The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft captured this infrared image of Tropical Cyclone Yasi at 11:11 p.m. EST Feb. 2, 2011 (04:11 UTC). Yasi has moved further inland and is gradually weakening. At 10 p.m. EST Feb. 2, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 60 knots (111 kilometers per hour, or about 70 miles per hour, equivalent to a strong tropical storm. According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, despite crossing Australia's Great Dividing Range, the system has maintained clear organization, as seen in the AIRS image. The AIRS data show that the storm's cloud tops have warmed substantially and there has been a significant decrease in convection. The storm will continue on its course until dissipation deep in the Australian interior.
The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory-built and managed Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this infrared image of Yasi at 10:59 a.m. EST on Feb. 2, 2011 (15:59 UTC). The AIRS data create an accurate 3-D map of atmospheric temperature, water vapor and clouds, data that are useful to cyclone forecasters. The image shows the temperature of Yasi's cloud tops or the surface of Earth in cloud-free regions. The coldest cloud-top temperatures appear in purple, indicating towering cold clouds and heavy precipitation. The infrared signal of AIRS does not penetrate through clouds. Where there are no clouds, AIRS reads the infrared signal from the surface of the ocean waters, revealing warmer temperatures in orange and red.
For more information on AIRS, visit http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/. For more information on NASA's research of hurricanes/tropical cyclones, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hurricanes/main/index.html.