NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Haliba affecting La Reunion and Mauritius islands
Tropical Cyclone Haliba formed east of the island nation of Madagascar in the Southern Indian Ocean and is now affecting the La Reunion and Mauritius islands. NASA's Terra satellite passed over Haliba on March 9 and captured an image of the storm that showed the eastern quadrant was affecting the two smaller islands.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Haliba on March 9 at 06:35 UTC (2:35 a.m. EDT). The image showed both La Reunion and Mauritius islands were covered by a thick band of thunderstorms east of Haliba's center.
At 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) Tropical cyclone Haliba had maximum sustained winds near 40 knots (46 mph/74 kph). It was moving to the southeast at 6 knots (6.9 mph/11.1 kph) and is expected to continue moving in that general direction. Haliba was centered near 21.3 south latitude and 53.9 east longitude, just 85 nautical miles (97.8 miles/157.5 km) west of La Reunion Island.
Forecasts for La Reunion are managed by the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centers (RSMC) at Toulouse (Meteo-France). RSMC posted warnings for heavy rain and gusty winds for La Reunion on March 9. For updated track information and forecasts, visit RSMC: http://www.meteofrance.re/cyclone/activite-cyclonique-en-cours
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) forecast calls for Haliba to move southeast over the next several days, while intensifying to 55 knots. After four days, the storm is expected to run into adverse environmental conditions (increased vertical wind shear and cooler sea surface temperatures) that will lead to its dissipation.