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NASA spots Tropical Cyclone Carlos south of La Reunion Island

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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IMAGE: This visible image of Tropical Cyclone Carlos south of La Reunion and Mauritius was taken on Feb. 9 from the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite. view more

Credit: Credits: NASA/NRL

NASA's Terra satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Carlos as it moved south of La Reunion Island in the Southern Indian Ocean.

On Feb. 9 at 1015 UTC (5:15 a.m. EST) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite took a visible picture of Tropical Cyclone Carlos. The image showed that the storm remained compact with a tight circle of thunderstorms around the center of circulation.

At 0300 UTC on February 9 (10 p.m. EST on Feb. 8), Carlos had maximum sustained winds near 55 knots (63.2 mph/102 kph). It was centered about 310 nautical miles (357 miles/574 km) south of Port Louis, Mauritius, near 23.9 degrees south latitude and 53.4 degrees east longitude. Carlos was moving to the southeast at 7 knots (8 mph/12.9 kph).

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center said that "Upper-level conditions are showing improvement with near radial outflow over the system and sea surface temperature values remain warm near 28 to 29 degrees Celsius (82.4 to 84.2 degrees Fahrenheit)" Tropical cyclones need sea surface temperatures of at least 26.6 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit) to maintain strength, and warmer temperatures can assist in intensification.

So, further intensification is expected over the next 24 hours, but by February 11, vertical wind shear will weaken the system as it travels over open waters of the Southern Indian Ocean.

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