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.

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