NASA sees two areas of strength in a weakening Tropical Cyclone Abela
Infrared data from the Suomi NPP satellite showed that Tropical Cyclone Abela continues to weaken in the Western Pacific Ocean.
On Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT), Tropical Cyclone Abela was centered near 14.7 degrees south latitude and 54.7 degrees east longitude. That's about 540 nautical miles east-northeast of Antananarivo, Madagascar. Abela was a minimal tropical storm with maximum sustained winds near 35 knots (40 mph/62 kph). Abela was moving to the west at 17 knots (19.5 mph/31.4 kph).
On July 19 at 0915 UTC (4:15 a.m. EDT) the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard the Suomi NPP satellite captured an image of Tropical Cyclone Abela The VIIRS infrared image showed only two areas of strong convection remaining in Tropical Cyclone Abela. The area of strongest storms were west of the center where cloud top temperatures were near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius).
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) said that the low level circulation center of Abela has become exposed as the weakening central convection is displaced southeastward. That's where the other area of strong storms was seen on the VIIRS image. Cloud top temperatures between minus 65 and 69 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53.8 and 56.1 degrees Celsius). Those storms were less powerful that the storms west of the center.
The Suomi NPP satellite is managed by NASA and NOAA with support from the U.S. Department of Defense.
The JTWC forecast calls for Abela to dissipate sometime tomorrow, July 20 as it tracks toward northeastern Madagascar.