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NASA spots an eye in fast-developing Cyclone Ikola

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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IMAGE: NASA's Aqua satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Cyclone Ikola in the Southern India Ocean on April 6 at 08:05 UTC. view more

Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

Tropical Cyclone Ikola formed quickly on April 6 and quickly strengthen to hurricane-force in the Southern Indian Ocean. NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead after the storm developed an eye.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Ikola on April 6 at 08:05 UTC (4:05 a.m. EDT). The MODIS image clearly showed an eye with thunderstorms wrapping into the center from the eastern and western quadrants. A large, thick band of thunderstorms from the eastern side were spinning around the southern quadrant and into the western side of the low-level center. The image was created by the NASA MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument that also flies aboard Aqua captured infrared data on the storm during the same overpass. Cloud top temperatures circling the eye were colder than -63F/-52C, indicating high, strong thunderstorms with the potential for heavy rainfall.

At 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) on April 6, 2015, Tropical Cyclone Ikola's maximum sustained winds were near 65 knots (75 mph/120 kph). It was located about 1,497 nautical miles (1,723 miles/ 2,772 km) west-northwest of Learmonth, Australia, near 14.2 south latitude and 89.2 east longitude. Ikola was moving to the southeast at 9 knots (10.3 mph/16.6 kph) and poses no threat to land areas.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects Ikola to strengthen to 75 knots (86.3 mph/138.9 kph) and then gradually weaken, where it is forecast to dissipate far west of Perth, Western Australia.

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