Satellite sees newborn So. Pacific Tropical Storm Mike

March 19, 2014
NOAA's GOES-West or GOES-15 satellite captured this infrared image of newborn Tropical Storm Mike in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean on March 19 at 1200 UTC. Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

NOAA's GOES-West satellite caught the birth of Tropical Storm Mike in the Southern Pacific Ocean on March 19. Mike's formation has generated warnings for the Southern Cook Islands.

NOAA's GOES-West or GOES-15 captured an infrared image of newborn Tropical Storm Mike in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean on March 19 at 1200 UTC/8 a.m. EDT. Mike appeared to be a compact, rounded with bands of thunderstorms wrapping into it. NOAA's GOES-West satellite sits in a fixed orbit in space capturing visible and infrared imagery of all weather over the western U.S. and Pacific Ocean.

To create a GOES image NASA/NOAA's GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. uses cloud data from NOAA's GOES-East satellite and overlays it on a true-color image of land and ocean created by data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites. Together, those data create the picture of the weather over the Pacific Ocean and Tropical Cyclone Mike's location.

According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center or JTWC, animated infrared satellite imagery showed that the consolidated low level circulation center has persistent central convection (developing thunderstorms) and broken displaced convection to the northwest and southeast of the center.

On March 19 at 0900 UTC/5 a.m. EDT, Tropical Cyclone Mike was located near 20.5 south latitude and 159.3 west longitude. That's about 751 nautical miles/864.2 miles/1,391 miles east-southeast of Pago Pago, American Samoa. Mike was moving to the south-southeast at a speedy 24 knots/27.6 mph/44.4 kph. Mike's maximum sustained winds were near 35 knots/40 mph/62 kph.

JTWC noted that Mike is a threat to the Cook Islands. As a result, there are warnings in effect for the Southern Cook Islands. A gale warning is in effect for Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Manuae, Takutea, Atiu, Matiaro, Mauke and Mangaia.

JTWC forecasters expect Mike to move quickly to the south-southeast and strengthen to 45 knots/51.7 mph/83.3 kph before running into conditions that will make it extra-tropical in two days.

Explore further: NASA sees strong thunderstorms around Tropical Cyclone Kofi

Related Stories

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Faxai stretching out

March 5, 2014

When a tropical cyclone becomes elongated it is a sign the storm is weakening. Imagery from NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite today revealed that wind shear was stretching out Tropical Cyclone Faxai and the storm was waning.

NASA eyes two tropical cyclones east of Australia

March 11, 2014

NASA's Aqua and TRMM satellites have been providing rainfall data, cloud heights and temperature and other valuable information to forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center as they track Tropical Cyclones Hadi and Lusi ...

NASA sees wind shear affecting Tropical Cyclone Lusi

March 13, 2014

Tropical Cyclone Lusi is battling vertical wind shear that has been pushing the bulk of precipitation away from its center. NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of the storm that showed the strongest thunderstorms were ...

Recommended for you

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.