Public Release: 

Tropical Cyclone Victor born in South Pacific Ocean, Cook Islands on alert

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured an image of newborn Tropical Cyclone Victor in the South Pacific Ocean. On Jan. 15 a gale warning was in effect for Rakahanga, Manihiki, Suwarrow, Nassau and Pukapuka in the Northern Cook Islands.

The NASA/NOAA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland created an image of Tropical Storm Victor from NOAA's GOES-West satellite data. The image was taken on Jan. 15 at 1200 UTC (7 a.m. EST) and showed a thick band of thunderstorms south of the center, and a developing eye. A fragmented band of thunderstorms were east of the center of circulation.

Victor was born of the seventh tropical depression of the South Pacific Ocean tropical cyclone season. Tropical Depression 7P developed on Jan. 14 at 2100 UTC (4 p.m. EST). By 0900 UTC (4 a.m. EST) on Jan. 15, the depression had strengthened into a tropical storm and was renamed Victor.

Tropical cyclone Victor had maximum sustained winds near 40 knots (46 mph/74 kph) and was moving to the west-southwest at 7 knots (8 mph/12.9 kph). It was centered near 14.5 degrees south latitude and 166.2 degrees west longitude, about 262 nautical miles (301 miles/485.2 km) east of Pago Pago, American Samoa.

The cyclone season in the Cook Islands runs from November to the end of March. For information from the Cook Islands Meteorological Service, visit: http://informet.net/ckimet/.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) expects Victor to move southwest, and later south while intensifying over the next three days. After that time, JTWC forecasters expect Victor to begin weakening.

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