NASA sees stubborn Tropical Cyclone Ula kick up

January 8, 2016 by Rob Gutro
On Jan. 7, RapidScat saw Tropical Storm Ula's strongest winds (red) around the center at 27 meters per second (60.4 mph/97.2 kph). Credit: NASA JPL, Doug Tyler Credit: NASA JPL, Doug Tyler

Tropical Storm Ula strengthened over the night-time hours of Jan. 6 to 7 and NOAA's GOES-West satellite and NASA's RapidScat instrument provided a look at the stubborn storm that is expected to continue to intensify and curve south.

On Jan. 7 at 1400 UTC (9 a.m. EST) NASA's RapidScat instrument saw Tropical Storm Ula's strongest winds around the 's center at 27 meters per second (60.4 /97.2 kph). By 2100 UTC (4 p.m. EST) on Jan. 7, sustained winds had increased from 35 to 55 knots (40 to 63.2 mph/62 to 101.9 kph) around the system and it maintained that strength on Jan. 8 at 0900 UTC (4 a.m. EST).

Ula was 240 nautical miles (276.2 miles/444.5 km) west of Suva, Fiji, near 18.4 degrees south latitude and 174.2 east longitude. That puts Tropical cyclone Ula about 366.6 miles (590 kilometers) east-northeast of Tafea province of Vanuatu. Tafea is the southernmost of the six provinces of Vanuatu. Ula was crawling to the west-northwest at 2 knots (2.3 mph/3.7 kph).

NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured this infrared view of Tropical Cyclone Ula west of Fiji on Jan. 7 at 1200 UTC (7 a.m. EST). Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) expects the system will peak at 65 knots on Jan. 9 and begin weakening by Jan. 11.

Forecasters at JTWC expect Ula to curve to the south, staying east of Noumea, New Caledonia on Jan. 10 and 11 and head toward northern New Zealand. Over the next several days, Ula is also expected to transition to an extra-tropical cyclone. For updated forecasts, visit the JTWC page: . For forecasts from the Vanuatu Meteorological Services, visit:

Explore further: Tropical Storm Ula weakens, moves south

Related Stories

Tropical Storm Ula weakens, moves south

January 5, 2016

Former hurricane Ula has weakened to a tropical storm in the Southern Pacific Ocean. NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured an infrared image of the storm on Jan. 5 that showed it moved further south of Fiji.

NASA analyzes Tropical Storm Ula's winds

January 7, 2016

Tropical Storm Ula continued to weaken as it pulled farther away from Fiji in the Southern Pacific Ocean. NASA's RapidScat instrument found that the strongest winds in the storm were south of the center. NOAA's GOES-West ...

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Ula weakening

January 6, 2016

Tropical Cyclone Ula continued to move west, passing south of Fiji when NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead and captured an image of the weakening storm.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Ula's eye and rainfall

January 1, 2016

Tropical Cyclone Ula formed on Dec. 30 and continued tracking south of Pago Pago as NASA observed rainfall rates and saw an eye form the next day. Warnings were in effect in Fiji as Ula approaches.

Recommended for you

Caves in central China show history of natural flood patterns

January 19, 2017

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have found that major flooding and large amounts of precipitation occur on 500-year cycles in central China. These findings shed light on the forecasting of future floods and improve ...


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.