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Archive for November 25th, 2009

Clouds Along the Namib Desert Coast, Namibia

24.7S 15.2E

November 25th, 2009 Category: Clouds

Namibia - November 16th, 2009

Namibia - November 16th, 2009

The sands of the Namib Desert appear orange near the coast, changing to rusty red further inland. The desert stretches along 2000 km (1200 mi) of Namibia’s coastline. It is common to see clouds and fog hugging the shoreline, as can be observed here, a phenomenon caused by the interaction of moist sea air and dry desert air.

East of the desert, whose average width of the desert is only 113 km (70 mi), are the Naukluft Mountains in the Hardap Region. This massif in central Namibia forms the easternmost part of the Namib-Naukluft National Park. They are known for their wildlife, including mountain zebras and leopards. The mountains have many small streams and waterfalls, while the Never Ending Hills lie to their east.

Category One Typhoon Nida (26W) in Western Pacific – November 25th, 2009

14.4N 139.2E

November 25th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Tropical Cyclones

Typhoon Nida (26W) - November 25th, 2009

Typhoon Nida (26W) - November 25th, 2009

Track of TY 26W - November 25th, 2009 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TY 26W

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Typhoon Nida (26W), located approximately 170 nautical miles south-southwest of Guam, has tracked north-northwestward at 10 knots over the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height at is 21 feet. Nida has maximum sustained winds near 64 knots (74 mph or 119 km/hr), making it a Category One typhoon.

NASA and JAXA report that Typhoon Nida is lashing Yap State in the Western Pacific. Most of the rainfall from Nida has been between 20 and 40 millimeters (.78 to 1.57 inches) per hour, with areas near the system’s center falling at as much as 2 inches of rain per hour (considered heavy rainfall). Nida is forecast to move in a northwesterly direction and continue to strengthen over the next several days.

A typhoon warning is in effect for Faraulep, a small atoll in the western Caroline Islands, located within Yap State, in the Federated States of Micronesia. This type of warning means that typhoon conditions of sustained winds of 64 knots or higher associated with the typhoon are expected in the specified coastal area within the next 24 hours.

A tropical storm watch is also in effect in the Western Pacific Islands for Ulithi, an atoll in the Caroline Islands, located about 103 nautical miles east of Yap, and for Fais, one of the outer islands of the State of Yap. That means tropical storm conditions can be expected in the next 36 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Bongani (02S) Expected to Track into Mozambique Channel

9.1S 49.9E

November 25th, 2009 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Cyclone Bongani - November 24th, 2009

Tropical Cyclone Bongani - November 24th, 2009

Track of TC 02S - November 24th, 2009 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TC 02S

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Tropical Cyclone Bongani (02S), located approximately 560 nm north-northeast of Antananarivo, Madagascar, has tracked south-southwestward at 11 knots over the past six hours. The maximum significant wave height is 13 feet.

The forecast has been shifted south of the previous forecast based on a WSAT Coriolis 37h microwave image that shows a formative microwave eye south-of-track.

Despite the improved low level microwave signature evidenced in the aforementioned microwave image, deep convection has waned over the past 12 hours. Consequently, Dvorak intensity estimates from PGTW underestimate the current intensity.

The cyclone will continue to track just south of west along the western periphery of the mid-level subtropical ridge that is building east to west. Slow intensification is expected under the influence of generally favorable environmental conditions. However, the peak intensity has been decreased to 65 knots based on the latest intensity guidance.

The forecast track will bend increasingly poleward as the cyclone tracks into the Mozambique Channel due to the influence of an approaching upper level trough that will temporarily erode and re-orient the steering ridge. In addition, the trough will provide increased poleward venting before vertical wind shear elevates beyond TAU 72. After the trough passes the forecast track will flatten and the system will track inland over interior Mozambique, and will dissipate.

Fire and Phytoplankton Bloom, Western Australia

32.9S 124.6E

November 25th, 2009 Category: Fires

Western Australia - November 24th, 2009

Western Australia - November 24th, 2009



Smoke from a fire near Point Culver, a headland on the south coast of Western Australia, blows over the western end of the Great Australian Bight. At the time this image was taken, the wind was blowing the smoke to the south.

Also visible off the coast is a phytoplankton bloom. Although parts of the bloom are rather faint, upon opening the full image it can be seen trailing out into the ocean from the left side of the image to the right side.

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