Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


TRMM measures Cyclone Paul's rainfall from space

Having been hit by two tropical cyclones so far this season, Queensland had been the center of tropical cyclone activity, but with the recent arrival of Tropical Cyclone Paul, it is now the Northern Territory's turn to experience heavy rains and gusty winds.

Paul originated from a low pressure circulation embedded within the monsoon trough over the Arufura Sea between the northern coast of Australia and New Guinea. As the circulation drifted southward towards northern Australia it intensified slowly and only became a Category 1 cyclone on the evening of March 28, 2010 (local time) when the center was right over the northeast coast of the Northern Territory where it brought wind gusts of up to 110 kph (~70 mph, equivalent to a tropical storm on the US Saffir-Simpson scale).

Since its launch back in 1997, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite (better known as TRMM) has served as a valuable platform for monitoring tropical cyclones using its unique combination of active radar and passive microwave sensors. TRMM captured this first image of Paul at 9:08 UTC on March 28, 2010 (6:38 pm Australian CST) when the center was right over the northeast coast of the Northern Territory. The image shows the horizontal distribution of rain intensity inside the storm. Rain rates in the center of the swath are from the TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR), the only spaceborne precipitation radar of its kind, while those in the outer portion are from the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI). The rain rates are overlaid on infrared (IR) data from the TRMM Visible Infrared Scanner (VIRS).

Although Paul does not have a visible eye in the IR data, the center of the storm's circulation is clearly evident in the rain pattern over the coast. Paul's center of circulation is bordered by a band of moderate intensity rain to the northwest and surrounded by outer rainbands that spiral inwards to the south and east that have light to moderate rain. Embedded within the rainbands are occasional areas of heavy rain.

TRMM data was used to create a 3-D perspective of the storm from data from TRMM's Precipitation Radar instrument. The most prominent feature is a deep convective tower, which penetrates up to 9 miles (15 km) high. This corresponds with an area of intense rain in the northwestern eyewall evident in the TRMM's image of horizontal rainfall. These tall towers are associated with convective bursts and can be a sign of future strengthening as they indicate areas where heat, known as latent heat, is being released into the storm. This heating is what drives the storm's circulation. Despite Paul's proximity to land, it was able to intensify into a Category 2 cyclone (equivalent to a minimal Category 1 hurricane) by the following morning with wind gusts of up to 140 kph (~85 mph). Paul is hovering over land along the coast and is expected to weaken slowly over the next day or so; however, it could eventually re-emerge over the very warm waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria and re-intensify.

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

Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Wandering greenhouse gas
16.03.2018 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System
14.03.2018 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

TIB’s Visual Analytics Research Group to develop methods for person detection and visualisation

19.03.2018 | Information Technology

Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

19.03.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>