Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

TRMM Satellite Sees Heavy Rain, Towering Clouds in Tropical Storm Katia

01.09.2011
While parts of the East Coast and New England are still recovering from Hurricane Irene, a new storm is brewing in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Katia. The TRMM satellite looked "under the hood" of the storm and saw heavy rainfall rates and towering clouds providing a clue that she was going to strengthen and may become a hurricane later today.

Katia began as an area of low pressure that had moved away from the coast of Africa south of the Cape Verde Islands in the central eastern Atlantic. This area of low pressure became the twelfth tropical depression of the season (TD #12) early on the morning of August 29th about 640 km (~400 miles) south-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands and about 1400 km (~870 miles) off the coast of Africa. Storms forming in this region are known as "Cape Verde" storms. They tend to be larger and stronger than average because of the open ocean and occur most often in August and September during the height of the hurricane season. Irene was a Cape Verde storm.

About a day after forming, TD #12 became a little better organized and was upgraded to a tropical storm and given the name Katia. Katia is new on the rotating list of names for tropical storms and hurricanes; it replaces the name Katrina, which was retired after the 2005 hurricane season.

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite (or TRMM) flew over TD #12 and captured images early on the morning of August 30th just before it was upgraded to a tropical storm. The images were taken at 8:41 UTC (4:41 a.m. EDT) August 03, 2011 as TD #12 was moving west northwestward away from the Cape Verde Islands and into the central Atlantic.

The first image TRMM captured showed the horizontal pattern of the rain intensity within the storm. Creating the image was complicated as two products were used to create the image. Rain rates in the center swath are based on the TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR), and those in the outer swath on the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI). The rain rates were then overlaid on visible and infrared (IR) data from the TRMM Visible Infrared Scanner (VIRS).

TRMM revealed a sizeable area of moderate rain with embedded areas of heavier rain (2 inches/50 mm per hour). Within this rain there was evidence of banding (curvature) that revealed the presence of a cyclonic circulation. However, nearly all of the rain was located south and west of the estimated center. This is due in part to the system not yet being fully developed but also because it was feeling the effects of some northeasterly wind shear.

The second image was taken at the same time and showed a 3-D perspective of the storm. It was created using TRMM's Precipitation Radar. That image revealed some deeper convective hot towers (hot because they release a lot of latent heat), within the storm. Towers closest to the center of the storm (the nearest) reach about 12.5 km 7.7 miles), while those in the outer rain band (farthest way) reach up to 15 km (9.3 miles). These towers are associated with the areas of heavier rain in the previous image and can be a sign of future strengthening when located near the center as they indicate areas within the storm where heat is being released. Shortly after these images were taken, the system became a tropical storm with sustained winds estimated at 35 knots (~40 mph) by the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

At 11 a.m. EDT on August 31, Katia's maximum sustained winds were 65 mph (100 kmh) and expected to strengthen. She was centered near latitude 14.2 north and longitude 40.8 west, about 1100 miles (1765 km) west of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands. Katia is moving toward the west-northwest near 21 mph (33 kmh) and is expected to slow in the next two days. Estimated minimum central pressure is 994 millibars.

Katia is expected to continue on its current west-northwest track passing north of the Leeward Islands. It is also forecast to become a hurricane and possibly a major hurricane as it encounters warmer waters and reduced wind shear.

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

Text credit: Steve Lange, SSAI/NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nasa.gov
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hurricanes/archives/2011/h2011_Katia.html

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Climate change weakens Walker circulation
20.10.2017 | MARUM - Zentrum für Marine Umweltwissenschaften an der Universität Bremen

nachricht Shallow soils promote savannas in South America
20.10.2017 | Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseen

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>