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.

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