NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement mission core observatory satellite observed rain falling at a rate of over 241 mm (9.5 inches).
Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) reported that, as of early 07 March, Tropical Cyclone Hola was approximately 20 km southeast of Ambrym and 35 km north of Epi, with maximum sustained winds of 80-90 km/h.
Unconfirmed reports suggested some wind damage to crops and buildings in Malekula and Ambae in Vanuatu.
A community in North Ambrym evacuated to a church during the night of 06 March to seek shelter from the heavy rainfall and wind.
NASA obtained rainfall data on newly formed Tropical Cyclone Hola as it triggered warnings in Vanuatu in the South Pacific Ocean.
On March 6, 2018 at 3:25 a.m. EST (0825 UTC) the GPM or Global Precipitation Measurement mission core observatory satellite flew above a forming tropical cyclone in the southern Pacific Ocean just east of Vanuatu.
GPM’s Dual Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) scanned storms in the center of forming Tropical Cyclone Hola’s circulation. This view by GPM’s DPR revealed that convective storms were dropping extremely heavy rainfall on the eastern edge of the forming tropical cyclone’s low level center. DPR indicated that rain was falling at a rate of over 241 mm (9.5 inches) per hour in this area.
The use of GPM satellite’s radar data enabled this 3-D view of the forming tropical cyclone’s precipitation. These probes of tropical cyclone Hola showed the heights of precipitation within the convective storms wrapping around the forming tropical cyclone’s low level center of circulation. GPM’s radar clearly showed that some tall storms on the eastern edge of Hola’s center of circulation were reaching heights above 12 km (7.4 miles). GPM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA.
Tropical Cyclone Hola Track
In their latest update of 08 March, Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department said:
“At 5:00pm local time, Severe Tropical Cyclone HOLA [941hPa] Category 4 was located at 17.6 degrees South 165.4 degrees East. This is about 315 KM west of Efate and 315 KM west southwest of Epi. The system is positioned at the center of the square letter E, number 7 (E,7) of the Vanuatu Tropical Cyclone Tracking Map. In the past 3 hours, Severe Tropical Cyclone HOLA was moving in a south southwest direction at 8 KM/HR (4 knots).”