Credit: Credit: NASA Worldview
Tropical Cyclone Calvinia formed on Dec. 29 and by the next day, its clouds from a band of thunderstorms on its western side had blanketed the island of Mauritius in the Southern Indian Ocean.
Calvinia’s center was just east of the island on Dec. 30. The storm has triggered a tropical cyclone warning class III in Mauritius.
On Dec. 30, 2019, the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Terra satellite provided a visible image of Calvinia that showed the storm had a rounded shape. A rounded shape of a tropical cyclone indicates an organized storm. The MODIS image revealed bands of thunderstorms from the western side spiraled into the low-level center of circulation. That thick band of thunderstorms blanketed Mauritius bringing gusty winds and heavy rains.
On Dec. 30 at 0300 UTC (Dec. 29 at 10 p.m. EST) the Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that Tropical Cyclone Calvinia was located near 20.6 degrees south latitude and 58.8 degrees east longitude. That is about 90 nautical miles east-southeast of Mauritius. Maximum sustained winds 35 knots (40 mph). This storm if moving to the southwest.
Calvinia is forecast to strengthen to 55 knots and curve to the southeast and away from Mauritius and St. Denis.
NASA’s Terra satellite is one in a fleet of NASA satellites that provide data for hurricane research.
Tropical cyclones are the most powerful weather event on Earth. NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.
By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.