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NASA's TRMM Satellite sees most of Ida's heaviest rain stayed off coasts

NASA and the Japanese Space Agency's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite flew over Ida and captured her rainfall when she passed by Nicaragua, Honduras and Belize this weekend. TRMM data revealed that most of the heaviest rainfall totals, as much as 11 inches, were just off the coasts of those countries, even though all of those areas dealt with flooding rains.

On November 6, 2009 at 1147 UTC (7:47 a.m. ET) TRMM revealed Ida had weakened to a tropical depression after coming ashore in eastern Nicaragua on November 5. TRMM identified the location of Ida's center of circulation and noted that much of the very heavy rainfall that occurred earlier had tapered off except for a few intense thunderstorms off the northeastern Honduras coast.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida predicted that Ida would blossom again into a tropical storm after moving into the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Honduras. Ida did enter Gulf of Mexico as a tropical storm, strengthened to a Category One Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, and as of 10 a.m. ET on Monday, November 9, Ida had weakened to a Tropical Storm.

Ida's maximum sustained winds as of 10 a.m. ET on November 9 are now near 70 mph. Her center was located near 26.5N and 88.3W, and was moving north-northwest near 17 mph. Minimum central pressure is estimated near 996 millibars.

TRMM can be used to calibrate rainfall estimates from other satellites. The TRMM-based Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. monitors rainfall over the global Tropics. The TMPA rainfall analysis above shows that Ida produced heavy rainfall over large areas of eastern Nicaragua and Honduras. The highest rainfall totals of over 275 mm (~11 inches) were along the eastern Nicaragua coast as hurricane Ida came ashore.

Heavy rain amounts (from satellites) and flood potential calculations (from a hydrological model) are updated every three hours globally with the results shown on the "Global Flood and Landslide Monitoring" TRMM web site pages at

Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
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