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

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>