NOAA's GOES-West satellite caught the birth of Tropical Storm Mike in the Southern Pacific Ocean on March 19. Mike's formation has generated warnings for the Southern Cook Islands.
On March 19 at 09:00 UTC, Tropical Cyclone Mike was located near 20.5 south latitude and 159.3 west longitude. That's about 751 nautical miles/864.2 miles/1 391 km east-southeast of Pago Pago, American Samoa. Mike was moving to the south-southeast at a speedy 24 knots/27.6 mph/44.4 km/h. Mike's maximum sustained winds were near 35 knots/40 mph/62 km/h.
Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) noted that Mike is a threat to the Cook Islands. As a result, there are warnings in effect for the Southern Cook Islands. A gale warning is in effect for Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Manuae, Takutea, Atiu, Matiaro, Mauke and Mangaia.
JTWC forecasters expect Mike to move quickly to the south-southeast and strengthen to 45 knots/51.7 mph/83.3 km/h before running into conditions that will make it extra-tropical in two days.
Tropical Cyclone Mike – Clouds. Image credit: JRC
NOAA's GOES-West or GOES-15 satellite captured an infrared image of newborn Tropical Storm Mike in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean on March 19 at 12:00 UTC. Mike appeared to be a compact, rounded tropical storm with bands of thunderstorms wrapping into it.
Image credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project
According to JTWC, animated infrared satellite imagery showed that the consolidated low level circulation center has persistent central convection (developing thunderstorms) and broken displaced convection to the northwest and southeast of the center.
Featured image credit: Image credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project
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