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Cloud Vortex over South Atlantic

Cape of Good Hope | South Africa

Date of acquisition:    April 24th, 2024  | 08:50:07 UTC

Sensor: Sentinel-2A L2A

Coordinates:     ca. 34.5°S, 18.573°E

These Sentinel-2 images do not show the eye of a hurricane or cyclone as one might assume. Tropical cyclones have never been observed at such latitudes.
They show a rather rare phenomenon, the formation of a vortex with an eye at an altitude of about 1.5 km (Figure 1). The vortex is located slightly south of False Bay (a bay at the Cape of Good Hope in southwestern South Africa), rotates in a cyclonic direction for the southern hemisphere, and is small (about 5 km). The diameter of the central cloud-free part is about 1.5 kilometres.
Its formation is related to the winds at the land-ocean boundary and the warmer water in the nearby bay (Figure 2).
At an even higher altitude (about 3.5 km), there is a narrow band of stratocumulus clouds that casts a shadow on the vortex.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Images contain modified Copernicus Sentinel Data [2024].