Featured Articles Archive

  • GPM Examines Hurricane Irma
    The GPM core observatory satellite had an exceptional view of hurricane Irma's eye when it flew above it on September 5, 2017 at 12:52 PM AST (1652 UTC). This visualization shows a rainfall analysis that was derived from GPM's Microwave Imager (GMI) and Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) data. Irma was approaching the Leeward Islands with maximum sustained winds of about 178 mph (155 kts). This made Irma a dangerous category five hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. Intense rainfall is shown within Irma's nearly circular eye. 
  • Hurricane Irma's Heat Engine Exposed
    At 1 PM EDT (1700 UTC) on September 5, 2017, the radar on the Global Precipitation Measuring Mission (GPM) satellite captured this 3D view of the heat engine inside of category-5 Hurricane Irma.  Under the central ring of clouds that circles the eye, water that had evaporated from the ocean surface condenses, releases heat, and powers the circling winds of the hurricane. The radar on the GPM satellite is able to estimate how much water is falling as precipitation inside of the hurricane, which serves as a guide to how much energy is being released inside the hurricane's central "heat...
  • GPM Captures Hurricane Harvey's Rainfall
    The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory captured these images of Hurricane Harvey at 11:45 UTC and 21:25 UTC on the 27th of August nearly two days after the storm made landfall as it was meandering slowly southeast at just 2 mph (~4 kph) near Victoria, Texas west of Houston. The image shows rain rates derived from GPM's GMI microwave imager (outer swath) and dual-frequency precipitation radar or DPR (inner swath) overlaid on enhanced visible/infrared data from the GOES-East satellite. Harvey's cyclonic circulation is still quite evident in the visible/infrared clouds, but...
  • Harvey Hits Texas, Unleashes Major Flooding
    Despite its earlier demise, after rejuvinating over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Harvey has become a major weather maker as it unleashes historical flooding over parts of coastal Texas. Harvey began on the 17th of August as a weak tropical storm about 250 miles (~400 km) east of Barbados in the Leeward Islands. Over the next two days, Harvey continued moving steadily westward passing through the Leeward Islands as a still weak tropical storm and entered into the east central Caribbean. On the 19th, Harvey succumbed to the effects of northeasterly wind shear over the...
  • A New Multi-dimensional View of a Hurricane
    NASA researchers now can use a combination of satellite observations to re-create multi-dimensional pictures of hurricanes and other major storms in order to study complex atmospheric interactions. In this video, they applied those techniques to Hurricane Matthew. When it occurred in the fall of 2016, Matthew was the first Category 5 Atlantic hurricane in almost ten years. Its torrential rains and winds caused significant damage and loss of life as it coursed through the Caribbean and up along the southern U.S. coast. Music: "Buoys," Donn Wilkerson, Killer Tracks; "Late Night Drive," Donn...
  • GPM Sees Larsen-C Ice Shelf Separation
    On July 12, 2017, a giant iceberg broke off Antarctica and a variety of satellites have been used to study it ever since. The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Microwave Imager (GMI) instrument can see the ribbon of relatively warm water and ice that separates the newly formed iceberg from the its parent mass of ice, the Larsen C ice shelf.  While the iceberg is separated from the parent iceshelf by only a few kilometers, the GMI instrument is sensitive enough to detect the variation in temperature between this relatively warm gap and the colder ice shelf and iceberg.
  • At the time of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory overpass (April 1, 2017, 0550 UTC), the storm's center of low pressure was south of Long Island. At the mid-levels of the atmosphere, the circulation was centered over northeast Pennsylvania. This led to a classic overrunning, warm conveyor setup, which happened when the counterclockwise low level flow drew in cold air out of the north/northeast (hence "Nor'easter") from Canada. Higher up, warm and moist air from further south was lifted over this cold air and resulted in precipitation in the form of snow at the...
  • GPM Measures Tropical Cyclone Debbie
    Tropical cyclone Debbie formed in the Coral Sea northeast of Australia om March 24, 2017. Debbie intensified and had hurricane force wind speeds within a day of formation. While headed toward northeastern Australia Debbie reached it's maximum sustained wind speeds estimated at over 100 kts (115 mph) on March 27, 2017 (UTC). Tropical cyclone Debbie came ashore on March 28th and brought destructive winds and extremely heavy rain to northeastern Australia. It was reported that heavy rainfall caused flash flooding that cut off a coastal town and covered several roads in Queensland.

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