Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Winston U-turn toward Fiji


Tropical Cyclone Winston made a U-turn in the Southern Pacific Ocean just north of Niue, and appears to be headed back toward Fiji.

On Feb. 18, the gale warning for Niue has been cancelled now that Winston has moved west. However, a tropical cyclone alert is in force for Fiji, specifically the Lau group, Taveuni, Lomaiviti group, eastern half of Viti Levu, Kadavu. In Tonga warnings remain in effect. A storm warning is in effect for Vava'u and a gale warning is in effect for Niuatoputapu, Ha'apai, Tongatapu and 'Eua.

On Feb. 18 at 12:41 UTC (7:41 a.m. EST) NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite showed Winston had a large eye with tightly curved, strong bands of thunderstorms wrapping into the center.


At 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST) on Feb. 18, Tropical Cyclone Winston's maximum sustained winds were near 100 knots (115.1 mph/185.2 kph). It was a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale, making it a major hurricane. Winston was located near 17.1 degrees south latitude and 172.3 degrees west longitude, about 182 nautical miles northwest of Niue. Winston was moving to the west at 7 knots (8 mph/12.9 kph) and generating wave heights to 28 feet (8.5 meters).

On Feb. 18 at 12:41 UTC (7:41 a.m. EST) NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Winston and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard saw very strong thunderstorms around the eye. Infrared date from VIIRS showed a large eye with tightly curved, strong bands of thunderstorms wrapping into the center. Strongest thunderstorms and coldest cloud tops were in the northwestern quadrant. Temperatures in storms there were as cold as minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 Celsius).

Animated enhanced infrared satellite imagery showed that Winston has a large, ragged eye with cloud-top cooling observed within the eye wall over six hours before 1500 UTC. When cloud top temperatures cool it means that the air is rising faster and stronger than before, pushing cloud tops higher into the troposphere (where temperatures are colder). Cooling cloud tops are an indication of a strengthening storm.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) forecast expects Winston to strengthen to 110 knots (126.6 mph/203.7 kph) and then begin on a weakening trend from Feb. 19 as it tracks over cooler sea surface temperatures. By Feb. 20, Winston is forecast to run into increasing vertical wind shear which will also help to weaken the system.

JTWC calls for Winston to move closest to southern Fiji on Feb. 21. It is then expected to turn southeast. For updated warnings and information from the Fiji Meteorological Service, visit:

Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht UCI and NASA document accelerated glacier melting in West Antarctica
26.10.2016 | University of California - Irvine

nachricht Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere
25.10.2016 | American Geophysical Union

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>