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. Cyclone Fani, the most severe cyclonic storm over the east coast in nearly two decades, is due to make landfall in Odisha’s Puri around 9:30 am on Friday, hours ahead of its expected time, packing winds up to 175 kmph before the landfall. Apart from Odisha, the storm is likely to affect other states on the east coast – West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. An estimated 10,000 villages and 52 towns in Odisha will be hit by the ‘extremely severe’ cyclonic storm. A total of 11.5 lakh people in Odisha were moved to safer areas by Thursday.
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, NASA said.
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.
An estimated 10,000 villages and 52 towns in Odisha will be hit by the ‘extremely severe’ cyclonic storm. A total of 11.5 lakh people in Odisha were moved to safer areas.
The storm is likely to impact Odisha’s coastal districts Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Balasore. In West Bengal, it will affect districts of East and West Medinipur, South and North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hoogly, Jhargram besides the Kolkata city.