December 20, 2013 by Rob Gutro
NASA's Terra satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Cyclone Bruce in the Southern Indian Ocean on Dec. 20 at 04:30 UTC. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response

Tropical Cyclone Bruce continued to strengthen over wide open waters of the Southern Indian Ocean and NASA satellite data showed its eye had cleared of clouds. Bruce is forecast to stay away from land areas and weaken over the next four days.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Terra captured a visible image of a more wide-eyed Tropical Cyclone Bruce on Dec. 20 at 04:30 UTC. In the satellite image, the ocean surface was visible in the center of Bruce's 25 nautical-mile/28.7 mile/46.3 km-wide eye.

As of 1500 UTC/10 a.m. EST on Dec. 20, Bruce had rapidly intensified by 35 knots/40.2 mph/64.8 kph over the previous 24 hours and an astonishing 70 knots/80 mph/129.6 kph over the previous 48 hours.

Tropical cyclone Bruce had maximum sustained winds near 125 knots/143.8 mph/231.5 kph on Dec. 20 at 1500 UTC/10 a.m. EST. That makes Bruce equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Bruce was creating very rough seas, generating waves as high as 30 feet/9.1 meters. Bruce was centered about 505 nautical miles/581.1 miles/935.3 km west-southwest of Cocos Island, Australia near 13.8 south latitude and 87.5 east longitude. Bruce is moving to the west-southwest at 9 knots/10.3 mph/16.6 kph.

Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center described Bruce's structure from animated multispectral satellite imagery as a "classic tropical structure with a deeply convective, symmetric eyewall surrounded by spiraling feeder bands in all quadrants."

In two days an approaching mid-latitude shortwave trough (elongated area) of low pressure moving in from the southwest will cause Bruce to curve to the southeast. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects Bruce to become extra-tropical after three of four days.

Explore further: NASA satellites get double coverage on newborn Tropical Cyclone Amara

Related Stories

NASA sees heavy rain continue in Tropical Cyclone Amara

December 19, 2013

NASA's TRMM satellite saw heavy rainfall was happening in Tropical Cyclone Amara on December 16, and still occurring on December 19, although it moved from east to southeast. Warnings are already in effect for Mauritius' ...

Recommended for you

Predictable ecosystems may be more fragile

October 7, 2015

When it comes to using our natural resources, human beings want to know what we're going to get. We expect clean water every time we turn on the tap; beaches free of algae and bacteria; and robust harvests of crops, fish ...

History shows more big wildfires likely as climate warms

October 5, 2015

The history of wildfires over the past 2,000 years in a northern Colorado mountain range indicates that large fires will continue to increase as a result of a warming climate, according to new study led by a University of ...


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.