TRMM: Extreme Weather
Yesterday Amara became the third tropical cyclone since October 2013 to form in the South Indian Ocean. TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) data captured by the TRMM satellite on December 16, 2013 at 2043 UTC were used in the image on the upper left. TRMM's Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) instruments showed that Amara was getting organized with scattered bands of moderate to heavy rain spiraling into the tropical cyclone's center. TRMM PR located some strong radar reflectivity values of over 47.7 dBZ in rain falling at a rate of over 76.9 mm/hr (~3 inches) near the center of the newly formed tropical cyclone.
One of TRMM's most important features has been its ability to form 3-D vertical profiles of rain and snow. TRMM PR profiles of radar reflectivity were used to make the 3-D view of tropical cyclone Amara shown on the upper right. Convective thunderstorm tops were found reaching heights greater than 13km (~8 mile) near Amara's center and even higher in a rain band on Amara's eastern side.
Click here to see a Low Resolution 640x360 simulated 3-D (Quicktime) flyby animation over tropical cyclone AMARA using TRMM PR data.