Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NASA Offers A Real-Time 3-D Look At The Inside Of Hurricanes

11.07.2005


The image on the left shows the intensity of rainfall in a tropical cyclone. The colorbar above the image shows millimeters of rainfall per hour, with reds being the heaviest rainfall. The image on the right shows a 3-D structure of rain in tropical cyclones. The highest cloud tower on the image reaches 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) high. Credit: NASA


TRMM captured Hurricane Ivan as it made landfall on September 16, 2004. Ivan affected Alabama, Florida, Lousianna, and Georgia. TRMM sees the rain (through the clouds). Blue areas have at least 0.25 inches of rain per hour(hr). Green shows 0.5 inches; yellow, at least 1.0 inch, and Red shows the most intense rains where over 2.0 inches/hr. were recorded. Credit: NASA


Seeing how rain falls from top to bottom and how heavy the rain falls throughout parts of a tropical cyclone is very important to hurricane forecasters. NASA has sped up the process of getting this data within three hours, and making it appear in 3-D. The new process now gives information quickly enough for forecasters to use.

Scientists at NASA have developed a way to process radar data from NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite that can help with forecasting changes in a hurricane’s intensity.

"What’s important is that the vertical rain structure data used to take a longer time to process," said Jeffrey Halverson, Meteorologist and TRMM Education and Outreach Scientist. With hurricane forecasts, events change quickly, and meteorologists need data as fast as possible. This new process gives them data within three hours from the time the satellite has flown over a tropical cyclone."



TRMM is a unique satellite that is able to estimate rainfall measurements from space, and rainfall is a key ingredient in hurricanes. For example, heaviest concentrations of rainfall for example are found around the eye or center of the hurricane. Scientists can tell, based on if the rain is getting stronger or weaker, whether or not the hurricane is strengthening or weakening.

In 2004, research confirmed that when larger towering clouds reach a certain height surrounding the hurricane’s open eye, in what is called the "eye-wall," they can be associated with a strengthening storm. TRMM can identify these "hot towers" of piled up clouds and cam help make forecasts more accurate.

Because the TRMM satellite covers the tropical areas of the entire globe, the Precipitation Radar (PR) instrument takes snapshots of storms as it passes by. Every time it passes over a named tropical cyclone anywhere in the world, the PR will send data to create these 3-D "snapshots" of the storms.

The hurricane snapshot will show forecasters information on how heavy the rain is falling from different parts of the storm, such as the in eye-wall versus the outer rainbands, for example. It also gives a 3-D look at the cloud heights and "hot towers" inside the storm. Higher hot towers around the eye usually indicate a strengthening storm.

The snapshot also gives valuable information about how the storm is put together. For example, when scientists studying a snapshot see that the body of the hurricane may be tilted inward to the hot towers, it could give clues as to whether a wind shear, or a sudden change in direction of winds near the top of the storm, may impact the storm’s strength. Normally, when a hurricane runs into a strong wind shear, it weakens.

Forecasters and the general public can access the data and look into the eye of a storm by going to the TRMM website. "We hope this new data product will help the community to better assess the structure and intensity of tropical cyclones," Halverson said.

Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/trmm_3D.html
http://trmm.gfsc.nasa.gov
http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht The Wadden Sea and the Elbe Studied with Zeppelin, Drones and Research Ships
19.09.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung

nachricht FotoQuest GO: Citizen science campaign targets land-use change in Austria
19.09.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>