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On May 18, 2018, the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured a true-color image of Tropical Cyclone Sagar in the Gulf of Aden, between Yemen to the north and Somalia to the south. Credit: NOAA/NASA Goddard Rapid Response Team
Representational picture: On May 18, 2018, the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured a true-color image of Tropical Cyclone Sagar in the Gulf of Aden, between Yemen to the north and Somalia to the south. Credit: NOAA/NASA Goddard Rapid Response Team

What is Cyclone Sagar?

Indian Met Department has issued an alert to Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharasthra and the Lakshadweep over the cyclone ‘Sagar’, which is building up over the Arabian Sea with potential to hit the coastal region of northern Indian Ocean on Saturday.

Formerly known as 01A, Tropical Cyclone Sagar, quickly formed in the Indian Ocean and strengthened into a tropical storm on May 16 at 3:35 a.m. IST as shown in the resolution imaging captured by the spectroradiometer aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite.

It showed thunderstorms at minus 80 degrees Celsius, which means very strong storms with a potential for heavy rainfall in the Arabian Sea with maximum sustained winds near 46 miles per hour (40 knots). Located near 13.0 degrees north latitude and 48.6 degrees east longitude, or approximately 229 nautical miles east of Aden, Yemen.

When captured NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite appeared more organized and has been strengthening since May 17. On Friday, May 18 the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured a true-color image of Tropical Cyclone Sagar showing the center above the Gulf of Aden, affecting Yemen and Somalia.

At 1:30 p.m IST, the Tropical Cyclone Sagar was centered near 11.6 degrees north latitude and 45.9 degrees east longitude, approximately 89 nautical miles southeast of Aden, Yemen, registering maximum sustained winds up at 69 mph (50 knots/111 kph). Currently, Sagar is moving to the west-southwest at 6.9 mph (6 knots/11.1 kph).

Sagar is likely to threaten Yemen, Somalia and Djibouti with waves as high as 17 feet, before hitting the Indian west coast on Saturday. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an advisory that said: “Strong winds reaching upto 75-85 kmph and 95 kmph covering the Gulf of Aden and adjoining south-western Arabian Sea area are very likely duting the next 12 hours. It may then gradually decrease ato 65-75 kmph during the next 12 hours.”

Fishermen are advised not to venture into the high seas of the Gulf of Aden or west-central and south-west Arabian Sea in the next 48 hours.

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