The movement and landfall of Tropical Cyclone Bingiza was captured over the weekend of Feb. 12-13 in a series of infrared satellite imagery from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite. Aqua and Terra provided companion visible images to the infrared images of Bingiza's track across northern Madagascar.
This series of infrared satellite imagery from the AIRS instrument on NASA\'s Aqua satellite shows the progression of Tropical Cyclone Bingiza over the weekend of Feb. 12-13. On February 12 at 21:35 UTC, Bingiza\'s center was still at sea, and an eye was visible. On Feb. 13 at 0947 UTC, AIRS noticed the western edge of Bingiza over northeastern Madagascar and the storm appears to be expanding. On Feb. 13 at 22:17 UTC, Bingiza\'s center was on the northeastern coastline and it was making landfall. Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
Today, Feb. 14 at 0900 UTC (4 a.m. EST), Cyclone Bingiza had maximum sustained winds of 85 knots (98 mph / 157 kmh) over land. It was located about 250 nautical miles (287 miles/463 km) northeast of Antananarivo, Madagascar, near 16.0 South and 49.3 East. It was moving westward near 8 knots (9 mph/15 kmh).
Currently there are warnings posted for Malagasy. Heavy rainfall is expected to be the main hazard for northern Madagascar.
This morning's (Feb. 14) infrared AIRS satellite image from 10:23 UTC (5:23 a.m. EST) shows northern Madagascar covered by the storm. It also showed that Bingiza remained well-organized with tightly-curved convective thunderstorm banding wrapping into a well-defined low-level circulation center. It continues to draw energy from the warm waters of the Southern Indian Ocean.Although the storm was still at hurricane strength at that time, no eye was visible in the infrared image. The strongest thunderstorms and coldest (-63F/-52C), highest cloud tops were over north central Madagascar and over the Mozambique Channel. The imagery also showed that the western edge of Bingiza was already over the Mozambique Channel. AIRS images are created at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, Calif.
The forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect Bingiza to continue tracking west-southwestward over land over the next 36 hours while rapidly weakening. The storm is expected to track over northern Madagascar and by Feb. 16 it will move into the Mozambique Channel where it is expected to regenerate in the warm waters (30 degrees Celsius) and low wind shear. Once in the Channel, forecasters expect that it will be steered southwestward to southward.
Forecasts currently differ on the end Bingiza's life. Some models predict a second landfall in southern Madagascar right now, while others keep the storm at sea.
Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
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