NASA satellites track Cyclone Fani in India's coastline

NASA satellites track Cyclone Fani in India's coastline

A fisherman runs as he ensures to check the safety of fishing boats docked on the beach amidst stormy weather, before Cyclone Fani makes landfall, in Puri, Odisha. PTI Photo

NASA satellites Aqua and Terra tracked Cyclone Fani as it continued to move northwards along the eastern coast of India, the US space agency said.

The satellites have been providing infrared, microwave and visible imagery of Fani, NASA said in a blog post.

Fani continued to strengthen and move north through the Northern Indian Ocean on April 30 and May 1 when Aqua and Terra satellite provided imagery of the strengthening storm, it said.

The India Meteorological Department forecasts Fani to make landfall along the Odisha coastline on Friday at hurricane-strength.

On April 30, the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite analysed cloud top temperatures of Fani in infrared light.

AIRS found cloud top temperatures of strongest thunderstorms as cold as or colder than minus 53 degrees Celsius circling the centre and in a large band east of the centre.

Cloud top temperatures that cold indicate strong storms that have the capability to create heavy rain, according to NASA.

On May 1, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite provided a visible image of Fani.

Fani's centre appeared to have an eye obscured by high clouds, according to NASA.

Infrared imagery revealed that ragged eye and microwave imagery showed curved bands of thunderstorms wrapping into the eye.

On May 1, the centre of Cyclone Fani was located near latitude 15.2 degrees north and longitude 84.3 degrees east.

That is about 520 nautical miles southwest of Kolkata.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center in the US expects Fani to continue moving north and intensify slightly as it moves over warm waters.