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December 14, 2012 - Tropical Cyclone Claudia (03S) in the Indian Ocean
Tropical Cyclone Claudia (03S) in the Indian Ocean Image used for Spacing Purposes
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 12/10/2012
Resolutions: 1km (1.1 MB)
500m (3.6 MB)
250m (8.4 MB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Credit: Jeff Schmaltz
MODIS Land Rapid Response Team,

Claudia became a cyclone in the South Indian Ocean over the weekend of December 8 and 9. On December 8, Tropical Cyclone Claudia's winds increased to cyclone strength, and maximum sustained winds reached almost 100 knots (115 mph/185 km/h). Claudia was a Category 3 cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, and considered a major storm. It was centered near 14.7 south latitude and 74.6 east longitude, or about 450 nautical miles south-southeast of Diego Garcia. Claudia was moving to the southwest at 4 knots (5 mph).

On December 10 at 0841 UTC (3:41 a.m. EST), the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image of Cyclone Claudia. This stunning image shows a large storm, with a distinct eye surrounded by high clouds which marked strong thunderstorms. On that day, Claudia’s maximum sustained winds increased to 105 knots (121 mph/194.5 km/h).

Tropical Storm Claudia transitioned into an extra-tropical storm early on December 13 as wind shear slammed into the storm as it spun over the South Indian Ocean. Strong upper level winds near 30 knots (34.5 mph/55.5 km/h) battered Claudia as the storm continued moving southward into cooler waters.

Later that same day, at 0300 UTC, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued their final advisory for Claudia. At that time, Claudia's maximum sustained winds had dropped to 35 knots (40 mph/64.8 km/h). It was located far from land, about 1,215 nautical miles (1,398 miles, 2,250 km) south of Diego Garcia, near 27.6 south latitude and 75.3 east longitude. Claudia has become extra-tropical, and is expected to dissipate over the next couple of days.

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