On May 9th, Tropical Cyclone Ella was a tropical storm located about 150 nautical miles west-southwest of Pago-Pago. As of 11:00 AM EDT, Ella’s maximum sustained winds are at 52 mph (45 knots). According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Ella will be moving into an environment that is favorable for further development with warm sea surface temperatures and low vertical wind shear. Due to Tropical Cyclone Donna’s location being to the west, Tropical Cyclone Ella’s outflow is being restrained; making it difficult for the storm to strengthen. Tropical Cyclone Ella is not expected to strengthen to hurricane force as it is supposed to weaken as it approaches Fiji in three days. Tropical Cyclone Ella is the nineteenth storm to form in the Southern Pacific Ocean as of May 9th. The picture above was taken from NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP Satellite of Tropical Cyclone Ella located northeast of the island of Fiji. To read the full discussion from NASA, click the link!
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ⓒ Meteorologist Brandie Cantrell
DISCUSSION: As of late Sunday evening, Cyclone Donna has now strengthened to a Category 4 equivalent tropical cyclone as it continues moving off to the south with passing time. As a result, several smaller islands across southern sections of Oceania continue to remain to be in the cross-hairs of this dangerously strong tropical cyclone. The only sliver of good news in all of this is the fact that as this tropical cyclone continues to move south with time, the amount of warmer sea-surface temperatures will quickly begin to decrease. This will help to eliminate any conducive fuel sources for tropical cyclone intensity maintenance and/or further intensification. Thus, although the situation remains to be concerning at this time across several islands within Oceania, this storm is expected to weaken somewhat before reaching any reasonably populated islands. Hence, the overall impacts from this powerful tropical cyclone should be lessened somewhat as compared to if it made landfall while at it's current intensity.
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©2017 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz