NASA satellite spots a weakening Karina, now a tropical storm

August 15, 2014
NASA's Terra satellite passed over Karina in the eastern Pacific Ocean on Aug. 14 at 2:40 p.m. EDT when it was still a hurricane. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

NASA's Terra satellite passed over Hurricane Karina before it weakened to a tropical storm early on August 15 and imagery showed the vertical wind shear was already taking its toll.

NASA's Terra satellite passed over Karina on August 14 at 2:40 p.m. EDT when it was still clinging to hurricane status and noticed that wind shear was already having an effect on the storm's structure. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument captured an image that showed that the bulk of Karina's clouds were being pushed to the western side of the storm. That was an indication that vertical was moderate to strong and it continued weakening the storm.

On August 15, Karina continued to experience 20 to 25 knots of easterly , which has caused the center to become partly exposed on the eastern side of the deep convection (rising air that forms the thunderstorms that make up the ).

A tropical storm has maximum sustained wind speed between 39 and 73 mph. By 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC) on August 15, Karina's maximum sustained winds had decreased to 70 mph (110 kph) and the National Hurricane Center expects additional weakening over the next two days.

Karina's center was located latitude 17.2 north and longitude 119.1 west, about 715 miles (1,150 km) west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico. Karina was moving toward the west near 12 mph (19 kph) and is expected to turn to the west-northwest. The estimated minimum central pressure is 990 millibars.

Wind shear is expected to decrease while Karina moves over sea surface temperatures of near 26C (80F). Tropical cyclones need of at least 26C/80F to maintain strength. The National Hurricane Center noted, "this could allow Karina to re-intensify as forecast by the GFDL and the Navy COAMPS computer forecast models. However, any deviation north of the forecast track would take the system over colder water, which would prevent strengthening."

Explore further: NASA sees Tropical Storm Hernan near Mexico's Baja California

Related Stories

NASA sees Tropical Storm Hernan near Mexico's Baja California

July 28, 2014

Tropical Storm Hernan developed over this past weekend and reached hurricane strength before vertical wind shear kicked in and kicked the storm down. NASA's Terra satellite passed over Hernan when it was developing as a tropical ...

NASA sees a weaker Tropical Storm Julio far north of Hawaii

August 12, 2014

Tropical Storm Julio continues to weaken as it moves through cooler waters of the Central Pacific Ocean. NASA's Terra satellite passed over Julio and saw that the bulk of the clouds and precipitation were being pushed to ...

NASA sees Tropical Storm Julio now far from Hawaii

August 14, 2014

Hurricane Julio moved past the Hawaiian Islands like a car on a highway in the distance, and NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of the storm, now downgraded to a tropical storm located more than 700 miles away. Julio ...

Recommended for you

Climate scientist hits out at IPCC projections

October 13, 2015

As a new chairman is appointed to the Intergovernmental Panel on climate Change (IPCC) a University of Manchester climate expert has said headline projections from the organisation about future warming are 'wildly over optimistic.'

'Bridge' fuel may escalate atmospheric greenhouse gas

October 13, 2015

While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests there has been a decline in measurable atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel use in the U.S. for the past seven years, a Cornell scientist says ...

Study sees powerful winds carving away Antarctic snow

October 13, 2015

A new study has found that powerful winds are removing massive amounts of snow from parts of Antarctica, potentially boosting estimates of how much the continent might contribute to sea level. Up to now, scientists had thought ...


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.