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From: Dan Richter (1:317/3)
To: All
Date: Sun, 11.04.21 13:00
MODIS Pic of the Day 11 April 2021
April 11, 2021 - Tropical Cyclones Odette and Seroja off Western Australia


Odette and Seroja

On April 9, 2021, two cyclones jockeyed for position as they raced
towards the shores of south-western Western Australia. The Moderate
Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board NASA’s Aqua
satellite acquired a true-color image of Tropical Cyclone Odette and
Tropical Cyclone Seroja on that same day.

At the time the image was captured, Odette was a slightly stronger
storm and, with its center located to the northwest, it was spinning
clockwise around Serjoa and both cyclones were affecting the track and
the strength of each other. This cyclone-style interaction is a rare
phenomenon known as the Fujiwhara effect. The National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service defines the
Fujiwhara effect as follows: “When two hurricanes spinning in the same
direction pass close enough to each other, they begin an intense dance
around their common center. If one hurricane is a lot stronger than the
other, the smaller one will orbit it and eventually come crashing into
its vortex to be absorbed. The storms closer in strength can gravitate
towards each other until they reach a common point and merge, or merely
spin each other around for a while before shooting off on their own
paths. But often, the effect is additive when hurricanes come together,
and we usually end up with one massive storm instead of two smaller

By April 10, Tropical Cyclone Odette had spun to the southeast of
Seroja and merged with it. The enhanced Tropical Cyclone Seroja then
has intensified as it approached the Western Australia coast. It is
forecast to make landfall north of Geraldton at about 1200 UTC (8:00
EDT) on April 11. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) forecast that
Seroja will carry sustained winds of about 75 mph (120 km/h) and gusts
of up to 92 mph (148 mph) just before landfall. This wind speed places
the storm as the equivalent of a Category One storm on the
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale and as a weak Category Three storm
on the Australian tropical cyclone intensity scale. It is expected to
weaken slightly before moving over land.

Unlike the northwestern coast of Western Australia, the southwestern
coast rarely experiences cyclones, which means that the region is
relatively unprepared for severe storms coming onto land. There is
concern that infrastructure, particularly house structure, has not been
built to face exceptionally strong wind, high storm surge, and
torrential rains. Evacuations are in place for many regions along the
coast as Tropical Cyclone Seroja approaches. The storm is expected to
weaken quickly once it makes landfall and sweeps across southwestern

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 4/9/2021
Resolutions: 1km (1.9 MB), 500m (5.4 MB), 250m (3.8 MB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC

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