March 9, 2010
Tropical Cyclone Formation Likely Near Madagascar
NASA Aqua satellite sees banding occurring
Forecasters are watching a low pressure area located off the east coast of Madagascar that appears ripe for development in the Southern Indian Ocean. If it becomes a tropical storm, it would be named Hubert.
Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that "Formation of a significant tropical cyclone is possible within the next 12 to 24 hours." There are a couple of factors helping this low become tropically organized: warm waters and improved banding of thunderstorms around the storm (indicating circulation and good convection, rapidly rising air that creates thunderstorms).
Animated multispectral satellite imagery shows improved organization with curved convective banding around a low level circulation center. Another satellite showed a tightly wrapped low level center of circulation.
NASA's Aqua satellite flew over 90S on March 8 at 5:23 a.m. ET and captured an infrared image from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument. AIRS infrared instrument measures cloud top and sea surface temperatures and showed that bands of convective thunderstorms are wrapping around 90S's low-level center.
Forecasters believe that the low known as "90S" has a good chance of growing up to become "Hubert."
Image Caption: This infrared image from NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, AIRS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite shows how the high cold clouds (blue) are starting to band, or wrap around the low's center of circulation on March 8 at 5:23 a.m. ET. Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
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