Images produced by Hal Pierce (SSAI/NASA GSFC) and caption by Steve Lang
Cyclone Beni continues to strengthen in the Central Indian Ocean. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite took this image on November 13, 2003 at 2:12 UTC. At that time, Beni was classified as a Category 1 cyclone with winds estimated at 80 miles per hour.
Compared to an image taken 10 hours earlier, TRMM shows that moderate to heavy (red areas) rainfall rates now completely surround a very small eye with a large area of very intense rainrates of 2 inches per hour (darker reds) inside a large rainband
east of the center. With conditions continuing to be favorable for further
strengthening, Beni was upgraded to a Category 3 Cyclone with winds estimated
at 120 mph just 4 hours after this image was taken.
TRMM helps to provide scientists and forecasters with valuable information on storms that are well out to sea, outside the range of coastal radars and not easily accessible by aircraft. TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency NASDA.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.