Tonga is an archipelago located in the South Pacific Ocean. It is made up of 169 islands, and 133 of those are uninhabited. The Kingdom of Tonga stretches over 500 miles (800 km) from north to south. The islands that make up the archipelago are all south of Samoa.
Rene passed over the northern island of Vava'u this weekend. Nuku'alofa, the capital city of the islands was lashed with gusty winds and heavy rainfall and residents experienced some power outages. In the center of the archipelago, the Ha'apai island group was hit by wind gusts as high as 143 miles (228 km) an hour.
By 4 a.m. ET (0900 UTC) on February 16, Rene’s maximum sustained winds had decreased to 45 knots (52 mph or 83 km/hr). Rene was located near 24.7 South and 179.6 West, about 440 nautical miles southeast of Nadi, Fiji. Rene was moving about 16 knots (18 mph or 29 km/hr) west-southwest.
Satellite data revealed that Rene’s low-level center of circulation is now fully exposed to wind shear. In addition, the deep convection (rapidly rising air that creates the thunderstorms that power tropical cyclones) has been sheared off to the south of the storm’s center, cutting of its power.
Rene is now moving over waters cooler than 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.6 Celsius), so it is expected to continue weakening. 80F (26.6C) is the minimum warm water temperature threshold that a tropical cyclone needs to maintain strength. In addition to cooler waters an upper-level low pressure area to the northwest is helping to suppress convection from occurring. Wind shear is battering Rene, too, so the storm is being weakened from three major factors.
Before Rene struck Tonga, the nation was hit by a 6.1 magnitude earthquake on Saturday, February 13. The quake was 6.2 miles deep and was located about 60 miles southeast of Nuku’alofa. No injuries or fatalities were reported.
Residents of Tonga are grateful that Rene has passed so the clean up can begin.
Text credit: Rob Gutro, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland
19.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences