Tropical Storm Tasha formed quickly in the South Pacific Ocean last weekend and made landfall on the coast of Queensland, Australia on Christmas day (local time). NASA’s Terra satellite passed over Tasha after its center made landfall and captured a visible image of the storm revealing some powerful thunderstorms.
On Dec. 24, Tropical Storm Tasha formed quickly and headed for landfall near Cairns, Australia. At 1800 UTC (1 p.m. EST or 4 a.m. on Dec. 25 local time –Brisbane/Australia), Tasha was near 17.1S 146.3E, about 35 nautical miles east-southeast of Cairns with maximum sustained winds near 39 mph. At that time a NASA Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite image showed banding of thunderstorms and the storm was getting more organized.
On Dec. 24 at 3:14 p.m. EST (6:14 a.m. local time on Dec. 25), the Australia Bureau of Meteorology issued a Severe Weather Warning, calling for “damaging winds, heavy rainfall and further flooding for people about the Queensland coast, ranges and adjacent inland areas between Cardwell and St Lawrence.” In addition, a High Surf Warning was posted.
Snows are finally winding down in New England today, Dec. 27, as a powerful low pressure system brought blizzard conditions from northern New Jersey to Maine over Christmas weekend. The GOES-13 satellite captured an image of the low’s center off the Massachusetts coast and saw the snowfall left behind.
The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite called GOES-13 captured the visible image. GOES satellites are operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and NASA’s GOES Project, located at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. creates some of the GOES satellite images and animations.
As of 1:30 p.m. EST, all blizzard warnings were canceled as the low has pulled much of its snow and rain away from land areas and into the North Atlantic Ocean. The winds behind the system are now causing more problems for residents along the U.S. East coast.
Snowfall ranged from 1.5 inches in Atlanta, Georgia to more than a foot in various areas of New Jersey, New York and the New England states. Near Wallops Island, Va. where NASA has a facility, more than 11 inches of snow was reported this morning. Newark, N.J. reported 17.7 inches of snow by midnight last night. Central Park in New York City reported 12.0 inches of snow had fallen just before midnight. Providence, Rhode Island reported 7.9 inches by midnight, while Boston, Mass. reported 9.9 inches at that time. More snow fell on top of those totals during the morning hours today.
The Central Pacific now has unwrapped their first tropical storm since 1997. Tropical Storm Omeka formed in the Central Pacific Oceannear the International Dateline and the GOES-11 satellite captured an image of it today.
Tropical storm Omeka, also known as 01C (for Central), was born this morning, December 20 at 0900 UTC (4 a.m. EST). It has maximum sustained winds near 45 knots (52 mph) and was moving northeast at 14 mph. It is located about 505 miles south of Midway Island near 20.9 North and 178.2 West. That’s about 1,200 miles west of Kauai, Hawaii. Omeka is no threat to land areas as it continues to spin through the Central Pacific.
In December, tropical systems have formed in the central Pacific but it’s a rare occurrence. The last time it happened was 13 years ago in 1997 when Typhoon Paka formed. Omeka is different than Paka, however, because Omeka came from an extra-tropical low that was near 35 degrees north latitude about a week ago and became tropical. The broadness of the feature has far reaching affects, as far as 1200 miles away.
Omeka is forecast to move north into harsh atmospheric conditions (strong wind shear) that are expected to weaken it and cause its dissipation within a couple of days.
A low pressure system designated System 91S is spinning in the Southern Indian Ocean, and NASA’s Aqua satellite captured infrared and visible images of it earlier today. Satellite imagery indicates that the system is getting organized and may soon develop into a tropical depression.
At 0600 UTC (1 a.m. EST) on December 15, System 91S was located about 310 miles northwest of Learmonth, Australia near 18.1 South latitude and 110.6 East longitude. Learmonth is located in the extreme western coast of Australia.
When NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over System 91S on Dec. 15 at 06:05 UTC (1:05 a.m. EST) the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) Instrument captured an infrared image that showed a large area of strong convection around the center of the system’s circulation. The cloud tops were as cold as or colder than -63 Fahrenheit, indicating high, strong thunderstorms. The circulation of the low was clearly evident in the visible image from the AIRS instrument.
The strongest surface winds appear to be on the northeastern side of the storm between 25-30 knots (28-34 mph or 46-55 km/hr) where the strong convection is occurring. Minimum estimated pressure is 1000 millibars. System 91S is moving southwest near 5 mph.
Because System 91S continues to intensify and organize it has a good potential for developing into a tropical depression in the next 24 hours.
Tropical Depression 19W was alive as a depression for only two days in the waters of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean basin and as it wanes it still had some strong thunderstorms within, according to NASA’s TRMM Satellite. Those thunderstorms have added to the rainfall flooding woes already being experienced in Vietnam.
Tropical Depression 19W (TD 19W) became a remnant low pressure area on Dec. 13 at 0900 UTC (4 a.m. EST) when its center was located about 225 miles east of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam near 10.2 North and 110.4 East. At that time, its maximum sustained winds were only near 23 mph (20 knots) and it had higher gusts over 30 mph. It was slowly moving west at 5 mph through the South China Sea (part of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean basin). TD 19W was kicking up wave heights to nine feet in the South China Sea.
Tropical depression 19W was the latest of four tropical cyclones to move over Vietnam this season. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite passed directly above TD 19W on December 13, 2010 at 2038 UTC (3:38 p.m. EST) and collected rainfall data. TRMM’s Precipitation Radar (PR) showed that a few powerful thunderstorms embedded within TD 19W were dropping heavy rainfall off Vietnam’s south-eastern coast. The heaviest rainfall was falling at a rate of about 2 inches per hour over the coastal waters of Vietnam. TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.
Although TD 19W was very small it’s rainfall added to October’s extreme rainfall amounts that contributed to the worst flooding seen in the country of Vietnam for 20 years. Flooding was widespread in the central provinces of Nghe An, Quang Tri, Quang Binh, Thua Thien Hue, and Ha Tinh. Deadly tropical storms Mindulle and Conson hit Vietnam in July and August. Tropical depression 18W in November also added to Vietnam’s extremely high 2010 rainfall totals.
According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, the organization that forecasts tropical cyclones in that area of the world, TD 19W’s remnant s have already moved ashore and are now affecting southern and central Cambodia.