Tropical Storm Tasha

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.

Powerful Snowmaker Leaving New England

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.

Tropical Storm Omeka Central Pacific Ocean

The Central Pacific now has unwrapped their first tropical storm since 1997. Tropical Storm Omeka formed in the Central Pacific Ocean near the International Dateline and the GOES-11 satellite captured an image of it today.

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite called GOES-11 is stationary over the western U.S. and provides imagery of that half of the country in addition to visible and infrared images of the eastern and central Pacific Oceans. Satellite data was used to create a full-disk image of the Eastern and Central Pacific Ocean on Dec. 20 at 1200 UTC (7 a.m. EST) at the NASA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The image showed Tropical Storm Omeka to the west of a large area of clouds along a frontal boundary in the Pacific. GOES satellites are managed by NOAA.

System 91S

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.

Tropical Depression 19W Northwestern Pacific Ocean

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.

Tropical Storm 94B

A low pressure system has been moving through the Northern Indian Ocean over the last couple of days and infrared satellite imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite revealed strong convection in its eastern side and strong wind shear.

At 1800 UTC (1 p.m. EST) on Dec. 6, the center of the low pressure area known as 94B was located east of India's southeast coast over the Bay of Bengal. 94B's center is about 225 miles northeast of Colombo, Sri Lanka near 11.4 North and 84.0 East.

When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the low on Dec. 6 at 07:59 UTC (2:59 a.m. EST), its Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument captured an infrared image of the storm's clouds. The image revealed that the western half of the low is already over land as a result of strong wind shear, while the eastern half of the storm and its center of circulation are over open waters in the Bay of Bengal. AIRS data showed that the eastern half of the low had the strongest convection and thunderstorms as infrared data revealed that cloud tops are so high that they are at least -63 degrees Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius) or colder.

Tropical Storm Abele Becomes More Powerful

NASA's TRMM satellite noticed strong bands of thunderstorms wrapping into Tropical Storm Abele, signaling that it has become more organized and more powerful in the Southern Indian Ocean.

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite passed directly above tropical cyclone Abele in a remote area of the South Indian Ocean on December 1 at 0702 UTC (2:02 a.m. EST). This rainfall analysis from TRMM's Precipitation Radar (PR) and TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) shows that Abele had become much better organized. Increasingly well defined bands of rainfall spiraling into the center of the storm are an indication that ABLE had intensified.

The TRMM pass over Abele occurred during daylight hours so the rainfall analysis was overlaid on infrared and visible images from TRMM's Visible and InfraRed Scanner (VIRS). TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.

On Dec. 2 at 0600 UTC (1 a.m. EST), Abele's maximum sustained winds were near 60 knots (69 mph). It was about 610 nautical miles west-southwest of Cocos Islands and moving southeastward at 13 mph. Abele is about to run into cooler waters and increased wind shear and is expected to begin weakening in the next day.