Scientists at NASA are finding that with hurricanes, they can look at the cloud tops for clues about the behavior of winds below the hurricane on the Earths surface.
By looking at how high up the rain is forming within clouds, scientists can estimate whether the hurricanes surface winds will strengthen or weaken. They have found that if rain is falling from clouds that extend up to 9 miles high, and that rain continues for at least one out of three hours, a hurricanes surface winds are likely going to get stronger.
To see into the cloud tops, NASA scientists developed a precise mathematical method or a technique with the very precise rain measurements from the radar onboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite. Once this technique was developed it was applied to data collected by National Weather Service radars on the ground.
Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
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