Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

TRMM Sees Rain From Hurricanes Fall Around The World

18.08.2004




Since rain and freshwater flooding are the number one causes of death from hurricanes in the United States over the last 30 years, better understanding of these storms is vital for insuring public safety. A recent study funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation offers insight into patterns of rainfall from tropical storms and hurricanes around the world.

Researchers at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Miami, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory’s Hurricane Research Division, Miami, used data from NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite to show how rain falls at different rates in different areas of a storm. The results were published in the July issue of the journal Monthly Weather Review.

The results are already being used in a model developed at the Hurricane Research Division to estimate rainfall accumulation related to tropical cyclones. The findings are important because they may help in the development of better forecasts.



The TRMM satellite offers the best measurements of how and where rain falls around tropical cyclones. This is because its orbit is low to the Earth, allowing more detailed information on storms, and it was designed to cover the tropics.

Tropical cyclones consist of winds rotating around low-pressure centers in the tropics that can develop into everything from tropical storms to Category 5 hurricanes.

From 1998 through 2000, TRMM observed 260 tropical cyclones in six major ocean basins. Researchers found that the rainfall intensity and where the heaviest rains fell varied depending on a storm’s wind speeds, its location and the environment of each basin.

Scientists looked at three types of tropical cyclones, based on a standard system for classifying these storms. Tropical storms have wind speeds of less than 73 miles per hour (mph). Category 1 and 2 hurricanes blow with winds of 74 to 110 mph, and Category 3 to 5 hurricanes’ winds range above 110 mph.

"This study is important because we know very little about the rainfall distribution in tropical cyclones," said lead author of the study, Manuel Lonfat, a University of Miami researcher. "It revolutionizes our understanding of the distribution of rain in tropical cyclones," he added. Lonfat is a NASA Earth System Science Fellowship recipient.

"More than 50 percent of deaths in the U.S. from tropical cyclones over the last 30 years are related to freshwater flooding. So this is currently a very large problem for the forecasting community," Lonfat said.

When all storms were averaged together the most intense rainfall occurred within 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) of a storm’s center, with evidence of very large rain rates as far as 300 to 400 kilometers (about 186 to 250 miles) from the center.

When all storms were averaged and analyzed basin by basin, storms in the North Indian basin were the wettest, and East-central Pacific storms were the driest. The Atlantic and West Pacific storms showed similar rain rates: this at first surprised the researchers since Western Pacific storms tend to be bigger and were presumed to be wetter.

Researchers also found that the storms were not symmetric, meaning that rain fell at different rates in different areas of a storm. If a round storm were divided into four equal parts through the center, called quadrants, in general it was found that the heaviest rainfall occurred in one of the front quadrants. However, the heaviest rainfall shifted from the front-left to the front-right quadrant as a tropical cyclone’s intensity increased.

Tropical storms were less symmetric, while stronger hurricanes had a more symmetric inner core. In the Southern Hemisphere, the heaviest rain occurred to the front-left of the storm’s path, while in the Northern Hemisphere the heaviest rainfall peaked in the front-right quadrant.

Normally, the only way to accurately measure rain falling from a hurricane is when it gets close enough to the coast to be picked up by National Weather Service radars, or by rain gages. Since TRMM is space-based, researchers can assess the rainfall over vast tracts of ocean, where these storms spend most of their lives.

Krishna Ramanujan | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov
http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/topstory/2004/0817trmmhurricane.html

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>