NASA satellite catches last glimpse of Kofi as a tropical cyclone

March 4, 2014 by Rob Gutro
NASA's Terra satellite captured this image of Tropical Cyclone Kofi in the South Pacific Ocean on Mar. 3 at 21:50 UTC before it made the total transition into an extra-tropical storm. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

Tropical Cyclone Kofi was becoming an extra-tropical storm on March 3 and NASA's Terra satellite captured its last hours as a tropical system.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS for short captured an image of Tropical Cyclone Kofi in the South Pacific Ocean on March 3 at 21:50 UTC before it made the total transition into an extra-tropical storm. MODIS is one of the instruments that flies aboard NASA's Terra satellite. The MODIS image showed that despite transitioning, Kofi still had good circulation. The highest and strongest thunderstorms appeared around the center of circulation and in a band west of the center.

Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center or JTWC issued their final warning on Kofi on March 3 at 2100 UTC/4 p.m. EST. At that time, Kofi was centered near 30.5 south latitude and 164.3 west longitude, about 1,034 nautical miles/1,190 miles/1,915 km south-southeast of Pago Pago, American Samoa.

Kofi had almost completed extra-tropical transitioning and was speeding to the east-southeast at 28 knots/32.2 mph/51.8 kph. Kofi's maximum sustained winds were near 40 knots/46.0 mph/74.0 kph. JTWC expects Kofi to complete transition into an extra-tropical storm on March 4 and weaken over the coming days.

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