On Feb. 20 at 1111 UTC (6:11 a.m. EST/U.S.) the AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured this infrared image of Tropical Cyclone Storm Haruna. The area of strongest thunderstorms circled the eye and had cloud top temperatures colder than -63F (-52C). Those cold cloud top temperatures indicated strong storms with heavy rainfall, which was verified by NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite.
This false-colored infrared night-time image from NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite on Feb. 19 at 2303 UTC shows Cyclone Haruna's coldest cloud top temperatures (white) were north of the center.
Credit: NASA/NOAA/University of Wisconsin Madison
At 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST) on Feb. 20, Haruna reached hurricane (or cyclone)-force with maximum sustained winds near 70 knots (80 mph/129.6 kph). Haruna is centered near 22.1 south latitude and 40.7 east longitude, about 400 nautical miles (460 miles/741 km) west-southwest of Antananarivo, Madagascar. Haruna is moving to the west at 4 knots (4.6 mph/7.4 kph) and generating 25-foot-high (7.6 meter-high) waves.
Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect Haruna to make a brief landfall near Androka in the southwestern part of Madagascar as the storm heads southeast into the open waters of the southern Indian Ocean.
Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
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