Suomi NPP Satellite sees Tropical Storm Ava near Madagascar
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP passed over newly formed Tropical Storm Ava and analyzed the storm in infrared light. Ava, the third tropical cyclone of the Southern Indian Ocean season formed off the coast of northeastern Madagascar on Jan. 3.
On Jan. 3 at 4:12 a.m. EDT (0912 UTC) the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided gathered infrared data of Ava. The Infrared data provided forecasters with temperatures that indicated where the strongest storms were located within the tropical storm. Coldest clouds tops and strongest storms wrapped around the center of circulation where temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 Celsius). NASA research has shown that storms with cloud top temperatures that cold can produce heavy rainfall.
At 10 a.m. EST (1500 UTC), the center of Ava was located near 6.2 degrees south latitude and 53.0 degrees east longitude. Ava was centered about 298 nautical miles north-northwest of St. Denis. Ava was moving toward the south-southeast near 6 knots (7 mph/11 kph). Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (46 mph/74 kph) with higher gusts.
Swells generated by Ava will affect the east coast as the storm moves in a southerly direction.
The Madagascar Meteorological Department issued a Yellow Alert from the northeastern to east central part of the country. A Yellow Alert means impact is expected between 24 and 48 hours.
On the forecast track, the center of Ava will move to the southwest and approach the east coast of Madagascar on Jan. 5. The JTWC expects Ava to continue tracking south along the eastern coast for a couple of days thereafter and moving south of the island nation by Jan. 8.