The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory flew over Hurricane Arthur five times between July 1 and July 5, 2014. Arthur is the first tropical cyclone of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.
GPM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The Core Observatory was launched Feb. 27 from Japan and began its prime mission on May 29, just in time for the hurricane season.
The five GPM passes over Arthur are the first time a precipitation-measuring satellite has been able to follow a hurricane through its full life cycle with high-resolution measurements of rain and ice. In the July 3 image, Arthur was just off the coast of South Carolina. GPM data showed that the hurricane was asymmetrical, with spiral arms, called rain bands, on the eastern side of the storm but not on the western side.
Arthur was born as the first 2014 Atlantic tropical depression on June 30. It strengthened into a tropical storm on July 1 and reached maximum intensity as a Category 2 hurricane on July 4. The storm moved up the U.S. East Coast and made landfall on July 3 at 11:15 p.m. EDT over the Shackleford Banks between Cape Lookout and Beaufort, North Carolina, before swinging northeast over the ocean toward Greenland, where it became an extra-tropical storm on July 5.
“With these new observations we are able to see fine scale structures of precipitation to about 1,000 feet vertically and 3 miles horizontally. This allows us to measure precipitation regionally and to improve weather forecasting models,” said Gail Skofronick-Jackson, GPM project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Maryland.
The GPM Core Observatory’s observations of storms like Arthur will also help scientists decipher some of the thorniest questions about hurricanes, such as how and why they intensify. Hurricane intensity is one of the most difficult aspects to predict and is an area of active research that GPM's observations will contribute to, said NASA Goddard hurricane researcher Scott Braun.
The spacecraft carries two instruments that show the location and intensity of the rain, which defines a crucial part of the storm structure. The GPM Microwave Imager sees through the tops of clouds to observe how much and where precipitation occurs, and the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar observes precise details of precipitation in three dimensions.
With the added capability and higher resolution on the new instruments, "hurricane features pop out more. They're sharper, there's more clarity to the structures," said Braun. "Being able to see the structures more clearly may allow for better determination of the structure of the eye wall and rainbands, thereby providing clues about the likelihood of a storm intensifying or weakening.”
For forecasters, GPM's radiometer and radar data are part of the toolbox of satellite data that they use to monitor tropical cyclones and hurricanes. This toolbox includes data from other low Earth orbit and geostationary satellites.
"The whole idea here is to use these tools to understand the initial genesis of the tropical cyclone, then to monitor its location, eye structure and intensity as it evolves, and to use that along with our numerical model forecast to generate a five- to seven-day forecast every six hours," said Jeff Hawkins, head of the Satellite Meteorological Applications Section for the Naval Research Laboratory in Monterey, California. His group is an early adopter of GPM data and monitors near-real time tropical cyclones worldwide. They distribute satellite products generated from multiple satellites' data to operational and research users, including the Navy and Air Force's Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii and the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Florida.
The addition of GPM data to the current suite of satellite data is timely. Its predecessor precipitation satellite, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, is in the17th year of its operation. GPM's new high-resolution microwave imager data and the unique radar data ensure that forecasters and modelers won't have a gap in coverage.
All GPM data products will be released to the public by Sept. 2, 2014. Current and future data sets are available to registered users from NASA Goddard's Precipitation Processing Center website at: http://pps.gsfc.nasa.gov/
GPM Mission - http://www.nasa.gov/gpm
Hurricane Arthur Updates - http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/arthur-atlantic/
Naval Research Laboratory Tropical Cyclones Page: http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/TC.html
SVS link to the animation - http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?4186
Rob Gutro | Eurek Alert!
New insights into the ancestors of all complex life
29.05.2017 | University of Bristol
A 3-D look at the 2015 El Niño
29.05.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Scientists have developed a new method of characterizing graphene’s properties without applying disruptive electrical contacts, allowing them to investigate both the resistance and quantum capacitance of graphene and other two-dimensional materials. Researchers from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the University of Basel’s Department of Physics reported their findings in the journal Physical Review Applied.
Graphene consists of a single layer of carbon atoms. It is transparent, harder than diamond and stronger than steel, yet flexible, and a significantly better...
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
30.05.2017 | Life Sciences
30.05.2017 | Life Sciences
30.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy