NASA's Aqua satellite sees Tropical Storm 02A's high thunderstorms

May 20, 2010
This NASA infrared AIRS satellite image from May 19 revealed that Tropical Storm 02A has some stronger thunderstorms around its center (higher, stronger storms are depicted in purple). Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen

NASA's Aqua satellite saw some strong thunderstorms in Tropical Storm 02A using infrared imagery, as it heads into the Gulf of Aden between Somalia and Yemen.

At 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT), 2A was packing maximum sustained winds near 45 knots (52 mph). Tropical storm-force winds extend out to 45 miles from the center. It is located near 12.6 North and 51.5 East in the Arabian Sea, passing by Cape Guardafui on the northeast tip of Somalia. It was moving in a west-northwest direction at 7 mph (6 knots), and moving into the Gulf of Aden. 2A's winds are kicking up waves in the Gulf of Aden and western Arabian Sea up to 15 feet high.

NASA's flew over Tropical Storm 02A on May 19 at 21:59 UTC (5:59 p.m. EDT) and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder known as the AIRS instrument captured an infrared image of the storm. The infrared image showed 02A has some stronger thunderstorms around its center. Additionally, the image showed warm waters of more than 80 degrees Fahrenheit (threshold for maintaining ) in the Gulf of Aden and western Arabian Sea. The imagery also showed much warmer land temperatures in Yemen to the storm's north.

Once 02A gets into the Gulf of Aden, forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect the storm will strengthen for a brief period before it runs into wind shear, which is expected to weaken it.

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