A fleet of satellites from NASA and NOAA are on the job monitoring the second major hurricane of the Eastern Pacific Ocean Season as Hurricane Cristina has reached Category 4 status on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Back on May 25, Amanda strengthened into the first Major Hurricane in the Eastern Pacific Ocean with maximum sustained winds near 155 mph (250 kph).
This morning, June 12, at 1200 UTC (8 a.m. EDT), NOAA's GOES-West satellite provided an infrared image of Hurricane Cristina that showed a very clear, distinct eye. Although Cristina's center is over open ocean, this intense hurricane is causing rough surf along the west coast of Mexico today. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted that swells continue to affect southwestern Mexico, and could cause life-threatening surf and riptide conditions.
On June 11, NASA's TRMM satellite found rain falling at a rate of over 74.4 mm/2.9 inches per hour in a strong feeder band east of Cristina's eye. Another area of thunderstorms west of Puerto Vallarta had heavy rain and thunderstorm tops reaching heights of about 16.5km (about 10.2 miles).
Image Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
NHC noted in the discussion at 11 a.m. EDT (8 a.m. PDT) that Cristina has gone through an extraordinary, but not unprecedented, phase of rapid intensification during the past 24 hours, with its maximum winds increasing by about 65 knots (74.8 mph/120.4 kph) since that time on June 11.
When the TRMM satellite flew over Cristina on June 11, 2014 at 1142 UTC (4:42 a.m. PDT) it was a hurricane. A rainfall analysis that used data from TRMM's Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) instruments was overlaid on an enhanced infrared image received by NOAA's GOES-East satellite at 1145 UTC (7:45 a.m. EDT) to provide a complete picture of the hurricane's cloud extent and rainfall rates.
The TRMM TMI data clearly revealed that an eye had developed indicating that Cristina was definitely a hurricane. TRMM PR found that rain was falling at a rate of over 74.4 mm (2.9 inches) per hour in a strong feeder band east if Cristina's eye. Another smaller area of strong convective thunderstorms west of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico was also found to contain very heavy rainfall with the tallest thunderstorm tops reaching heights of about 16.5km (10.2 miles).
Later on June 11, at 19:59 UTC (3:59 p.m. EDT) when NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Hurricane Christina as it was rapidly intensifying, the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument gathered infrared data on the cloud top temperatures of the storm. By early morning on June 12, Cristina had a circular central dense overcast with very cold cloud tops near -80C (-112F).
At 11 a.m. EDT (8 a.m. PDT) on June 12, Hurricane Cristina's maximum sustained wind were near 150 mph (240 kph). Cristina was about 250 miles (400 km) southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, near latitude 16.6 north and longitude 107.1 west. Cristina was moving toward the west-northwest near 8 mph (13 kph) and a northwestward to west-northwestward motion is expected through Saturday morning (June 14).The estimated minimum central pressure is 935 millibars.
The NHC said that light vertical wind shear and a deep warm ocean should allow Cristina to maintain major hurricane strength for another 36 hours.
Text credit: Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Rob Gutro | Eurek Alert!
USGS projects large loss of Alaska permafrost by 2100
01.12.2015 | United States Geological Survey
Climate Can Grind Mountains Faster Than They Can Be Rebuilt
01.12.2015 | University of Florida
Chemical weathering of rocks over geological time scales is an important control on the stability of the climate. This weathering is, in turn, highly dependent...
Before the fluid of the middle ear drains and sound waves penetrate for the first time, the inner ear cells of newborn rodents practice for their big debut. Researchers at Johns Hopkins report they have figured out the molecular chain of events that enables the cells to make “sounds” on their own, essentially “practicing” their ability to process sounds in the world around them.
The researchers, who describe their experiments in the Dec. 3 edition of the journal Cell, show how hair cells in the inner ear can be activated in the absence...
Planet Earth experienced a global climate shift in the late 1980s on an unprecedented scale, fuelled by anthropogenic warming and a volcanic eruption, according to new research published this week.
Scientists say that a major step change, or ‘regime shift’, in the Earth’s biophysical systems, from the upper atmosphere to the depths of the ocean and from...
The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has installed 70 photovoltaic modules on the outer façade of one of its lab buildings. The modules were...
Nerve cells cover their high energy demand with glucose and lactate. Scientists of the University of Zurich now provide new support for this. They show for the first time in the intact mouse brain evidence for an exchange of lactate between different brain cells. With this study they were able to confirm a 20-year old hypothesis.
In comparison to other organs, the human brain has the highest energy requirements. The supply of energy for nerve cells and the particular role of lactic acid...
01.12.2015 | Event News
30.11.2015 | Event News
25.11.2015 | Event News
01.12.2015 | Earth Sciences
01.12.2015 | Life Sciences
01.12.2015 | Earth Sciences