As this weather system moves westward across the tropics, warm ocean air rises into the storm, forming an area of low pressure underneath. This causes more air to rush in. The air then rises and cools, forming clouds and thunderstorms. Up in the clouds, water condenses and forms droplets, releasing even more heat to power the storm.
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The storm was expected to hit with its full fury today, slamming into the North Carolina coast with 105-mph winds and 45-foot wave crests, before moving through Virginia and bashing the capital with gusts of about 60 mph.
Saini, I; Chandramouli, P; Samaddar, A; Ghosh, S (2013). Quantifying tropical cyclone cloud cover using Envisat retrievals - an example of a recent severe tropical cyclone, 'Thane'. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REMOTE SENSING, 34(14), 4933-4950.
AbstractThe eastern coast of peninsular India routinely receives the onslaught of devastating cyclonic storms. We suggest a novel method involving Envisat retrievals followed by application of the European Space Agency's (ESA's) Earth Observation Link Stand-Alone (EOLISA) catalogue for the calculation of cloud cover (CC) of tropical storms. In particular, we focus on the northeast monsoon, which is less studied as compared with the more regularly investigated southwest monsoon. We found that the CC was of the order of 946,598km(2) on 23 November 2011. In contrast, we also calculated the CC of tropical cyclone Thane that occurred on 31 December 2011, which was found to be 1,222,224km(2) an increase of 197.5%. To further increase CC calculation accuracy, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) retrievals were used simultaneously over both visible and shortwave infrared (SWIR) spectra. The precipitable water levels were analysed using Tool for High-resolution Observation Review (THOR) and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) retrievals. Envisat data were then used to track Thane's trajectory. These multiple-image analyses are coupled with large-eddy simulation runs large velocities from sheared eddies were obtained at landfall. The runs were simultaneously performed over two locales on 29 December 2011 first at Karaikal, where the impact of Thane was severe, and then at Chennai, where the cyclone's fury had become somewhat curtailed. This procedural analysis, coupled with model simulations, can be used effectively by Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) personnel and decision-makers of the municipal corporations of vulnerable cities along coastal Tamil Nadu.
However, sea surface temperatures aren't enough to get a tropical cyclone started. Another important factor to consider is wind shear, a change in wind speed or direction with height in the atmosphere. 2b1af7f3a8