February 27, 2012
Three Days of NASA Infrared Images Show System 92S Tropically Developing
NASA satellites have been watching the low pressure area called System 92S for days, and infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite showed cloud temperatures were cooling, indicating the storm was getting more organized as it moved over northern Madagascar. Now it may be headed for landfall in Mozambique.
The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured infrared imagery on developing System 92S as it moved from the Southern Indian Ocean, west across northern Madagascar and into the Mozambique Channel. On February 25 at 0941 UTC, System 92S appeared as a rounded low pressure area with the strongest storms (and highest, coldest cloud tops on AIRS infrared imagery) south of the center of circulation. It was still in the open waters of the Southern Indian Ocean and was moving west toward Madagascar. By February 26 at 10:23 UTC System 92S was raining on northern Madagascar. On February 27 at 1105 UTC had moved into the Mozambique Channel and appeared to be heading for a landfall in Mozambique. On the 27th, the strongest thunderstorms and coldest cloud tops appeared in two areas, north and east of the storm's center.
Now that the center of System 92S is over the warm waters of the Mozambique Channel, it is expected to redevelop quickly. The area of strong thunderstorms east of center, as seen on AIRS imagery is a band of thunderstorms.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center gives this system a high chance for developing further into a tropical cyclone in the next 24 hours.
Image 1: The AIRS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured infrared imagery on developing System 92S in the Mozambique Channel (Indian Ocean). On February 25 at 0941 UTC, System 92S was moving west toward Madagascar. By February 26 at 10:23 UTC System 92S was over northwestern Madagascar. On February 27 at 1105 UTC had moved into the Mozambique Channel and appeared to be heading for a landfall in Mozambique. Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
Image 2: This visible image of System 92S was also captured from the AIRS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite on February 27. System 92S's center is now over the Mozambique Channel. Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
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