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 From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future
27.04.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Penn researchers quantify the changes that lightning inspires in rock
27.04.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>