Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

TRMM gets a look at Irene, the first hurricane of the Atlantic season

24.08.2011
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite has been busy measuring rainfall within Hurricane Irene, and forecasts call for between 5 and 10 inches in the southeastern and central Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands as Irene moves toward them today.

It's been a busy season so far in terms of tropical storms with seven named storms already in the Atlantic basin; however, none of them have had a very large impact as they have either been small, short-lived or remained at sea and none of them have intensified into a hurricane until now.


This 3-D perspective of Irene was created from TRMM satellite data taken at 15:57 UTC (11:57 a.m. EDT) on August 22, 2011. It revealed an area of deep convection (shown in red) near the storm's center where precipitation-sized particles are being carried aloft. Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce

Irene, which originated from a tropical wave that propagated off the west coast of Africa, became the 8th named storm of the season as it approached the Lesser Antilles on the 20th of August and the first hurricane of the season as it was passing over Puerto Rico on the morning of the 22nd. Now back over open water, Irene is poised to pass close to the northern coast of Hispaniola and poses a threat to the Bahamas.

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (or TRMM) satellite passed directly over Irene as it was leaving Puerto Rico and captured these unique images of the storm as it moving westward near the Dominican Republic. The images were taken at 15:57 UTC (11:57 AM EDT) on 22 August 2011. One image from TRMM data shows a top-down view of the rain intensity within the storm.

Creating the rain rate image is complicated and involves data from three instruments on TRMM. Rain rates in the center of the swath are from the TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR), and those in the outer swath are from the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI). The rainrates are overlaid on infrared (IR) data from the TRMM Visible Infrared Scanner (VIRS).

TRMM reveals that although a hurricane, Irene has not yet developed an eye and is not yet fully organized. The center of the storm was located just to the southwest of an area of heavy rain (as much as 2 inches/50 mm per hour) about midway between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Rainbands, containing light to moderate rain curved around the storm mainly to the north and east of the center, revealing the presence of the storm's low pressure circulation, but one that is not yet intense.

The TRMM team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. also created a 3-D perspective of the storm. It revealed an area of deep convection near the storm's center where precipitation-sized particles are being carried aloft. These tall towers are associated with strong thunderstorms responsible for the area of intense rain near the center of Irene seen in the previous image. They can be a precursor to strengthening as they indicate areas within a storm where vast amounts of heat are being released. This heating, known as latent heating, is what is drives a storm's circulation and intensification.

At the time these images were taken, Irene was a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds reported at 70 knots (~80 mph) by the National Hurricane Center.

At 8 a.m. EDT on August 23, Irene strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane. Irene's center was headed toward the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas. Irene's maximum sustained winds were near 100 mph (160 kmh). It was located near 20.6 North and 70.6 West, about 70 miles south-southeast of Grand Turk Island and moving to the west-northwest near 10 mph (17 kmh). Minimum central pressure is 978 millibars. Various hurricane and tropical storm warnings and watches are in effect and can be found at The National Hurricane Center's website: www.nhc.noaa.gov.

The rainfall rates seen by the TRMM satellite are reflected in the rainfall forecast totals by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) today. The NHC expects another 1 to 3 inches across Puerto Rico, 3 to 6 inches over northern Hispaniola and isolated amounts as high as 10 inches in higher terrain. The southeastern and central Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands can expect 5 to 10 inches of rainfall as Irene moves toward them today.

Irene is expected to be over the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas tonight and near the central Bahamas early tomorrow. Irene is expected to intensify and is expected to become a major hurricane and residents along the U.S. east coast are keeping close watch.

TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.

Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nasa.gov

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

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>