NASA finds subtropical storm Joyce disorganized, wandering

September 13, 2018

Subtropical Storm Joyce seemed dazed by its own formation, wandering in the north central Atlantic Ocean and disorganized. NASA satellite imagery confirmed the lack of organization and patchy development of thunderstorms within the system.

Joyce formed at 5 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 12.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured an infrared image of Subtropical Storm Joyce at 12:40 a.m. EDT (0440 UTC) on Sept. 13. The MODIS image revealed that the low-level center is exposed to the northwest of a small patch of deep convection (strong thunderstorms that developed).

Infrared data provides temperature information. That small patch of strongest thunderstorms had cloud top temperatures as cold as minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 Celsius). NASA research has shown that cloud tops with temperatures that cold were high in the troposphere and have the ability to generate heavy rain.

At 11 a.m. EDT NOAA's National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted the center of Subtropical Storm Joyce was located near latitude 33.7 degrees north and longitude 43.7 degrees west. That's about 980 miles (1,575 km) west-southwest of the Azores Islands.

The storm is moving toward the west-southwest near 6 mph (9 kph). NHC said that a turn toward the south-southwest and then toward the south is expected later today through early Friday. A gradual turn toward the east-northeast and northeast with an increase in forward speed is expected Saturday, Sept. 15 and Sunday, Sept. 16.

Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 kph) with higher gusts. While little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours, Joyce could transition to a tropical storm in the next day or two.
For updated forecasts on Joyce, visit:

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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