Two cyclones spun across the South Pacific Ocean on March 16, 2010. Cylone Ului was a weak Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 115 knots (213 kilometers per hour or 132 miles per hour), while Cyclone Tomas was a Category 3 storm with sustained winds of 105 knots (195 km/hr or 121 mph). Both storms were weakening.
This natural-color image is a composite made from three different satellite overpasses. The right and left sides of the image are from two separate overpasses of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on the early afternoon of March 16. The wedge-shaped portion of the image is from the MODIS sensor on NASA’s Terra satellite, and it was taken mid-morning on March 16.
While the storms may appear to be close together, more than two thousand kilometers separate their centers. The large image measures about 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) across. If you were to drape the image over a map of the United States, it would cover the entire country from east to west. The large image is the highest resolution version of the image, but the image is available in additional resolutions from the MODIS Rapid Response System.
As of March 16, Tomas was forecast to move south and east over cooler waters. Ului was moving west and south towards Australia.
- Joint Typhoon Warning Center. (2010, March 16). Cyclone Tomas. Accessed March 16, 2010.
- Joint Typhoon Warning Center. (2010, March 16). Cyclone Ului. Accessed March 16, 2010.
- Unisys Weather. (2010, March 16). 2010 hurricane/tropical data for the southern Pacific. Accessed March 16, 2010.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.
- Aqua - MODIS