January 10, 2014 - Tropical Cyclone Bejisa (06S) off Madagascar

Tropical Cyclone Bejisa (06S) off Madagascar

At approximately 1200 UTC (7:00 a.m. EST) Tropical Cyclone Bejisa struck the island of Réunion, causing widespread power outages, uprooting trees and killing at least one person with 15 more injured.

The storm formed over the Indian Ocean in late December, 2013, then intensified over the next several days before making landfall near 21.2 S, 54.8 E, with 1-minute maximum sustained winds of about 203 km/h (126 mph), which is the equivalent of a Category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The strongest winds were mostly on the western side of the storm, and remained over ocean. Winds of 150 km/h (94 mph) were recorded over land, and 24 hour rainfall totals were greater than 100 mm (3.9 in).

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite flew over the region and captured this true-color image at 1005 UTC (5:05 a.m. EST). With less than two hours before landfall, Bejisa’s large cloud-filled eye sits ominously close to the west coast of Réunion. Convective rain bands cover both Réunion and, to the northeast, the island of Mauritius. Mauritius received heavy rain from the storm, but was spared serious damage.

By January 6 Bejisa was a post-tropical depression in the Indian Ocean with a maximum average wind speed of 40 mph (64 km/h). At 1200 UTC (7:00 a.m. EST) on that date, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) issued its last report on the system, and Bejisa dissipated later that day.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 1/2/2013
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC