Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Nathan sporting hot towers, heavy rainfall

19.03.2015

The TRMM satellite revealed that Tropical Cyclone Nathan had powerful thunderstorms known as "hot towers" near its center which are indicative of a strengthening storm.

Cyclone Nathan is located in the Coral Sea off Australia's Queensland coast. Nathan formed on March 10 near the Queensland coast triggering warnings there before moving east. Once out at sea, Nathan made a loop and headed back to Queensland.


TRMM showed that the heaviest rainfall occurring in Nathan on March 18 at 0758 UTC (3:58 a.m. EDT) was falling at a rate of over 119 mm (4.7 inches) on the eastern side of Nathan's eye. TRMM Precipitation Radar data were used to create a 3-D view that showed storm heights of over 9.9 miles.

Credit: NASA/JAXA/SSAI, Hal Pierce

On March 18, Nathan was nearing the Cape York Peninsula of Queensland. As a result warnings were in effect from Cape Melville to Innisfail, extending inland to Laura. Under watch is the area from Lockhart River to Cape Melville, extending inland to areas including Palmerville.

NASA-JAXA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite showed that the heaviest rainfall occurring in Tropical Cyclone Nathan on March 18 at 0758 UTC (3:58 a.m. EDT) was falling at a rate of over 119 mm (4.7 inches) on the eastern side of Nathan's eye.

At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, TRMM Precipitation Radar data were used to create a 3-D view of cyclone Nathan that showed storm heights in a rain band circling the storm's northwestern side reached heights of over 16 km (9.9 miles). Those data also showed "hot towers" or storm tops in Nathan's eyewall were reaching heights of over 13 km (8 miles).

"A "hot tower" is a tall cumulonimbus cloud that reaches at least to the top of the troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere. It extends approximately nine miles (14.5 km) high in the tropics. These towers are called "hot" because they rise to such altitude due to the large amount of latent heat. Water vapor releases this latent heat as it condenses into liquid. NASA research shows that a tropical cyclone with a hot tower in its eyewall was twice as likely to intensify within six or more hours, than a cyclone that lacked a hot tower.

On Mar. 18 at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT), the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) noted that Nathan had reached hurricane force with maximum sustained winds near 65 knots (75 mph/120.4 kph). It was centered near 14.9 south latitude and 148.9 east longitude, about 225 nautical miles (258.9 miles/416.7 km) east-northeast of Cairns, Queensland, Australia. It was moving to the west at 2 knots (2.3 mph/3.7 kph) and generating wave heights to 22 feet (6.7 meters).

The MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Nathan off the Queensland, Australia coast on March 18, 2015 at 04:15 UTC (12:15 a.m. EDT). The MODIS instrument showed a pinhole eye, about 5 nautical miles (5.7 miles/9.2 km) wide.

JTWC forecasters noted that Nathan is moving into an area of warm sea surface temperatures that will allow the storm to strengthen before making landfall on the Cape York Peninsula. JTWC forecasts call for Nathan to strengthen to 85 knots (97.8 mph/157.4 kph) by March 19 at 0600 UTC (2 a.m. EDT). For updated warnings and forecasts from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, visit: http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/.

It is forecast to make landfall north of Cairns on March 19 (by 1800 UTC) and move in a west-northwesterly direction across the Cape York Peninsula and into the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology
22.06.2017 | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

nachricht How reliable are shells as climate archives?
21.06.2017 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>