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Tropical Cyclone Olwyn landfalls as NASA's Terra satellite flies overhead

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Friday, March 13, 2015

Shortly after Tropical Cyclone Olwyn made landfall near Cape Cuvier in Western Australia early on March 13, NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of the storm.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument known simply as MODIS gathered visible data on the storm that was made into a picture at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The MODIS image was taken at 02:55 UTC on March 13 (10:55 a.m. WST Australia local time/10:55 p.m. EDT, March 12). The image showed the center of Olwyn near Carnavon, which is located along the western coast of Western Australia. Just to the north of Carnavon and just inland from the coast is Lake Macleod. Bands of thunderstorms from the south swept over Shark Bay and wrapped into the center of Olwyn. Higher clouds associated with Olwyn's circulation extended all the way south to the capital city of Perth, about 900 km from Carnavon. Perth is located in Western Australia's southwestern corner.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABM) issued tropical cyclone warnings from Carnarvon to Jurien Bay, extending to the inland western Gascoyne, northern Central West and northwest Central Wheat Belt. In addition to the warnings, there were also red and yellow alerts in effect.

A Red Alert was in effect for residents in coastal communities from Cape Cuvier to Denham, including Useless Loop, Overlander Roadhouse, Billabong Roadhouse, Carnarvon and Wooramel.

A Yellow Alert was in effect for residents in coastal communities between Kalbarri to Jurien Bay townsite and inland to Mullewa (this includes coastal communities and the towns of Port Gregory, Horrocks, Nabawa, Dongara, City of Greater Geraldton including Greenough, Leeman, Jurien Bay, Mingenew, Green Head, Morawa, Three Springs, Carnamah, Coorow, Moora, Dandaragan, Eneabba, New Norcia, Calingiri and Perenjori. People need to take action and get ready to shelter from a cyclone.

For updated warnings and watches, visit: http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone.

On March 13 at 9 a.m. EST/U.S. or 9 p.m. WST Australia local time, the center of Tropical Cyclone Olwyn is tracking very close to the coast and was about 43.5 miles (70 km) southeast of Denham, near 26.4 degrees South and 114.0 degrees East. Olwyn is moving to the south-southeast at 16 mph (26 kph). Olwyn was a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds near 62 mph (100 kph).

The ABM forecast calls for Olwyn to gradually weaken as it tracks south along the coast of Western Australia over the next day.

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