December 3, 2013 - Tropical Cyclone Lehar (05B) over India

Tropical Cyclone Lehar (05B) over India

Tropical Cyclone Lehar made landfall on November 28, 2013 south of the city of Machillipatnam in Andhra Pradesh, India. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image of the storm at 0800 UTC (1:30 p.m. India Standard Time) on that same day, about 30 minutes before the storm came ashore. The large eye is filling with clouds, and the storm appears asymmetric and somewhat disorganized. At the time this image was captured, Lehar was quickly weakening.

At 0300 UTC on November 28 (8:30 a.m. IST), Tropical Depression Lehar was located about 145 nautical miles northeast of Chennai, near 15.0 N and 81.9 E. It was moving to the west-northwest at 12 mph (19 km/h) and had maximum sustained winds near 40 mph (62 km/h). The Joint Typhoon Warning System issued their final warning on the tropical cyclone at that time, because the system was quickly dissipating.

Lehar was first designated a tropical storm by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center on November 23 as a low pressure system intensified in the Bay of Bengal. Lehar made its first landfall south of Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar at tropical storm strength on November 25. After moving offshore, the storm intensified, and by November 26 Tropical Cyclone Lehar attained its peak intensity, with maximum sustained winds of 138 km/h (86 mph) and was taking aim at mainland India. Fortunately, wind shear intervened, taking the punch out of the storm by the time it reached the coast.

Tropical Storm Lehar brought rains to a region recently soaked by Cyclone Helen only days earlier. Helen came ashore as a tropical storm with 40 mph winds (64 km/h), with drenching rains. Cyclone Helen killed eleven people and caused significant agricultural damage. Although Lehar carried additional rain and some wind to this already-soaked region, no significant damage was reported.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 11/28/2013
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC