The Once-Powerful Tropical Cyclone Bansi Stirred Up Ocean Sediment

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tropical Cyclone Bansi reached a Category 4 status on the Saffir-Simpson Scale on January 15 and 16 as it moved through the Southern Indian Ocean. By January 19 as the storm was weakening over open ocean, NASA's Aqua satellite captured a picture of sediment stirred up from the storm around the Cargados Carajos Shoals.

On Jan. 15 at 0900 UTC (4 a.m. EST), Tropical Cyclone Bansi as a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale with maximum sustained winds near 130 knots (149.6 mph/240.8 kph). At that time Bansi was centered about 451 nautical miles (519 miles/835 km) east of Port Louis, Mauritius.

On January 18 at 0900 UTC (4 a.m. EST) the time of the Joint Typhoon Warning Center's last bulletin on the system, Bansi's maximum sustained winds had dropped to 65 knots (74 mph/120.4 kph) and it was located 1,425 nautical miles (1,640 miles/2,639 km) southwest of Cocos Island. Later in the day, Bansi started extra-tropical transitioning and by January 19, it was a weaker extra-tropical cyclone moving over open waters of the Southern Indian Ocean.

On January 19 at 10:15 UTC (5:15 a.m. EST) when NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Cargados Carajos Shoals, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard captured a visible image of the results of Bansi's powerful winds. The image showed sediment stirred up from the ocean bottom around the Shoals had colored the ocean waters around them.

According to, Cargados Carajos Shoals is also known as Saint Brandon and consists of more than 50 islands, coral ridges and vast sand flats on an extended reef. It is located in the Southern Indian Ocean about 268 nautical miles (308 miles/496 km north east of Mauritius.


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