The sixteenth tropical cyclone of the Southern Indian Ocean season formed in the Mozambique Channel, and the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Storm Haruna on Feb. 19 at 0745 UTC.
Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
A low pressure area called System 94S developed on Friday, Feb. 15 in the northern Mozambique Channel. Over the course of four days System 94S became more organized and by Feb. 19 it became Tropical Storm Haruna.
On Tuesday, Feb. 19, Tropical Storm Haruna had maximum sustained winds near 35 knots (40.2 mph/64.8 kph). Haruna was located in the Mozambique Channel, near 21.4 south latitude and 40.9 east longitude, about 375 nautical miles (431.5 miles/694.5 km) west-southwest of Antananarivo, Madagascar. Microwave satellite imagery from the AMSU-B instrument confirmed the location of Haruna's low-level center. Haruna is moving south at 5 knots (5.7 mph/9.2 kph).
The MODIS image was created by the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
According to forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), the organization that forecasts tropical cyclones in the Indian Ocean, Haruna is being guided by a low-to-mid-level subtropical ridge (elongated area) of high pressure and is expected to continue moving south until a low pressure area turns the tropical storm southeast.
Forecasters at the JTWC expect that Haruna will intensify over the next day or two and make a brief landfall over southern Madagascar. Haruna is expected to re-emerge into open ocean and vertical wind shear is forecast to increase with the low pressure area, weakening the storm.
Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
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