Severe Tropical Cyclone Donna

Severe Tropical Cyclone Donna

03 May 2017 20:20 UTC–08 May 06:20 UTC

Severe Tropical Cyclone Donna
Severe Tropical Cyclone Donna

Tropical Cyclone Donna was an out-of-season cyclone that broke records in May 2017.

Last Updated

22 October 2020

Published on

03 May 2017

By Sancha Lancaster and Jose Prieto (EUMETSAT) and HansPeter Roesli (Switzerland)

Donna started as a disturbance before being officially classed as a Tropical Cyclone by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) on 2 May.

 Metop-A AVHRR, 3 May 23:16 UTC.
Figure 1: Metop-A AVHRR, 3 May 23:16 UTC.

By 06:00 UTC on 3 May it had reached Category 1 on the Australian tropical cyclone scale and was named 'Donna' by the Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS). Figure 1 is the Metop-A AVHRR view of the cyclone over Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, east of Australia, on 3 May at 23:16 UTC.

 
 Himawari-8 band 14, 6 May 00:00 UTC
Figure 2: Himawari-8 band 14, 6 May 00:00 UTC

Despite some evidence of wind shear along the northern fringes of the storm, it began to clear an eye late on 4 May and on 6 May at 00:00 UTC Donna reached its first peak as a Category 4 cyclone (equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane), see the Himawari-8 band 14 image (Figure 2). Tropical Cyclone Donna's progress can be followed in the Himawari-8 Band 14 (11 µm) animation from 3 May 20:20 UTC–6 May 03:50 UTC.

By 7 May the cyclone had a solid ring of deep convection surrounding a well-defined 55 km (35 mi) eye.

The FMS upgraded Donna to a Category 5 cyclone (equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane) at 00:00 UTC on 8 May, estimating that the storm possessed 10-minute sustained winds of 205 km/h (127 mph).

 Himawari-8 VIS0.64, 8 May 03:00 UTC
Figure 3: Himawari-8 VIS0.64, 8 May 03:00 UTC
View image on Google Earth

As a result, Donna became the strongest off-season tropical cyclone on record during the month of May in the South Pacific basin.

The eye is clearly defined on the Himawari-8 Visible imagery,  see Figure 3 and the animation from 3 May 03:00–06:20 UTC .

 

 

Related content

Tropical Cyclones Donna and Ninteen (EUMETSAT Flickr)
Cyclone Donna in the South Pacific Ocean (CIMSS Blog)
Tropical Cyclone Donna Impacts New Caledonia After Battering Vanuatu For Days (The Weather Channel)