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Two Tropical Fists Threatening Australia

The AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of System 99S on Feb. 15 at 0441 UTC. The strongest convection (purple) was over the Timor Sea and represented in thunderstorm cloud-top temperatures as cold as or colder than -63 Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius).

NASA’s Aqua Satellite has captured two tropical storms threatening to grow into cyclones north of Australia. Two low pressure areas are developing near the Northern Territory and Western Australia, System 99S is currently strengthenig near Darwin, Australia, while another low pressure called System 97S is strengthening near WA.

System 97S was located about 210 nautical miles north-northwest of Learmonth, Western Australia, at 1800 UTC (1 p.m. EST), Feb. 15. It was centered near 19.2 South and 112.1 East. That puts the center of System 97S well to the northwest of Exmouth. System 97S is forecast to move west or southwest over the next few days.

System 99S is a threat to Australia’s Northern Territory because on Feb. 15 it was centered only 20 miles (32 km) south of Darwin, Australia, near 12.7 degrees South latitude and 130.7 degrees East longitude. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center gives System 99S a good chance for development in the next 24 hours, and NASA satellite imagery confirms the strong convection and thunderstorms developing in the system.

On Feb. 15 at 06:17 UTC (1:17 a.m. EST) AIRS instrument infrared data showed three areas of strong convection (purple) in System 97S. There are three areas of strong thunderstorms and convection (purple) where cloud top temperatures were so high in the atmosphere that they were as cold as or colder than -52 Celsius/-63 Fahrenheit.

The storms were discovered using the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite as it flew over Australia between 04:00UTC and 07:00UTC on February the 15th.

Source: NASA Goddard




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