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!
Stagnation in the South Pacific Explains Natural CO2 Fluctuations
23.02.2018 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg
First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals
22.02.2018 | University of Arizona
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy