NASA sees wide-eyed cyclone Jasmine
Cyclone Jasmine's eye has opened wider on NASA satellite imagery, as it moves through the Southern Pacific Ocean.
On Friday, February 10, 2012 at 0900 UTC (4 a.m. EST), Cyclone Jasmine is maintaining Category One hurricane status on the Saffir Simpson Scale, with maximum sustained winds near 75 knots (86 mph/~139 km) . Jasmine is located 550 miles south-southwest of Nadi, Fiji, near 25.8 South and 173.3 East. It is moving to the southeast at 8 knots (9 mph/~15 kph). Jasmine is about 240 nautical miles (276 miles/~445 km) in diameter.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Jasmine in the southern Pacific Ocean on February 10 at 02:10 UTC (Feb 9 at 9:10 p.m. EST). The image indicates that the storm has remained well organized, and Jasmine's eye is now about 60 nautical miles in diameter.
Jasmine is moving along an area of stable and cooler air with stratocumulus clouds. That stable, cool, drier air is starting to weaken the warm, moist tropical cyclone. Cooler sea surface temperatures are also weakening Jasmine.
The storm is expected to gradually move east, then north and may dissipate before reaching Tonga. Residents of Tonga should monitor this storm.