NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Iris weakening off Queensland coast
NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Coral Sea and captured an image of Tropical Cyclone Iris as it continued weakening and moving away from the coast of Queensland, Australia.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology dropped all warnings for land areas, but maintained a High Seas Weather Warning for Metarea 10.
On April 5 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible light image of Iris. The image showed a concentration of strong thunderstorms around the center of circulation. MODIS infrared data showed that some of those storms had cloud top temperatures as cold as minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 degrees Celsius), indicating they are high in the troposphere. NASA research has shown that storms with cloud tops that high and cold have the ability to generate heavy rainfall.
The MODIS image also showed that wind shear was affecting the storm, and it appeared somewhat elongated as a large area of clouds were being pushed to the southeast of the center.
At 8:49 a.m. EDT (1249 UTC/10:49 p.m. AEST local time) on April 5, Tropical Cyclone Iris had maximum sustained winds near 52 mph (45 knots/83 kph), mostly south of the center. Iris was located well off the central Queensland coast near latitude 20.6 south and longitude 153.3 east, which is about 283 miles (455 km) east of Hamilton Island and 270 miles (435 km) east of Mackay. The cyclone is moving southeast at 7.4 mph (12 kph).
Australian Bureau of Meteorology noted "Iris has continued to move to the southeast Iris and should slow Friday morning and weaken. The system is expected to turn around and adopt a track back toward the northwest on Friday. Tropical cyclone Iris is no longer having any significant impact on the Queensland coast or islands.".
For updated forecasts from AMB, visit: http://www.bom.gov.au.