NASA sees development of South Pacific’s Tropical Cyclone Bart
Tropical Cyclone Bart has developed in the Southern Pacific Ocean, and NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of the storm early on Feb. 21.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Bart on Feb. 21 at 0045 UTC (Feb. 20 at 7:45 p.m. EST). The MODIS image showed that Bart is elongated as a result of vertical wind shear. The bulk of clouds and thunderstorms were being pushed to the southeast as a result of northwesterly wind shear.
On Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. EST (1500 UTC) the Joint Typhoon Warning Center or JTWC noted Bart's maximum sustained winds were near 46 mph (40 knots/74 kph). At that time, Bart was centered near 22.4 degrees south latitude and 161.3 degrees west longitude, about 762 nautical miles west-southwest of Papeete, Tahiti. Bart was moving to the east-southeast at a speedy 25.3 mph (22 knots/40.7 kph) and over open waters of the South Pacific Ocean.
The JTWC noted that Bart is located along the northeast edge of a deep subtropical shortwave trough (elongated area of low pressure) and "environmental conditions are forecast to degrade over the next 24 to 36 hours with increasing vertical wind shear and cooler sea surface temperatures, which will eventually lead to extra-tropical transition [in a day and a half].