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Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasa Bearing Down on Island Nation of Fiji
Science & Technology

Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasa Bearing Down on Island Nation of Fiji

December 16, 2020

The South Pacific island nation of Fiji is bracing for the arrival of extreme tropical cyclone Yasa. Residents had been advised to evacuate low-lying areas in anticipation of a storm that may doubtless have class 4 or 5 power when it arrives on December 17, 2020. Tropical cyclone warnings and flash flood alerts had been issued for Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, the Yasawa and Mamanuca teams, and smaller surrounding islands.

As of midnight Fiji normal time on December 17, the reported sustained winds of 140 knots (260 kilometers/160 miles per hour). The middle of the class 5 storm was about 400 kilometers (240 miles) northwest of Suva, Fiji. The storm’s eye gave the impression to be headed between the islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Forecasters famous that wave heights across the eye of the storm might method 14 meters (45 ft).

The natural-color picture above was acquired within the early afternoon on December 16, 2020, by the Average Decision Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite tv for pc.

Yasa emerged as a tropical storm on December 12 and arranged right into a cyclone by December 14. Over the following 36 hours, wind speeds elevated by 130 kilometers (80 miles) per hour—properly past the brink enhance of 55 kilometers (35 miles) per hour that meteorologists check with as “speedy intensification.”

December 15, 2020 JPEG

Yasa has had loads of gas for development, because the storm developed and advanced over heat South Pacific waters identified to gas cyclonic storms. The map above reveals sea floor temperatures (SSTs) within the area as measured on December 15, 2020. Scientists have established that ocean temperatures ought to be at or above 27° Celsius (80° Fahrenheit)—purple on the map—to maintain a cyclone or hurricane. The SST knowledge come from the Multiscale Ultrahigh Decision Sea Floor Temperature (MUR SST) undertaking. MUR SST blends measurements of sea floor temperatures from a number of NASA, NOAA, and worldwide satellites, in addition to ship and buoy observations.

Yasa is the fifth storm worldwide to succeed in class 5 power in 2020 and the second to take action within the South Pacific. (Tropical Cyclone Harold hit Vanuatu in April.) Just one earlier class 5 storm on document has made landfall in Fiji: Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016.

NASA Earth Observatory pictures by Joshua Stevens, utilizing MODIS knowledge from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview and sea floor temperature knowledge from the Multiscale Ultrahigh Decision (MUR) undertaking.

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