NASA's Terra satellite saw strong thunderstorms spiraling into the heart of Tropical Cyclone Dineo on Valentine's Day as it continued to strengthen in the Mozambique Channel.
On Feb. 14, 2017 at 2:45 a.m. EST (0745 UTC) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image Dineo that showed strong thunderstorms wrapping into and around the "heart" or center of the storm's low-level circulation. A thick band of powerful thunderstorms from the eastern quadrant wrapped south and west into the center.
The Mozambique Channel is the body of water bordered by the island nation of Madagascar to the east and Mozambique on the mainland African continent on the west.
On Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. EST (1500 UTC), Dineo had maximum sustained winds near 63 mph (55 knots/102 kph). Dineo's winds are expected to reach hurricane strength later today, February 14, and peak near 75 knots by 7 a.m. EST (1200 UTC) on February 15.
Dineo was located about 78 nautical miles west of Europa Island near 22.5 degrees south latitude and 38.6 degrees east longitude. Dineo was crawling to the southwest at 3.4 mph (3 knots/5.5 kph).
Residents of Mozambique should be preparing for the storm's landfall. As Dineo continues to strengthen and move toward Mozambique, residents can expect heavy rainfall, strong surf and hurricane-force winds. Dineo is forecast by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center to make landfall along the east coast of Mozambique on February 15 around 2100 UTC (4 p.m. EST) at hurricane-force.
For updated forecasts from Mozambique National Institute of Meteorology, visit: http://www.