Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Experiment on Monsoon Season Rainfall Lives Up to its ’Name’

03.05.2006


For many people, a monsoon brings to mind images of intense rainfall and high winds in faraway places. Actually, monsoons occur all over the globe, including North America. These seasonal reversals of winds trigger dramatic changes in rainfall and other weather events within a short period of time.



The North American monsoon affects large areas of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. This rainy season brings with it much more than torrential downpours from July to mid-September. The North American monsoon is one of the key natural events that defines the warm-season climate over the region. It is important that researchers better understand the key physical processes at play that determine the life cycle of the monsoon. That knowledge should make it possible to forecast warm-season rainfall over North America more accurately.

Throughout the summer of 2004, researchers from NASA and other U.S. government agencies led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) joined an international team of scientists from Mexico, Belize and Costa Rica to carry out an intensive field campaign as part of the North American Monsoon Experiment (NAME). NAME is a study aimed at improving the ability to observe and simulate monsoons over North America. The early findings from NAME were published in a recent issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.


Image to left: This satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) shows rainfall during the beginning of monsoon season in Mexico. This is an infrared image, taken the night of June 23, 1998. The red area depicted shows a cold area, indicating a high cloud top (50,000 feet high), indicating a strong thunderstorm. Click image to enlarge. Credit: NOAA

"This was our first chance to gather results from such intensive observations of the North American monsoon season, using sensitive instruments from 20 different vantage locations like NASA satellites, aircraft, research ships, radar, balloons, buoys, and ground stations," said Siegfried Schubert, a meteorologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., and member of the NAME science team. "The results should put us on a fast track to improving the accuracy of our predictions, and the lessons we learn here can be applied to many other parts of the world."

During the NAME mission, scientists took a large and frequent number of measurements of winds, humidity, soil, ocean heat fluctuations, and rainfall accumulation over six weeks using several instruments mounted in platforms in the sky, space, ocean, and on the ground. The team will combine this information with other measurements, including those from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer - EOS (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite and the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) on NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) satellite.

"By 2008, we should have enough analysis from observations and the global and regional models created from those 2004 observations to make it clear whether our modeling is far closer to what we’ve been after," said Myong-In Lee, a research scientist at Goddard and member of the NAME science team.

"Our success in improving monsoon forecasting can have significant socio-economic impact," said Jim Laver, Director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, Camp Springs, Md. "Knowledge gained from the NAME observations has the potential to increase society’s ability to plan for and respond to monsoon-related extreme events such as flooding rains, dust storms, hail and dry lightning, and help protect lives and property."

NAME is an international effort involving 30 organizations: NASA, NOAA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Science Foundation, U.S. and international universities, and several Mexican scientific organizations.

Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/environment/rainfall_name.html

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Arctic melt ponds form when meltwater clogs ice pores
24.01.2017 | University of Utah

nachricht New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland
19.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein

X-ray study throws light on key process for production

A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Breaking the optical bandwidth record of stable pulsed lasers

24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Choreographing the microRNA-target dance

24.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Spanish scientists create a 3-D bioprinter to print human skin

24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>