[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 3-Jan-2013
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Contact: Rob Gutro
Robert.j.gutro@nasa.gov
443-858-1779
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

2 NASA satellites see Cyclone Dumile over La Reunion and Mauritius

IMAGE: This visible image of Tropical Cyclone Dumile over La Reunion Island and Mauritius was captured by the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite on Jan. 3, 2013, at 0650 UTC....

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NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites captured visible and infrared data on Tropical Cyclone Dumile as it slammed into the islands of La Reunion and Mauritius in the Southern Indian Ocean.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image of Cyclone Dumile on Jan. 3, 2013 at 0650 UTC (1:50 a.m. EST/U.S.) The image showed Dumile's center was about 85 nautical miles (97.8 miles/157.4 km) northwest of Reunion Island and Mauritius, and the strongest thunderstorms appeared to be southwest of the center of circulation. The image was created at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

The AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured two infrared images of Tropical Cyclone Dumile on Jan. 2 at 2123 UTC (4:23 p.m. EST/U.S.) and Jan. 3 at 0936 UTC (4:36 a.m. EST/U.S.). The coldest, highest clouds with heaviest rainfall formed a ring around Dumile's center on Jan. 2 meaning that the storm's eye had formed. The satellite overpass on Jan. 3 provided a close-up of the most powerful thunderstorms happening over both La Reunion and Mauritius. Infrared imagery on Jan. 3 also showed that Dumile's eye had "closed." AIRS images are created at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

IMAGE: The AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured these infrared images of Tropical Cyclone Dumile on Jan. 2 at 2123 UTC, and Jan. 3 at 0936 UTC. The purple areas...

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Both La Reunion and Mauritius Posted Advisories

Warnings are up for La Reunion on Jan. 3. The territory is on red alert and a local advisory is in effect for high winds, heavy rain, high ocean swells and rough surf along the coasts of the island. For updated warnings (in French), please visit: http://www.meteo.fr/temps/domtom/La_Reunion/meteoreunion2/.

Mauritius Meteorological Services issued the following forecast for Jan. 3: Cloudy skies with showers and thunderstorms, some rainfall will be heavy at times. Heavy rainfall may cause ponding of water. A northerly sustained wind is expected up to 30 km/h with gusts of 70 km/h, decreasing gradually. The public is advised not to venture near rivers and other water courses because of rough seas. An improvement in weather is expected on Jan. 4. For updates, visit: http://metservice.intnet.mu/.

Where is Cyclone Dumile's Center?

On Jan. 3 at 0900 UTC (4 a.m. EST/U.S.) Tropical Cyclone Dumile was centered just 85 nautical miles (97.8 miles/157.4 km) northwest of La Reunion, near 20.3 south latitude and 54.4 east longitude. Dumile's maximum sustained winds were near 65 knots (75 mph/120.4 kph) making it a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Tropical-storm-force winds extended about 95 nautical miles (109.3 miles/176 km) from the center, meaning that La Reunion island was getting battered by them. Cyclone Dumile is moving southward at 13 knots (15 mph/24 kph) and is churning up very rough seas with wave heights up to 34 feet (10.3 meters).

Dumile continues to move south and will pass west of La Reunion today, Jan. 3, before turning toward the southeast and weakening. Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect that Dumile will begin transitioning into an extra-tropical storm in two days.

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