NASA sees cyclone Jasmine's power and new eye
Cyclone Jasmine continues to wind between New Caledonia and Vanuatu and bring cyclone-force winds, heavy rain and very rough surf. NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead early on February 7 and noticed the strongest part of the cyclone was around the center and north and east of the center. Aqua data showed that an eye has developed.
The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of Jasmine on February 7, 2012 at 03:17 UTC (2:17 p.m., Pacific/Noumea local time/Feb 6, 10:17 p.m. EST). Jasmine's strongest thunderstorms were close to the center of circulation and in bands of thunderstorms to the north and east of center, where cloud top temperatures are below -63 F (-52.7C). Those were the areas experiencing the heaviest rainfall. Satellite data also revealed a ragged-looking eye about 24 nautical miles (27.6 miles/44.5 km) in diameter.
On February 7, a Yellow Alert remains current for Malampa, Shefa and Tafea Provinces of Vanuatu. The New Caledonia warnings included an orange alert for the Loyalty Islands, and the rest of the territory is on yellow pre-alert.
On February 7 at 0900 UTC, Jasmine has maximum sustained winds near 100 knots (115 mph/185 kph). It was located about 220 nautical miles (253.2 miles/407.4 km) north-northwest of Noumea, New Caledonia near 18.9 South and 165.2 East. Jasmine was moving to the southeast at 16 knots (18.4 mph/29.6 kph).
Jasmine continues to gain strength as it zig-zags slightly to the east-southeast and is expected to weaken later in the week.