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 Stagnation in the South Pacific Explains Natural CO2 Fluctuations
23.02.2018 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg

nachricht First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals
22.02.2018 | University of Arizona

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

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...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

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...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

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...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

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...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>