NASA Satellites Provided Data On Tropical Cyclone Winston Before And After It Hit Fiji

Posted: Feb 23 2016, 4:21am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News


Tropical Cyclone Winston in Fiji
Photo credit: NASA/JAXA/Hal Pierce

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center reveals that NASA weather specialists knew of the Tropical Cyclone Winston before and after it hit eastern Fiji. NASA satellites such as the GPM, Suomi NPP, and Aqua satellites provided data for rainfall, strength and extent of storm.

Tropical Cyclone Winston hit Vitu Levi in eastern Fiji on February 20, 2016 as a Category 5 hurricane, and it registered on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. This is the worst cyclone to ever hit Fiji by way of strength and destruction.

The Fiji Meteorological Service estimated wind gusts near Winston's center over 200 mph. On Feb. 20, 2016 at 0900 UTC (4 a.m. EST) after landfall, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that Winston's maximum sustained winds were near 155 knots (178.4 mph/287.1 kph) gusting to 190 knots (218.6 mph/351.9 kph).

NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) core observatory satellite flew directly above tropical cyclone Winston on February 20, 2016 at 0941 UTC (4:41 a.m. EST). At that time, Tropical cyclone Winston had winds estimated at 155 knots (178.4 mph/287.1 kph).

That weekend, the government of Fiji declared a State of Natural Disaster for Fiji over the next 30 days. This declaration will make the government to monitor security of lives and property around the affected areas, and this means law enforcement officers will be deployed to ensure the safety of individuals, businesses, and public national assets. Anyone that constitutes a nuisance or threat can be arrested without warrant during this period.

On Feb. 22, 2016 at 0200 UTC (Feb. 21 at 9 p.m. EST) the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Cyclone Winston between Vanuatu to the west and Fiji to the east. Although still a hurricane, Winston's 20 nautical-mile-wide (23 miles/37 km) eye had become cloud-filled.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center states that Cyclone Winston’s current intensity will still be sustained for one more day since it is located over warm sea surface temperatures, after which the cyclone will start to reduce in intensity and eventually become sub-tropical south of New Caledonia.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/52" rel="author">Charles I. Omedo</a>
Charles is covering the latest discoveries in science and health as well as new developments in technology. He is the Chief Editor or Intel-News.




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