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NASA satellite sees Tropical Depression 10P Strengthening in south Pacific

28.01.2010
NASA's Aqua satellite is keeping an eye on the tenth tropical depression to form in the southern Pacific Ocean. Tropical Depression 10P has formed overnight and is expected to continue strengthening.

When Aqua passed over Tropical Depression 10P (TD 10P) on January 27 at 12:17 UTC (7:17 a.m. ET) it was located near 15.1 South and 169.7 W, had maximum sustained winds near 39 mph (35 knots) and a minimum central pressure of 996 millibars. That places TD 10P's center about 45 nautical miles west-southwest of Pago Pago, American Samoa.

American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of the sovereign state of Samoa.

TD 10P is moving east-southeast at a speedy 20 mph (18 knots). The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite took an infrared image of TD 10P earlier today, January 27, revealing the depression was strengthening quickly. Ground observations from the Ta'u Airport at American Samoa agreed with the 35 maximum sustained wind-speed satellite estimate. Ground observations noted that air pressure has dropped over the last day, to 997.5 millibars, which also indicates a strengthening storm.

Because of low wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures, TD 10P is expected to continue to strengthen.

Over the next several days, TD 10P is forecast to move generally in an easterly direction, and is expected to bring rains and gusty winds to Barotonga, Bora Bora and Tahiti.

Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nasa.gov

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