System 98S Southern Indian Ocean

NASA’s Aqua satellite is already seeing the potential in a tropical low pressure area to blossom into a tropical cyclone through its very cold cloud top temperatures.

A low pressure system known as System 98S is currently moving over the northern coast of Western Australia appears to have a good chance for developing into a tropical cyclone later this week once it slides into the warm waters of the Southern Indian Ocean.

On Monday, January 24, 2011 EST, the low was nearing Kuri Bay, located on the northern coast of Western Australia. It is forecast to continue moving southwest and skip over water along the northern coast as it heads toward Beagle Bay, Derby and Broome will be affected by the low’s outer rains and winds as it continues tracking southwest.

Tropical Storm Vania South Pacific Ocean

Tropical Storm Vania on January 12 at 1246 UTC (7:46 a.m. EST). TRMM noticed that some of the thunderstorms reached more than 9 miles (~15 kilometers) high, indicating strong uplift and a heavy rainmakers. TRMM also noticed that the heaviest rains were falling in the northeastern quadrant of the storm and indicate rainfall at about 2 inches per hour. Other quadrants of the storm were generating moderate rainfall rates between .78 to 1.57 inches per hour. TRMM is managed by NASA and the Japanese Space Agency, JAXA.

TRMM captured the rainfall rates of Tropical Storm Vania on January 12 at 1246 UTC. The yellow and green areas indicate moderate rainfall between .78 to 1.57 inches per hour. The heaviest rains were falling in the northeastern quadrant of the storm (Red) and indicate rainfall at about 2 inches per hour.

System 93P

Tropical Storm
System 93P, which is also designated in the Fiji Islands as “03F” for third tropical disturbance formed in the South Pacific Ocean. On Monday, January 10, 2011 at 0600 UTC (1 a.m. EST), it was located about 115 miles east-northeast of Port Vila, Vanuatu near 16.9 South and 170.0 East.

Vanuatu is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,090 miles (1,750 kilometers) east of northern Australia, and 301 miles (500 kilometers) northeast of New Caledonia and west of Fiji.

The infrared image provided an appearances of circular motion, but didn’t show a well-organized storm. Areas that are brighter white are areas of stronger convection

Tropical Storm Tasha

Cyclone Tasha recently made landfall just south of Cairns along the northeast coast of Queensland, Australia during the early morning hours on Christmas Day.

The storm, which had formed just off the coast, came ashore as a Category 1 cyclone (equivalent to a tropical storm on the U.S. Saffir-Simpson scale) with wind gusts of up to 105 kph (~65 mph) reported just offshore. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite (known as TRMM) was launched back in 1997 with the primary purpose of measuring rainfall in the Tropics.

With its unique combination of active radar and passive microwave sensors, TRMM has also served as a valuable platform for monitoring tropical cyclones. TRMM captured an image of Tasha at 15:32 UTC (5:32 am AEST) on the 24th of December 2010 just before it became a Category 1 cyclone. Tasha appears as an area of enhanced rainfall with moderate to localized areas of heavy rain embedded within a broader area of light to moderate rain draped along the coast of northeastern Australia.

Tasha has no eye and little evidence of banding, which indicates that it is not an intense system. In fact, Tasha's winds did little damage and the storm was quickly downgraded from a cyclone by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre; however, heavy rains from the storm and its remnants had a substantial impact on the region by exacerbating flood conditions already in place as a result of prior excessive rainfall across eastern Australia. The result was widespread flooding with many areas cut off.