NASA spots short-lived Tropical Cyclone Maarutha

April 17, 2017, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
On April 15 at 04:45 UTC NASA's Terra satellite spotted the development of Tropical Cyclone Maarutha in the Bay of Bengal, Northern Indian Ocean. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response

On Saturday, April 15, Tropical Cyclone 1B formed in the Northern Indian Ocean and it made landfall in Burma (Myanmar) on April 16. NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of the storm as if formed quickly and strengthened into a tropical storm that was renamed "Maarutha."

Tropical Cyclone 01B formed early on April 15 in the Bay of Bengal as NASA's Terra satellite passed overhead at 04:45 UTC (12:45 a.m. EDT). The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer captured a visible image of the storm that showed bands of thunderstorms were wrapping into the low-level center of circulation from the north and east.

By 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EST) Maarutha had maximum sustained winds near 46 mph (40 knots/74 kph). It was located about 564 nautical miles south of Dhaka, Bangladesh, has tracked northeastward at 15 mph (13 knots/24.8 kph). At the time, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center said "Animated multispectral satellite imagery depicts a rapidly consolidating system with formative banding (of thunderstorms) wrapping into the low level circulation center."

On April 16 at 2100 UTC (5 p.m. EST), the Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued their final warning on Maarutha. By that time, the storm had made landfall on Myanmar's Rakhine coast and was moving further inland to the north-northeast at 16 mph (14 knots/26 kph). It had maximum sustained winds near 40 mph (35 knots/62 kph) at that time. It was centered about 188 nautical miles (216 miles/348 km) northwest of Yangon at the time.

Maarutha dropped high rainfall totals in south central Myanmar. The Myanmar Meteorological Agency noted that accumulated rainfall for the 24 hours before April 17 at 9:30 a.m. local time totaled 3.7 inches (96 mm) for Bago. Bago is a city and the capital of the Bago Region in Myanmar. It is located 91 kilometers (57 miles) north-east of Yangon. Also in the Bago region, the town of Pyay received 5.4 inches (139 mm). In the Rahkine Region, the city of Kyauckpyu received 4.6 inches (119 mm) of rainfall in a 24 hour period. In the Mon State, Thaton, a town in in southern Myanmar received 4.3 inches (111 mm) of rainfall from Maarutha.

Maarutha is the first named tropical cyclone in the Northern Indian Ocean this season. On April 17 Maarutha's remnants were dissipating over land.

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