News Release

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Donna and Ella 'bookend' Fiji

Peer-Reviewed Publication

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Suomi NPP image of Donna and Ella

image: On May 9 at 0354 UTC (May 8 at 11:54 p.m. EDT) NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Cyclones Donna (left) and Ella (right) in the South Pacific. view more 

Credit: Credits: NASA/NOAA

This island of Fiji appears to be "bookended" by tropical cyclones in imagery from the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite. Tropical Cyclone Donna is west of Fiji and newly developed Tropical Cyclone Ella has developed east of the island.

On May 9 at 0354 UTC (May 8 at 11:54 p.m. EDT) ) the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a visible-light image when it passed over Vanuatu NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image that showed Tropical Cyclones Donna west of Fiji and Ella northeast of the island in the South Pacific.

Warnings are in effect in New Caledonia. New Caledonian warnings include a Cyclonic alert level 2 for the communities of Houaïlou, Kouaoua, Canala, Thio, Yaté, Ouvéa, Lifou and Maré, and Alert level 1 for the communities of Boulouparis, Païta, Dumbéa, Nouméa, du Mont-Dore, and the Île des Pins. For updated local forecasts, visit:

At 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, Tropical Cyclone Donna's maximum sustained winds were near 103.6 mph (90 knots/166.7 kph) as it was moving to the southeast at 10.3 mph (9 knots/16.6 kph). It was centered near 20.5 degrees east latitude and 167.5 degrees east longitude, about 138 nautical miles north-northeast of Noumea, New Caledonia.

Animated enhanced infrared satellite imagery depicts a rapidly weakening system with warming cloud tops. Satellite data showed a ragged eye. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that "Environmental conditions continue to deteriorate and will weaken the system significantly over the next 48 hours. An approaching trough (elongated area of low pressure) from the west is introducing strong westerly flow aloft, thus impeding the poleward exhaust channel and will steadily increase vertical wind shear throughout the forecast period. Donna is also drifting into cooler waters and this trend will continue along the forecast track."

Donna is expected to begin transitioning into an extra-tropical system in the next day and is forecast to complete transition by sometime on May 11.


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