Tropical Cyclone Ita has been strengthening over the last two days and by April 10, Ita had become a major hurricane in the Coral Sea when NASA's Terra satellite passed overhead.
Ita's maximum sustained winds were near 115 knots/132 mph/213 kph on April 10 at 0900 UTV/5 a.m. EDT, making it a Category Four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. According to NOAA, the definition of a Category 4 storm affecting land is: "Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls.
Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months."
Ita's center was still at sea, centered near 12.5 south and 147.1 east, about 275 nautical miles north-northeast of Cairns, Australia. Ita was moving to the north-northeast at 9 knots/10/3 mph/16.6 kph and generating 30-foot/9.1 meter high waves.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Ita approaching Australia on April 10 at 00:25 UTC. The image showed a cloud-shrouded eye with a thick band of powerful thunderstorms around the center of circulation.
On April 9, Ita was seen twice by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite known as TRMM satellite. Ita's wind speeds increased from 65 knots/75 mph with TRMM's first flight overhead at 0536 UTC/1:36 a.m. EDT to 80 knots/92 mph when viewed again at 1528 UTC/11:28 p.m. EDT.
TRMM's Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) instruments captured data on Tropical Cyclone Ita's rainfall at 1528 UTC/11:28 a.m. EDT. TRMM PR data showed that a maximum rainfall rate of almost 163 mm/6.4 inches per hour was located in the eastern side of Ita's eye wall.
TRMM's Precipitation Radar (PR) instrument sliced through Ita's eye and those data were used to create a 3-D "cut-a-way" view. The image showed that powerful storms in Ita's eye wall reached heights of over 14 km/8.7 miles. The tallest thunderstorm towers reached heights of over 16 km/9.9 miles high in a feeder band well to the northeast of Ita's eye.
Ita is continuing to intensify as it moves west, south of Papua New Guinea. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center or JTWC expects the system to peak at 135 knots/155 mph/250 kph on approach to Queensland. JTWC also expects the system will veer sharply southeast on approach to the Australian coastline, and gradually weaken as it passes along the eastern coastline of Queensland. Ita will commence extra-tropical transitioning north of Brisbane.
Current warnings in Queensland are in effect between Lockhart River and Innisfail, extending inland to Kalinga, Laura, Mareeba and Chillagoe. A tropical cyclone watch is in force between Innisfail to Cardwell, extending inland.
Rob Gutro | Eurek Alert!
Study offers new insights on hurricane intensity, pollution transport
03.08.2015 | University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Glaciers melt faster than ever
03.08.2015 | Universität Zürich
Glacier decline in the first decade of the 21st century has reached a historical record, since the onset of direct observations. Glacier melt is a global phenomenon and will continue even without further climate change. This is shown in the latest study by the World Glacier Monitoring Service under the lead of the University of Zurich, Switzerland.
The World Glacier Monitoring Service, domiciled at the University of Zurich, has compiled worldwide data on glacier changes for more than 120 years. Together...
Using ultracold atoms trapped in light crystals, scientists from the MPQ, LMU, and the Weizmann Institute observe a novel state of matter that never thermalizes.
What happens if one mixes cold and hot water? After some initial dynamics, one is left with lukewarm water—the system has thermalized to a new thermal...
Physicists from Regensburg and Marburg, Germany have succeeded in taking a slow-motion movie of speeding electrons in a solid driven by a strong light wave. In the process, they have unraveled a novel quantum phenomenon, which will be reported in the forthcoming edition of Nature.
The advent of ever faster electronics featuring clock rates up to the multiple-gigahertz range has revolutionized our day-to-day life. Researchers and...
Researchers have developed an ultrafast light-emitting device that can flip on and off 90 billion times a second and could form the basis of optical computing.
Joint BioEnergy Institute study identifies bacterial protein that is key to protecting rice against bacterial blight
A bacterial signal that when recognized by rice plants enables the plants to resist a devastating blight disease has been identified by a multi-national team...
23.07.2015 | Event News
10.07.2015 | Event News
25.06.2015 | Event News
03.08.2015 | Earth Sciences
03.08.2015 | Life Sciences
03.08.2015 | Earth Sciences