NASA’s Aqua satellite finds winds battering Tropical Cyclone Gelena



Credit: Credit: NASA/NRL

Tropical Cyclone Gelena is being battered by outside winds, and that’s weakening the storm. Visible imagery from NASA’s Aqua satellite revealed the bulk of clouds in Tropical Cyclone Gelena were pushed away from the center.

On Feb. 14, 2019 at 2:45 a.m. EDT (0745 UTC) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Gelena in the Southern Indian Ocean. The image showed Gelena’s clear low level center of circulation, and the bulk of the tropical cyclone’s clouds pushed south of the center. That’s because of strong northerly wind shear.

In general, wind shear is a measure of how the speed and direction of winds change with altitude. Wind shear can tear a tropical cyclone apart or weaken it.

On Feb 14 at 10 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC), Gelena’s maximum sustained winds were near 40 knots (46 mph/74 kph). It was centered near 28.6 degrees south latitude and 86.6 east longitude. Tropical Cyclone Gelena is approximately 1,474 nautical miles south-southeast of Diego Garcia, and has tracked east-southeastward.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects Gelena to dissipate in 24 hours as it continues to face strong vertical wind shear and moves into increasingly cooler sea surface temperatures.


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