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Tropical Cyclone “Joalane” rapidly intensifies in Southern Indian Ocean

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Tropical Cyclone "Joalane" organized on the morning of April 6, 2015 in the Southern Indian Ocean. 

At 15:00 UTC on that day, Joalane was located 743 km (461 miles) northeast of Port Louis, Mauritius and was tracking WSW at 16.6 km/h (10.3 mph). Its maximum sustained winds at the time were near 83.3 km/h (51.7 mph).

Tropical Cyclone "Joalane" on April 6 at 09:45 UTC. Image credit: NASA Goddard's MODIS Rapid Response Team.

On April 7 at 06:00 UTC, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured visible-light data of the storm. The image showed banding of thunderstorms in the western and eastern quadrants of the storm. Microwave data revealed the storm had developed an eye. 

On April 7 the MODIS instrument captured this visible-light image of Tropical Cyclone "Joalane" in the Southern Indian Ocean, over 1 126 km (700 miles) east of Madagascar (left). Image credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team.

By 15:00 UTC on April 7, Joalane's maximum sustained winds had increased to 148.2 km/h (92 mph) which made it a strong Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. Its center was near about 868.6 km (539.7 miles) northeast of Port Louis, Mauritius. The system was moving to the SSE at 11.1 km/h (6.9 mph). 

Joalane intensified rapidly over the previous 12 hours by as much as 64.8 km/h (40.2 mph).

Tropical Cyclone "Joalane" forecast track by JTWC on April 7, 2015.

The JTWC forecast calls for Joalane to intensify and head southeast, moving east of Rodrigues Island on April 10, where no warnings are currently in effect.

The storm's intensity is expected to peak around 185.2 km/h (115 mph) in four days' time. Thereafter, the storm is expected to weaken. (Goddard)

Satellite animations

Featured image: Tropical Cyclone "Joalane" on April 7, 2015. Image credit: NASA Terra/MODIS

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