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With the city of Rockhampton cut off by flood waters, coal mines debilitated by water and washed out tracks and crops ruined by the worst flooding in a century, Queensland state in northeastern Australia finds its resolve being tested. This movie shows infrared imagery taken from the Japanese Meteorological Agency's MTSAT satellites from December 6, 2010 through January 3, 2011. A color enhancement is used on this infrared data to show areas of storm intensity. Yellow and red colors indicate the most intense storms.

Australia's geographic position between the 10 and 40 degrees south latitude places it in areas of divergent flow patterns. Between the Equator and 30 degrees south latitude, flow patterns are typically in a east to west direction; between 30 and 60 degrees south latitude, flow patterns move west to east. These divergent patterns at 0, 30, 60, and 90 degrees latitude in both hemispheres are setup by the Hadley, Ferrell and Polar cell circulations, which describes how air rises and falls in the atmosphere and is also affected by Coriolis. The combination of these global circulation forces affect the flow of most large-scale weather patterns on the planet. In the animation it is possible to see systems that cross the 30 degree boundary and get sheared in another direction.

 
Technical Requirements:Adobe Flash Player
Referral:More information on global circulation patterns
Copyright:National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Keywords:Australia, Flood, MTSAT, 2011.01.03, Hadley circulation
 

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