December 10, 2012
Cyclone Claudia Eyeballs NASA
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
NASA's Aqua satellite got "eyeballed" from Cyclone Claudia in the Southern Indian Ocean when two instruments captured the storm's eye in infrared and visible light. Satellite data indicates that Claudia's eye is about 10 nautical miles wide.On Dec. 10 at 0841 UTC (3:41 a.m. EST), NASA's Aqua satellite's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument captured an infrared view of Cyclone Claudia which showed a clear eye surrounded by powerful thunderstorms. The thunderstorms that surrounded the eye were high in the troposphere and cloud top temperatures topped -63 Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius).
During that same overpass the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument also aboard Aqua captured a stunning visible image of Claudia that clearly showed an eye.
Claudia became a cyclone over the weekend of Dec. 8 and 9. On Dec. 8, Tropical Cyclone Claudia's winds increased to cyclone strength. During the early morning hours on Dec. 8 NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite passed overhead and identified that the heaviest rainfall lay south of the eye of the storm. Rain in that quadrant of the storm was falling at a rate of 30 millimeters (1.2 inches) per hour.
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