In late February, 2014 Tropical Cyclone Guito (15S) travelled the Mozambique Channel, dumping heavy rain across the region. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-color image of the storm on February 20 at 0800 UTC (10:00 a.m. Central Africa Time).
At the time this image was captured, Tropical Cyclone Guito sported a broad apostrophe shape and a large, mostly cloud-filled eye. Heavy convective bands were sweeping over Mozambique in the west, while thinner clouds on the fringe of the storm brushed the island of Madagascar in the northeast. A few red hotspots dotted South Africa, and the smoke from these fires was blowing towards the west, driven by the storm.
At 0900 UTC (11:00 a.m. CAT), the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) reported that Guito was in the southern Mozambique Channel near 25.3 south latitude and 38.6 east longitude. That locates the storm center was greater than 660 mi (over 1,062 mi) from the Capital city of Antananarivo, Madagascar. At that time the maximum sustained winds were near 75 mph (120 km/h), making it a Category 1 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Guito was traveling south at 14.9 mph (24 km/h).
By February 21, as Tropical Cyclone Guito travelled towards the open waters of the Southern Indian Ocean, it began to encounter cooler sea surface temperatures and increasing vertical wind shear. At 2100 UTC (11:00 p.m. CAT) the JTWC reported that the system remained tightly-wrapped, with convective bands along the southwestern quadrant. Dry air was beginning to wrap in from the northern periphery, however. Tropical Storm Guito was expected to begin extra tropical transition by the morning of February 22, and to dissipate over the open ocean within a day or so.
Date Acquired: 2/20/2014
Resolutions: 1km (934.4 KB), 500m (3.1 MB), 250m (7.5 MB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC