Trami (South Pacific Ocean) 2018

Sep. 21, 2018 – NASA Sees Areas of Strength in Tropical Storm Trami

NASA’s Terra satellite provided an infrared look at Tropical Storm Trami, located just over 100 miles from Guam on Sept. 21. Infrared data provides temperature information that showed two areas of the highest, coldest cloud tops and most powerful storms within the tropical storm.

Terra image of Trami
At 8:45 a.m. EDT (1245 UTC) on Sept.21 the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite looked at Tropical Storm Trami (28W) in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud top temperatures in two large areas, as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees (yellow) Fahrenheit (minus 112 degrees Celsius). Surrounding them were powerful storms with cloud tops as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees (red) Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). Credit: NASA/NRL

NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) in Tiyan, Guam said that a flash flood watch is in effect for all of Guam and the northern Marianas. A small craft advisory remains in effect until 6 a.m. CHST local time on Sunday, Sept. 23.

However, the Tropical Storm Watch for Rota, Tinian and Saipan has been canceled.  Because Tropical Storm Trami (28W) continues to move away from the Marianas the threat of damaging winds has ended.

At 2:20 a.m. EDT (0230 UTC) on Sept. 13, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite analyzed Hurricane Florence in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud top temperatures in two large areas. One was around the center of circulation and the other was in a thick band of thunderstorms wrapping into the low-level center. Those temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 112 degrees Celsius). Surrounding them were powerful storms with cloud tops as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius).

NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures as cold as or colder than the 70F/56.6C threshold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.

On Sept. 21, Trami was located near latitude 15.3 degrees north and longitude 142.9 degrees east. That’s about 175 miles west-northwest of Rota and about 180 miles northwest of Guam. Trami is moving northwest at 12 mph. It is expected to make a slight turn toward the west-northwest with little change in forward speed over the next 24 hours. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 40 mph. 28W is forecast to intensify through Saturday. Tropical storm force winds extend outward from the center up to 120 miles.

NWS issued a special weather statement for Micronesia that said areas of heavy showers and thunderstorms can be found near Trami and in the monsoon flow southwest of the storm. The westerly monsoonal flow across Yap State and the Republic of Palau will increase during the next few days. Showery weather and locally gusty winds are likely for Yap and Koror through this weekend. Sea and surf conditions may become hazardous at times.

For updated forecasts visit:  http://www.prh.noaa.gov/guam/

By Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Florence (Atlantic Ocean) 2018

Sep. 20, 2018 – NASA Storm Analysis of Florence from a Suite of Satellites

Using Earth-observing satellite data, our researchers have been keeping an eye on the amount of rain that fell from #HurricaneFlorence. We have been analyzing the storm, providing a steady stream of information to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Guard, and other state and federal agencies “to help assess the hurricane’s impact. Learn more about how we study these storms: https://blogs.nasa.gov/disaster-response/2018/09/17/nasa-tracking-florence-from-every-angle-and-wavelength/
Credit: NASA

Sep. 19 #2 – A Broad View of Flooding in the Carolinas

Before and after Hurricane Florence swept through the Carolinas, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite observed several residential areas and major rivers. The image below shows the Trent River on September 19, 2018. The false-color image use a combination of visible and infrared light (bands 6-5-4) to make it easier to distinguish between flood waters and land.

For more on this story visit: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/92786/a-broad-view-of-flooding-in-the-carolinas

NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.
NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey. Credit: NASA
Sep. 19, 2018 #1 – Florence Inundates the Carolinas
IMERG data from GPM shows soil moisture from Florence
The right image shows the rain accumulation from September 13–16. These rainfall data are remotely-sensed estimates that come from the Integrated Multi-Satellite Retrievals (IMERG), a product of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. Local rainfall amounts can be significantly higher when measured from the ground. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens and Lauren Dauphin, using soil moisture data courtesy of JPL and the SMAP Science Team, IMERG data from the Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) at NASA/GSFC, and modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2018), processed by ESA and analyzed by the NASA-JPL/Caltech ARIA team.

Upon making landfall on the southeastern U.S. coast on September 14, 2018, Hurricane Florence brought strong winds and torrential rains that flooded roads, houses, and rivers to historic levels and left hundreds of thousands of people without power. NASA data and researchers observed and analyzed the event, providing a steady stream of information to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Guard to help assess the hurricane’s impact.

For the whole story visit:  https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/92775/florence-inundates-the-carolinas?src=eoa-iotd

Sep. 18, 2018 #2 –  Dramatic Soil Moisture Transformation over North Carolina Associated with Flooding Rainfall from Hurricane Florence
Moisture in the Carolinas from Florence
Weekly total rainfall (inches), valid 11-18 September 2018, from the National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) product. Four counties are denoted, for which soil moisture histogram animations are shown later in this article. Credit: NOAA/National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS)

As anticipated, Hurricane Florence resulting in monumental rainfall totals, particularly across southern and eastern North Carolina.  This past week’s rainfall totals are depicted in Figure 1, derived from the NOAA/National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS).  Widespread totals exceeded 10” across most of southern/eastern North Carolina and far eastern South Carolina, with maximum rainfall of more than 20” along and within a few counties of the Atlantic Coast.

For more on this story visit: https://nasasport.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/dramatic-soil-moisture-transformation-over-north-carolina-associated-with-flooding-rainfall-from-hurricane-florence/

Sep. 18, 2018 #1 – NASA Sees Fading Florence’s Stretched-Out Strongest Storms

NASA’s Aqua satellite provided an infrared look at fading Post-Tropical Cyclone Florence’s clouds, revealing where the strongest thunderstorms were located. Those strong thunderstorms stretched from the Mid-Atlantic to New England.

Aqua image of Florence
At 2:35 a.m. EDT (0635) on Sept. 18, NASA’s Aqua satellite analyzed Post-Tropical Cyclone Florence in infrared light and found several areas of coldest cloud top temperatures and strongest storms (yellow) located over several U.S. states: Maryland, Delaware, northeastern upstate New York, central Vermont and New Hampshire. Those cloud top temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius). Credit: NASA/NRL

On Sept. 18, Florence is becoming an increasingly elongated low pressure area while it generates heavy rain over parts of the Mid-Atlantic and into southern New England today. Flash flood watches are in effect for portions of the Mid-Atlantic States and southern New England.

At 2:35 a.m. EDT (0635) on Sept. 18, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite analyzed Post-Tropical Cyclone Florence in infrared light. MODIS found several areas of coldest cloud top temperatures and strongest storms located over several U.S. states: Maryland, Delaware, northeastern upstate New York, central Vermont and New Hampshire.

Those cloud top temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius).  NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures as cold as or colder than the 63F/53C threshold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.

The National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center (WPC) in College Park, Md. issued the final advisory on Florence at 11 a.m. EDT.

At 11 a.m. EDT on Sept. 18 Florence’s center of circulation was just 45 miles west-northwest of Boston, Mass. near latitude 42.6 degrees north and longitude 71.9 degrees west. The post-tropical cyclone is moving toward the east-northeast near 30 mph (41 kph) and this motion is expected to increase as the low moves east into the western Atlantic later today. Maximum sustained winds are near 25 mph (35 kph) with higher gusts.

The low will transition into a trough or elongated area of low pressure, off the East Coast tomorrow.

By Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 17, 2018 #3 – NASA Data Shows Florence Brings Torrential Rains and Record Flooding to the Carolinas

NASA estimated the precipitation generated by Hurricane Florence from Sept. 10 through 17 as it approached North Carolina and days after it made landfall. On Sept. 17, Florence’s remnant rainfall was moving up the Appalachian Mountains into the Mid-Atlantic.

IMERG data from rainfall from Florence
NASA’s IMERG estimated Florence’s rainfall from Sept. 10 to 17, 2018. IMERG estimates show on the order of 250 mm of rain (~10 inches, shown in red) or more reaching inland over most of central and southern No. Carolina as well as the northeast corner of So. Carolina. However, along the southeast coast of North Carolina between Cape Fear and Cape Lookout rainfall amounts are much higher, IMERG estimates are on the order of 500 mm (~20 inches, shown in purple) or more. Locally, upwards of 30 inches of rain were reported in parts of North Carolina with reports of over 35 and 33 inches in Elizabethtown and Swansboro, respectively.
Credit: NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce

Florence’s History

After making its way across the Atlantic, Florence, a once powerful Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds reported at 140 mph by the National Hurricane Center (NHC), finally made landfall early Friday morning at around 7:15 a.m. EDT September 14th near Wrightsville Beach on the coast of North Carolina just east of Wilmington.

Although its maximum sustained winds had decreased to 90 mph when it made landfall, making it a Category 1 storm, Florence was still a very dangerous storm with a peak wind gust of 105 mph recorded at Wilmington, No. Carolina.  By this time, Florence was a large storm with a large wind field.

Having undergone an eyewall replacement cycle on Sept. 11, wherein a new eyewall forms and replaces the original inner eyewall, Florence traded some of its peak intensity for size before reaching the coast.  This kept the storm surge threat high even though the peak winds were down.  New Bern, No. Carolina was hit by a reported 10 foot storm surge, which stranded many residents.  In addition to its large size, Florence also slowed down as it approached the coast, allowing a good portion of its circulation to remain over water as it slowly made its way inland. This set the stage for a major flooding event over the Carolinas and was well forecast by NHC.

NASA Estimates Florence’s Massive Rainfall

The Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM or IMERG is used to make estimates of precipitation from a combination of passive microwave sensors, including the GMI microwave sensor onboard the GPM or Global Precipitation Measurement mission satellite, and geostationary IR (infrared) data. GPM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA.

NASA’s IMERG estimated Florence’s rainfall from Sept. 10 to 17, 2018.  IMERG estimates show on the order of 250 mm of rain (~10 inches, shown in red) or more reaching inland over most of central and southern No. Carolina as well as the northeast corner of So. Carolina.  However, along the southeast coast of North Carolina between Cape Fear and Cape Lookout rainfall amounts are much higher, IMERG estimates are on the order of 500 mm (~20 inches, shown in purple) or more.  Locally, upwards of 30 inches of rain were reported in parts of North Carolina with reports of over 35 and 33 inches in Elizabethtown and Swansboro, respectively. Credit: NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce

In an image created at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. the IMERG rainfall estimates associated with Florence for the 1-week period from Sept. 10 to 17 covered the central U.S. East Coast region where the storm came ashore.  IMERG estimates show on the order of 250 mm of rain (~10 inches) or more reaching inland over most of central and southern North Carolina as well as the northeast corner of South Carolina.

However, along the southeast coast of North Carolina between Cape Fear and Cape Lookout rainfall amounts were much higher.  There, where persistent rain bands rotated onshore bringing continuous bands of heavy rains onto the coast, IMERG estimates are on the order of 500 mm (~20 inches) or more.  Locally, upwards of 30 inches of rain were reported in parts of North Carolina with reports of over 35 and 33 inches in Elizabethtown and Swansboro, respectively.

Record Rainfall in Wilmington, No. Carolina

As a result of receiving over 26 inches of rain from Florence, Wilmington set a new yearly rainfall record.  The result of all of this rain has been record or major flooding along many of the rivers in North Carolina.  At one point, Wilmington, No. Carolina was reportedly cut off.  So far, Florence is being blamed for 20 fatalities.

Warnings and Watches Continue

At 11 a.m. EDT on Sept. 17, NOAA’s National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center (WPC) in College Park, Md. issued the latest update on Tropical Depression Florence.

WPC said flash flood warnings are currently in effect across parts of central North Carolina into far southern Virginia. Flash flood watches are in effect across much of North Carolina, northern South Carolina, portions of Western Virginia, southern and eastern West Virginia, central and western Maryland, central and western Pennsylvania, southern New York and southern New England.

Status of Tropical Depression Florence on Sept. 17

At 11 a.m. EDT on Sept. 17 the WPC said,”Florence continues to produce heavy rain over parts of the Mid-Atlantic region. Flash flooding continues over the Carolinas and may develop across parts of the Delmarva Peninsula into Pennsylvania today.”

At 1100 AM EDT (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Florence was located near latitude 38.5 degrees north and longitude 82.9 degrees west. That’s about 240 miles (385 km) west of Charlottesville, Virginia. The depression is moving toward the northeast near 15 mph (24 kph) and is forecast to become extratropical late today while accelerating to the east-northeast. Maximum sustained winds are near 25 mph (35 kph) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast until the low moves into the western Atlantic by early Wednesday. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1008 millibars.

More Rain from Florence over Next Few Days

The WPC forecast stated: “Florence is expected to produce heavy to excessive rainfall over the next couple of days. Portions of the Mid-Atlantic states west of Interstate 95 into southern New York and southern New England are expected to receive an additional 2 to 4 inches of rain with isolated maximum amounts of 6 inches possible.”

For more information on rainfall totals please see the Storm Summary available at: www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/discussions/nfdscc4.html

By Stephen Lang / Rob Gutro (SSAI/NASA GSFC)
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center 

Sep. 17, 2018 #2 -“Split Frame” of Hurricane Florence’s Record-setting Rainfall

For days, Hurricane Florence’s relentless bands of heavy rain fell on North Carolina, as shown in these satellite-based estimates of precipitation from NASA’s IMERG algorithm.  The left side of the screen shows the storm-total rainfall rising, starting on Thursday, September 13, at 9AM EDT.  The right side of the screen tracks the storm using a 3-hour-average rain rate throughout the duration of the storm.  Hurricane Florence’s abrupt slowdown near landfall in North Carolina is easily discernable in the 3-hour rain rate.  NASA Goddard generates these realtime estimates by calibrating, merging, and morphing data from the international constellation of rain-observing satellites in Earth orbit. Credit: NASA

Sep. 17, 2018 #1 – Hurricane Florence Resources – GPM Core Observatory and Constellation Satellite Rain Rates
GPM rainfall rates from Florence
GPM Core Observatory overpass of Hurricane Florence from 9/14/18 at 18:36 UTC. Ground track shows rain rates (mm/hr) from the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) instrument, 3D swath shows rain rates in the atmospheric column from the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR). Credit: NASA

For more information on this story and details on the Global Precipitation Measurement mission visit:  https://disasters.nasa.gov/hurricane-florence-2018/hurricane-florence-resource-gpm-core-observatory-and-constellation-satellite

Sep. 16, 2018 – NASA Sees Florence Still Dropping Heavy Rain Over North Carolina

Although now a tropical depression centered over South Carolina, bands of thunderstorms spinning around its center continue to drench North Carolina on Sunday, Sept. 16. Infrared imagery from NASA’s Aqua satellite showed the location of the strongest storms feeding into Florence’s center with the capability to generate more heavy rain in an already soaked region.

Aqua image of Florence
Infrared satellite data at 2:50 a.m. EDT (0650 UTC) on Sept. 16 from NASA’s Aqua satellite revealed strongest storms with the coldest cloud top temperatures (yellow) north and east of Florence’s center. Those storms straddled the North Carolina and Virginia border and were in a thick band of thunderstorms extended from Goldsboro to coastal Jacksonville and south to Wilmington, No. Carolina and out over the Atlantic Ocean. Credit: NASA/NRL

The National Hurricane Center noted that flooding rains are the biggest threat now from Tropical Depression Florence as it continues to linger over the Carolinas. Today, Sunday, Sept. 16, there are no longer any coastal watches or warnings in effect. However, interests in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states should monitor the progress of Florence due to the heavy rainfall threat.

What Satellite Data Shows

As Tropical Depression Florence’s center lingered over South Carolina, bands of thunderstorms north of the center were wrapping from the Atlantic over North Carolina and continuing to drop heavy amounts of rainfall.

Infrared satellite data at 2:50 a.m. EDT (0650 UTC) on Sept. 16 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite revealed strongest storms with the coldest cloud top temperatures north and east of Florence’s center. Those storms straddled the North Carolina and Virginia border and were in a thick band of thunderstorms extended from Goldsboro to coastal Jacksonville and south to Wilmington, No. Carolina and out over the Atlantic Ocean.

MODIS found coldest cloud tops had temperatures near minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius). NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.

What is the Expected Rainfall?

The National Hurricane Center said: “Florence is expected to produce heavy and excessive rainfall in central and western North Carolina into far southwest Virginia.

An additional 5 to 10 inches, with storm total accumulations of 15 to 20 inches in western North Carolina. These rainfall amounts will produce catastrophic flash flooding, prolonged significant river flooding, and an elevated risk for landslides in western North

Carolina and far southwest Virginia. In southern North Carolina into northern South Carolina, an additional 4 to 6 inches, with isolated totals of 8 inches are forecast.  This rainfall will result in additional flash flooding while also exacerbating the river flooding.  Storm total accumulations of 30 to 40 inches in southeast North Carolina.

And in west-central Virginia, north of Roanoke and west of Charlottesville rainfall of 2 to 4 inches, with isolated totals to 6 inches can be expected. This rainfall will result in flash flooding and potentially lead to some river flooding.”

Other Hazards Remaining from Florence

Other hazards include a few tornadoes possible across North Carolina and eastern South Carolina today and tonight and ocean swells. Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda, portions of the U.S. East Coast, and the northwestern and central Bahamas. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Location of Florence on Sunday, September 16, 2018

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Florence was located near latitude 33.8 degrees north and longitude 81.4 degrees west. That puts the center of Florence’s circulation about 20 miles (35 km) southwest of Columbia, South Carolina.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 35 mph (55 kph) with higher gusts.  Continued gradual weakening is forecast during the next couple of days.

Where Is Florence Going?

The depression is moving toward the west near 8 mph (13 kph).  A turn toward the northwest with an increase in forward speed is expected today, followed by a turn toward the north and northeast with an additional increase in forward speed on Monday.  That’s because the high pressure area that was blocking Florence from moving north is sliding east over the Atlantic Ocean, allowing the storm to move north then east.

On the forecast track, Florence’s center will move across the western Carolinas today and then recurve over the Ohio Valley and Northeast U.S. Monday and Tuesday.

For updates on Florence, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro (with information from the NHC)
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 15, 2018 – NASA Finds Heaviest Rains North and East as Florence’s Center Hugs Carolina Coast

Tropical Storm Florence is a slow-moving storm as expected, and NASA provided an infrared look to determine where the strongest storms and heaviest rains were occurring. Catastrophic flooding was happening throughout North and South Carolina as the system continues to drop heavy rainfall.

Aqua image of Florence
At 3:45 a.m. EDT (0745 UTC) on Sept. 15, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Tropical Storm Florence in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud tops (yellow) had temperatures near minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius) mostly north and east of center. Credit: NASA/NRL

Florence, weakened to a tropical storm but continuing to hug the coast, is now over South Carolina. Winds may have weakened, but the astounding rainfall and storms surge continues. The National Hurricane Center noted: “Florence is moving slowly across eastern South Carolina and continues to produce catastrophic flooding over North Carolina and South Carolina.”

Warnings and Watches in Effect Saturday, September 15, 2018

The NHC said a Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina and for Pamlico Sound, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Edisto Beach, South Carolina to Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina and Pamlico Sound

What Satellite Data Shows

Infrared satellite data at 3:45 a.m. EDT (0745 UTC) on Sept. 15 from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite revealed strongest storms with the coldest cloud top temperatures north and east of Florence’s center. Those storms wrapped around Florence from central and eastern North Carolina out over the Atlantic Ocean.

MODIS found coldest cloud tops had temperatures near minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius). NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.

Florence Near Florence, S.C. on Saturday, Sept. 15

At 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Florence was located near latitude 33.6 North, longitude 79.5 West. That’s about 35 miles (55 km) west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and about 45 miles (70 km) south-southeast of Florence, So. Carolina.

Florence is moving toward the west near 2 mph (4 kph), and a slow westward motion is expected to continue through today. A turn toward the west-northwest and northwest is expected on Sunday.

Radar data continue to indicate that the maximum sustained winds remain near 50 mph (80 kph) with higher gusts in the heavy rainbands over water.  Gradual weakening is forecast while Florence moves farther inland during the next couple of days, and it is expected to weaken to a tropical depression by tonight.

Rainfall along the Carolina coast south of Cape Hatteras is expected to be as high as 40 inches. For the full explanation of rains, winds, surge and isolated tornadoes, visit: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov.

Florence is forecast to turn northward through the Ohio Valley by Monday, Sept. 17.

For updates on Florence, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 14, 2018  #3 – The Complex Evolution of Florence’s Winds

Having churned through the Atlantic for two weeks, Hurricane Florence is among the longest-lived cyclones of the 2018 season. That means the storm’s winds have had plenty of time to rage and ease as they ran into different environmental conditions over the Atlantic Ocean.

NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using GEOS data from the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office at NASA GSFC.
NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using GEOS data from the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office at NASA GSFC.

For more on this story visit: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/92757/the-complex-evolution-of-florences-winds?src=eoa-iotd

Sep. 14, 2018  #2 – NASA-NOAA Satellite Sees Land-falling Hurricane Florence

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over the eye of Hurricane Florence the morning of landfall. Infrared imagery showed the power and the extent of this massive storm.

Suomi NPP image of Florence
On Sept. 14 at 3:18 a.m. EDT (0718 UTC) the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured an infrared image of powerful Hurricane Florence with a ragged eye. Coldest cloud top temperatures (yellow) of strongest thunderstorms were in the eyewall, the area of thunderstorms surrounding the open eye. Those storms had cloud tops as cold as or colder than minus 80F/minus 62.2C. They were surrounded by powerful storms (red) with cloud tops as cold as minus 70F/minus 56.6C. Credit: NOAA/NASA/NRL

The National Hurricane Center or NHC said on Sept. 14, “Life-threatening storm surges and hurricane-force winds continue and catastrophic freshwater flooding expected over portions of North and South Carolina.”

Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina at 7:15 AM EDT (1115 UTC) with estimated maximum winds of 90 mph (150 km/h), and a minimum central pressure estimate of 958 millibars.

Four hours before landfall NASA- NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite analyzed the large storm.

A NASA Satellite View of a Massive Rainmaker

On Sept. 14 at 3:18 a.m. EDT (0718 UTC) the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured an infrared view of Florence. VIIRS infrared imagery showed that the eye of Florence appeared ragged.

Coldest cloud top temperatures of strongest thunderstorms were in the ragged eyewall, the area of thunderstorms surrounding the open eye. Those storms had cloud tops as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 Celsius). They were surrounded by powerful storms with cloud tops as cold as minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius).

Suomi NPP image of Florence
On Sept. 13 at 2:54 p.m. EDT (1854 UTC) the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of powerful Hurricane Florence as it approached the North Carolina coast. Credit: NASA/NOAA/NRL

NASA research has shown that cloud top temperatures in excess of 63F/53C can produce heavy rainfall. Florence has a very wide area of storms where cloud tops are colder than that threshold, indicating that the storm has the capability to generate very heavy rainfall over a large area.

How Large is Florence?

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km).

The Forecast Rainfall from NHC

Florence is expected to produce heavy and excessive rainfall in the following areas:

Southeastern coastal North Carolina into far northeastern South Carolina…an additional 20 to 25 inches, with isolated storm totals of 30 to 40 inches. This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding. The remainder of South Carolina and North Carolina into southwest Virginia…5 to 10 inches, isolated 15 inches. This rainfall will produce life-threatening flash flooding.

Warnings and Watches

On Sept. 14, NHC posted the following warnings and watches: A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for South Santee River, South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina, the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers. A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, South Carolina to South Santee River, South Carolina. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for South Santee River, South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, South Carolina to South Santee River, South Carolina. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from north of Duck, North Carolina to Cape Charles Light, Virginia for the  Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort, and from Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River, South Carolina.

Status of Hurricane Florence at 8 a.m. EDT

NHC stated at 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC), the center of the eye of Hurricane Florence was located by NOAA Doppler weather radars and surface observations to be just inland near latitude 34.1 degrees north and longitude 77.9 degrees west.

NHC said, “The center of Florence will be moving inland very soon, but is expected to slow down even more today and tonight.  As a result, it will remain fairly close to the coast today, with much of the circulation still over water.”

Florence is moving toward the west near 6 mph (9 kph). A slow westward to west-southwestward motion is expected today through Saturday, Sept. 15. Maximum sustained winds remain near 90 mph (150 kph) with higher gusts.  Gradual weakening is forecast later today and tonight. Significant weakening is expected over the weekend and into early next week while Florence moves farther inland.

Florence’s Forecast Track

On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move further inland across extreme southeastern North Carolina and extreme eastern South Carolina today and Saturday.  Florence will then move generally northward across the western Carolinas and the central Appalachian Mountains early next week.

Storm Surge, Ocean Swells, Strong Winds, Isolated Tornadoes, Flooding

Whenever a tropical cyclone makes landfall, it comes with powerful storm surge, hurricane and tropical-storm force winds, isolated tornadoes and very heavy rainfall.

At 8 a.m. EDT, NHC noted “A life-threatening storm surge is already occurring along portions of the North Carolina coast and will continue through today and tonight.  This surge is also likely along portions of the South Carolina coast.”

Surge-related flooding can vary greatly over short distances.  For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office at www.weather.gov. Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda, portions of the U.S. East Coast, and the northwestern and central Bahamas. A few tornadoes are possible in eastern North Carolina today.

Once a tropical system moves inland, flooding and flash flooding becomes the biggest threat for days. NHC noted “Life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding are likely over portions of the Carolinas and the southern and central Appalachians through early next week, as Florence is expected to slow down while it moves inland.”

For updated forecasts, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro (with information from NHC)
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 14, 2018 #1 – Video from ISS of Hurricane Florence

 

Cameras outside the International Space Station captured views of Hurricane Florence on Sept. 14 at 7:41 a.m. EDT minutes after the storm made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina packing winds of 90 miles an hour. The National Hurricane Center said Florence is moving very slowly to the west at only 6 miles an hour, then is expected to turn to the southwest, increasing the threat for historic storm surge and catastrophic flooding to coastline areas and inland cities in North Carolina and South Carolina. Credit: NASA

Astronaut Ricky Arnold took this image from the International Space Station this morning, Sept. 14, 2018.

ISS image of Florence

Sep. 13, 2018 #2 – NASA Gets Inside Look at Large and Powerful Hurricane Florence    

NASA’s Aqua satellite provided an infrared look at the large and powerful Hurricane Florence early on Sept. 13 that indicated wind shear was temporarily affecting the southern side of the storm.

Aqua image of Florence
At 2:20 a.m. EDT (0620 UTC) on Sept. 13, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Hurricane Florence in infrared light. MODIS found a small ring of coldest cloud top temperatures around the eye, as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees (yellow) Fahrenheit (minus 112 degrees Celsius). Surrounding the eye were thick rings of powerful storms with cloud tops as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees (red) Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). Credit: NASA/NRL

The National Hurricane Center or NHC noted that hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km).

Infrared and Microwave Satellite Images Reveal

Early on Sept. 13, NASA’s Aqua satellite’s infrared data showed the clouds in the southern quadrant of Hurricane Florence appeared warmer than storms throughout the rest of Florence. That means that the cloud tops are lower in the atmosphere, and the storms are not as powerful. That’s because vertical wind shear, the change of speed and direction of winds with altitude was buffeting the southern side of Florence and preventing the development of higher, stronger thunderstorms in that part of the storm.

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) said “microwave overpass indicated that the convection over the southern and southeastern portions of the storm is still disrupted, and that the eyewall was open to the southeast. It appears that some southern shear has caused the degradation of the inner core. The global models suggest that this shear will relax today while Florence moves over warm waters, however, given the current storm structure, little overall change in strength is anticipated as Florence approaches the coast.”

At 2:20 a.m. EDT (0230 UTC) on Sept. 13, Moderate Resolution Imagine Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite analyzed Hurricane Florence in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud top temperatures in a tight band around the eye wall (the thunderstorms surrounding the open eye), as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (F)/minus 112 degrees Celsius (C). Surrounding the eye were thick rings of powerful storms with cloud tops as cold as or colder than minus 70F (minus 56.6C).

NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures as cold as or colder than the 70F/56.6C threshold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.

Watches and Warnings Already in Effect

NHC noted Storm Surge Warning  is in effect for South Santee River, South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina and for the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers. A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River, South Carolina and north of Duck, North Carolina to the North Carolina/Virginia border. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for South Santee River, South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, South Carolina to South Santee River, South Carolina. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from north of Duck, North Carolina to Cape Charles Light Virginia, and Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

Florence at 8 a.m. EDT on Sept. 13, 2018

At 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC), the center of the eye of Hurricane Florence was located by an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft and NOAA Doppler weather radars to be near latitude 33.1 degrees north and longitude 75.1 degrees west.

Florence is moving slower toward the northwest at about 12 mph (20 kph). This general motion, accompanied by a further decrease in forward speed, is expected to continue through today. A turn to the west-northwest and west at an even slower forward speed is expected tonight and Friday, and a slow west-southwestward motion is forecast Friday night and into Saturday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 110 mph (175 kph) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is expected before the center reaches the coast, with weakening expected after the center moves inland.

Florence’s Forecast Track

On the forecast track, the center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and South Carolina later today, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern South Carolina in the hurricane warning area tonight and Friday. A slow motion over eastern South Carolina is forecast Friday night through Saturday night.

For updated forecasts on Florence, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’ Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 13, 2018 #1 – ISS Video of Florence

High definition cameras outside the International Space Station captured new views of a somewhat weakened Hurricane Florence at 6:56 a.m. EDT Sept. 13 as it neared the U.S. Eastern seaboard. According to the National Hurricane Center, Florence is moving northwest with winds of 110 miles an hour. On the forecast track, the center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and South Carolina later today, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern South Carolina in the hurricane warning area tonight and Friday. A slow motion over eastern South Carolina is forecast Friday night through Saturday night. The region is facing potential catastrophic flooding from Florence with some rainfall totals predicted to reach 40 inches. Credit: NASA

Sep. 12, 2018 #5 – Florence Crossing Warm Waters on the Way to the Carolinas

The map below shows sea surface temperatures on September 11, 2018. Meteorologists generally agree that sea surface temperatures (SSTs) should be above 27.8°C (82°F) to sustain and intensify hurricanes (although there are some exceptions). In Florence’s case, National Hurricane Center forecasters expect the storm to pass over water with temperatures well above that threshold. The data for the map were compiled by Coral Reef Watch, which blends observations from the Suomi NPP, MTSAT, Meteosat, and GOES satellites and computer models. Information about the storm track and winds come from the National Hurricane Center.

NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using sea surface temperature data from Coral Reef Watch and wind probabilities from the National Hurricane Center.
NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using sea surface temperature data from Coral Reef Watch and wind probabilities from the National Hurricane Center.

For more on this story visit: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/92739/florence-crossing-warm-waters-on-the-way-to-the-carolinas?src=eoa-iotd

Sep. 12, 2018 #4 – NASA-NOAA Satellite Analyzes Rainmaker Hurricane Florence

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over the eye of powerful Category 4 Hurricane Florence and found the storm over 400 miles in diameter and the capability to generate very heavy rainfall.

Suomi NPP image of Florence
On Sept. 12 at 2:12 a.m. EDT (0612 UTC) the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured an infrared image of powerful Hurricane Florence with a very distinct eye. Coldest cloud top temperatures (yellow) of strongest thunderstorms were in the eyewall, the area of thunderstorms surrounding the open eye. Those storms had cloud tops as cold as or colder than minus 80F/minus 62.2C. They were surrounded by powerful storms (red) with cloud tops as cold as minus 70F/minus 56.6C. Credit: NOAA/NASA/NRL

At 8 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 12, NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned “Dangerous Florence heading toward the U.S. southeast coast and is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and rainfall to portions of the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic States.”

Putting the Size and Surge of the Storm in Perspective

Florence is about 400 miles in diameter. For an understanding of how large the system is 400 miles is the distance from Baltimore, Maryland to Boston, Massachusetts.

This is a life-threatening situation. In some areas, the NHC said that storm surge could be as high as 13 feet, which is over the first floor of a house or building.

NHC said “Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions. Promptly follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials.” A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, during the next 36 hours in the indicated locations.

Warnings and Watches: Storm Surge, Hurricane, Tropical Storm

 The warnings and watches are numerous from Virginia to South Carolina. A Storm Surge Warning and a Hurricane Warning are both in effect for South Santee River, South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers. A Storm Surge Watch and a Hurricane Watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, South Carolina to South Santee River, South Carolina.

A Tropical Storm Warning and Storm Surge Watch is in effect for north of Duck, North Carolina to the North Carolina/Virginia border. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for north of the North Carolina/Virginia border to Cape Charles Light, Virginia and for the Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

A NASA Satellite View of a Massive Rainmaker

On Sept. 12 at 2:12 a.m. EDT (0612 UTC) the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured an infrared view of Florence (above). VIIRS infrared imagery showed that the eye of Florence remains very distinct. There has been little change to the cloud top temperatures surrounding the eye overnight. The VIIRS imagery also showed that the overall structure has become slightly more symmetric.

Coldest cloud top temperatures of strongest thunderstorms were in the eyewall, the area of thunderstorms surrounding the open eye. Those storms had cloud tops as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 Celsius). They were surrounded by powerful storms with cloud tops as cold as minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius).

NASA research has shown that cloud top temperatures in excess of 63F/53C can produce heavy rainfall. Florence has a very wide area of storms where cloud tops are colder than that threshold, indicating that the storm has the capability to generate very heavy rainfall over a large area.

NHC said Florence is expected to produce heavy and excessive rainfall in the following areas:  Coastal North Carolina…20 to 30 inches, isolated areas may see 40 inches; South Carolina, western and northern North Carolina…5 to 10 inches, isolated areas may see 20 inches; Elsewhere in the Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic states…3 to 6 inches, isolated areas may see 12 inches.

Florence’s Status on Sept. 12 at 8 a.m. EDT

At 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC) on Sept. 12, the NHC said the eye of Hurricane Florence was located near latitude 29.4 degrees north and longitude 70.7 degrees west. That’s about 530 miles (855 km) southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.

Maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph (215 kph) with higher gusts.  Florence is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km).

Strengthening is forecast through tonight. While some weakening is expected on Thursday, Florence is forecast to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it nears the U.S. coast.

Florence’s Current Forecast Path

Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 17 mph (28 kph), and this motion is expected to continue this morning. A motion toward the northwest is forecast to begin by this afternoon and continue through Thursday. Florence is expected to slow down considerably by late Thursday into Friday, and move slowly through early Saturday. On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas today, and approach the coast of North Carolina or South Carolina in the hurricane warning area on Thursday and Friday.

NHC forecasters caution that the path may change and residents along the southeastern U.S. coast should stay vigilant.

For updated forecasts, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 12, 2018 #3 – Stark View of Florence from ISS

A high definition camera outside the International Space Station captured a stark and sobering view of Hurricane Florence at 7:50 a.m. EDT on Sept. 12 as it churned across the Atlantic in a west-northwesterly direction with winds of 130 miles an hour. The National Hurricane Center forecasts additional strengthening for Florence before it reaches the coastline of North Carolina and South Carolina early Friday, Sept. 14. Credit: NASA

Sep. 12, 2018 #2 – ISS Video of Florence

A high definition camera outside the International Space Station captured a stark and sobering view of Hurricane Florence at 7:50 a.m. EDT on Sept. 12. NASA satellites track the storm: https://go.nasa.gov/2CEmDGQ This video was taken as Florence churned across the Atlantic in a west-northwesterly direction with winds of 130 miles an hour. The National Hurricane Center forecasts additional strengthening for Florence before it reaches the coastline of North Carolina and South Carolina early Friday, Sept. 14. Credit: NASA

Sep. 12, 2018 #1 – Images from the International Space Station
Image from the ISS of Florence
Tweet from Alexander Gerst, an EU scientist on the International Space Station: “#HurricaneFlorence is so enormous, we could only capture her with a super wide-angle lens from the @Space_Station, 400 km directly above the eye. ” Credit: NASA
ISS image of Florence
Alexnander Gerst an EU scientist on the ISS tweets this: “#HurricaneFlorence is so enormous, we could only capture her with a super wide-angle lens from the @Space_Station, 400 km directly above the eye. ” Credit: NASA
ISS image of Florence's eye
Alexander Gerst tweets: “Ever stared down the gaping eye of a category 4 hurricane? It’s chilling, even from space. #HurricaneFlorence #Horizons https://flic.kr/s/aHsmsk7Krv” Credit: NASA
ISS image of Florence's eye
Alexander Gerst’s tweet on Florence’s eye: “Ever stared down the gaping eye of a category 4 hurricane? It’s chilling, even from space. #HurricaneFlorence #Horizons https://flic.kr/s/aHsmsk7Krv ” Credit: NASA
Alexander Gerst's image of Florence's eye
Alexander Gerst’s image of Florence’s eye.  Credit: NASA
ISS image of Florence
ISS Astronaut Ricky Arnold tweets: “#HurricaneFlorence this morning with Cape Hatteras #NorthCarolina in the foreground. The crew of @Space_Station is thinking of those who will be affected.” Credit: NASA
Sep. 11, 2018 #2 – A View Inside Hurricane Florence

One of CloudSat’s most recent acquisitions—a view of the inner structure of Hurricane Florence as the storm took aim for the Carolinas—underscores the mission’s scientific value. This natural-color image shows how Hurricane Florence appeared from above to the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on September 11, 2018. The second image, acquired by CloudSat on the same day, shows a cross-section—how the storm would look if it had been sliced near the middle and viewed from the side. The blue line is the north-to-south track that CloudSat flew over Florence. Note that the MODIS image has been rotated.

NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using MODIS data from LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response and CloudSat data provided by the CloudSat team at Colorado State University.
NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using MODIS data from LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response and CloudSat data provided by the CloudSat team at Colorado State University.

For more on this story visit: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/92751/a-view-inside-hurricane-florence?src=eoa-iotd

Sep. 11, 2018 #1  – NASA Satellite Finds Hurricane Florence Undergoing Eyewall Replacement

NASA’s Aqua satellite provided an infrared look at powerful Hurricane Florence early on Sept. 11 that indicated it was likely undergoing eyewall replacement.

Aqua image of Florence
At 2:30 a.m. EDT (0630 UTC) on Sept. 11, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Hurricane Florence in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud top temperatures around the eye, as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees (yellow) Fahrenheit (minus 112 degrees Celsius). Surrounding the eye were thick rings of powerful storms with cloud tops as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees (red) Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). Credit: NASA/NRL

Intense hurricanes can and often undergo an eyewall replacement cycle. That happens when a new eyewall or ring of thunderstorms within the outer rain bands forms further out from the storm’s center, outside of the original eye wall. That ring of thunderstorms then begins to choke off the original eye wall, starving it of moisture and momentum. Eventually, if the cycle is completed, the original eye wall of thunderstorms dissipates and the new outer eye wall of thunderstorms contracts and replace the old eye wall. The storm’s intensity can fluctuate over this period, initially weakening as the inner eye wall dies before again strengthening as the outer eye wall contracts.

Infrared and Microwave Satellite Images Reveal

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that recent satellite imagery shows that the eye of Florence has become cloud filled. A microwave image of the storm at 12:41 a.m. EDT (0441 UTC) showed a double eyewall structure. These observations suggest that an eyewall replacement cycle is likely underway.

At 2:30 a.m. EDT (0630 UTC) on Sept. 11, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite analyzed Hurricane Florence in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud top temperatures around the eye, as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (F)/minus 112 degrees Celsius (C). Surrounding the eye were thick rings of powerful storms with cloud tops as cold as or colder than minus 70F (minus 56.6C).

NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures as cold as or colder than the 70F/56.6C threshold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.

Analyzing Sea Surface Temperatures Ahead

Infrared data also shows that the sea surface temperatures ahead of Florence are at least 84.2 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius). That’s important because tropical cyclones need sea surface temperatures of at least 80F (26.6C) to maintain intensity. Warmer sea surface temperatures provide more energy for the tropical cyclone.

Watches and Warnings Already in Effect

NHC noted a Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, South Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border and for the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Edisto Beach South Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border and for the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

Florence at 8 a.m. EDT on Sept. 11, 2018

At 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC), the center of Hurricane Florence was located near latitude 26.4 degrees north and longitude 64.6 degrees west. That’s about 405 miles (655 km) south of Bermuda and 950 miles (1,530 km) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.

Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 mph (24 kph).  A west- northwestward to northwestward motion with a slight increase in forward speed are expected during the next couple of days. Data from the reconnaissance aircraft indicate that the minimum central pressure is 950 millibars.

NHC said “reports from an Air Force Reserve Unit hurricane hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 130 mph (215 km/h) with higher gusts. However, Florence is still a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Re-strengthening is forecast to occur during the next day or so, and Florence is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday night. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles (65 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles (240 km).

Florence Churning High Seas

At 5 a.m. EDT on Sept. 11, NOAA buoy 41049 located about 80 nautical miles north of the eye, has reported tropical-storm-force winds during the last several hours and seas as high as 23 feet.

Florence’s Forecast Track

On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas through Wednesday, and approach the coast of North Carolina or South Carolina on Thursday, Sept. 13.

For updated forecasts, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’ Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 10, 2018 #4 update – NASA Satellites Show Hurricane Florence Strengthening

NASA satellites are providing a lot of different kinds of data to forecasters at the National Hurricane Center to help them understand what’s happening with Hurricane Florence. NASA’s Aqua satellite is providing visible, infrared and microwave imagery while the GPM core satellite is providing additional data like rain rates throughout the storm and cloud heights.

Aqua image of Florence
At 1:55 a.m. EDT (0555 UTC) on Sept. 10, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Hurricane Florence in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud tops (red) had temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius) in the northern and western eyewall. Credit: NASA/NRL

Last Friday, Sept. 7, Florence was a sheared tropical storm but on Saturday vertical shear lessened and Florence started to get better organized. Today, Sept. 10 Hurricane Florence was rapidly strengthening and became a major hurricane.

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) said “Interests in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states should monitor the progress of Florence. Storm Surge and Hurricane watches could be issued for portions of these areas by Tuesday morning”.

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core observatory satellite had a fairly good look at Florence on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 at 2:13 p.m. EDT (1813 UTC). GPM is a joint satellite mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency called JAXA.

GPM image of Florence
The GPM core observatory satellite had a fairly good look at Florence on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 at 2:13 p.m. EDT (1813 UTC). GPM estimated that precipitation was falling at a rate of greater than 44 mm (1.7 inches) per hour in a band of thunderstorms south of Florence’s center. Credit: NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce

When GPM observed Florence, the intensifying storm had maximum sustained winds of about 70 knots (81 mph) at that time and was still a tropical storm. At the time GPM observed Florence, GPM’s Microwave Imager (GMI) instruments revealed distinct rain bands wrapping around Florence’s southeastern side. Algorithms developed by NASA’s Precipitation Measurement Missions (PMM) team at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland were used with GMI data and estimated that precipitation was falling at a rate of greater than 44 mm (1.7 inches) per hour in the rain band.

At NASA Goddard, a 3-D animation was created using data observed by GPM’s radar (DPR Ku Band), that showed the relative heights of storm tops within Florence. Those data were blended with estimates from geostationary satellite cloud top temperatures.

That heavy rainfall was confirmed in NASA infrared imagery the next day, Monday, Sept. 10. At 1:55 a.m. EDT (0555 UTC) on Sept. 10, from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite revealed strongest storms in Florence were in the northern and western part of the eyewall. In those areas, MODIS found coldest cloud tops had temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.

At 3:21 a.m. EDT (0721 UTC) the AIRS or Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument aboard Aqua provided another, wider infrared view of the storm that showed powerful thunderstorms with cloud tops as cold as or colder than minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius) made up most of the storm. Temperatures that cold were also found in fragmented bands of storms south of Florence’s center.

Florence’s Status on Sept. 10 at 11 a.m. EDT

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Florence was located near latitude 25.0 degrees north and longitude 60.0 degrees west. Florence is moving toward the west near 13 mph (20 kph).  A west-northwestward motion with an increase in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days.

The GPM core observatory satellite had a fairly good look at Florence on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 at 2:13 p.m. EDT (1813 UTC). GPM estimated that precipitation was falling at a rate of greater than 44 mm (1.7 inches) per hour in a band of thunderstorms south of Florence’s center. Credit: NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce

The NHC said, a turn toward the northwest is forecast to occur late Wednesday night.  On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the coast of South Carolina or North Carolina on Thursday.

Satellite data indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 115 mph (185 kph) with higher gusts.  Florence is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Further strengthening is anticipated, and Florence is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday.

Ocean swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda and portions of the U.S. East Coast.  These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

The NHC predicts that Florence’s winds will decrease slightly to 125 knots (144 mph) as the hurricane threatens the southeastern United States on Thursday September 13, 2018.

For updated forecasts, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’ Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 10, 2018 #3 – Hurricane Florence Views from Space Station


Cameras outside the International Space Station captured dramatic views of rapidly strengthening Hurricane Florence at 8:10 a.m. EDT Sept. 10 as it moved in a westerly direction across the Atlantic, headed for a likely landfall along the eastern seaboard of the U.S. late Thursday or early Friday. Now a major hurricane with winds of 115 miles an hour and increasing, the National Hurricane Center says Florence’s forecast track will take the system over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and Florence will approach the coast of South Carolina or North Carolina on Thursday. The station was flying 255 miles over the storm at the time this video was captured. Credit: NASA

Sep. 10, 2018 #2 update -GPM Sees Heavy Rain In Menacing Hurricane Florence

Last Friday Florence was a sheared tropical storm but on Saturday vertical shear lessened and Florence started to get better organized. Today hurricane Florence is rapidly strengthening. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicts that Florence will be a major hurricane with maximum sustained winds peaking at 130 kts (~150 mph) on Wednesday when it is over the open Atlantic well southwest of Bermuda. The NHC predicts that Florence’s winds will decrease slightly to 125 kts (144 mph) as the hurricane threatens the southeastern United States on Thursday September 13, 2018.

For more information visit: https://pmm.nasa.gov/extreme-weather/gpm-sees-heavy-rain-menacing-hurricane-florence

Sep. 10, 2018 #1 update – ISS Sees Florence From Space
Astronaut Rickey Arnold sees Hurricane Florence from the ISS.
Astronaut Ricky Arnold sees Hurricane Florence from the ISS. Credit: NASA
Top down look at Florence from the International Space Station. Credit: NASA
Top down look at Florence from the International Space Station. Credit: NASA
A few moments later, Isaac & the outer bands of Helene were also visible. Credit: NASA
Sep. 09, 2018 – NASA Sees Now-Hurricane Florence Developing an Eye

Hurricane Florence continued to organize and NASA’s Aqua satellite found strongest storms around a developing eye.

Florence is forecast to rapidly intensify into a major hurricane by Monday, Sept. 10.

At 1:10 a.m. EDT (0510 UTC) on Sept. 9, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Tropical Storm Florence in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud tops (red) had temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius) around the center. Credit: NASA/NRL

Infrared satellite data at 1:10 a.m. EDT (0510 UTC) on Sept. 9 from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite revealed strongest storms around Florence’s center hinting at the development of an eye.  MODIS found coldest cloud tops had temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Sunday, Sept. 9, the National Hurricane Center, or NHC, in Miami discussion on Florence stated: “Deep convection has intensified in the central dense overcast, with hints of a ragged eye in the latest GOES-16 visible channel 9.”

At that time, the center of Hurricane Florence was located by a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft near 24.4 degrees north latitude and 56.3 degrees west longitude. That’s about 610 miles (985 km) miles northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands.

Florence is also about 750 miles (1,210 km) southeast of Bermuda. Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda and are beginning to reach portions of the U.S. East Coast.

Florence is moving toward the west near 6 mph (9 kph), and this general motion is expected to continue today.  A west-northwestward motion with an increase in forward speed is expected by Monday, and that motion is forecast to continue through mid-week.  On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the southeastern U.S. coast on Thursday.

Aircraft data indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 75 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts.  Florence is forecast to rapidly strengthen to a major hurricane by Monday, and is expected to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday.

For updates on Florence, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.


Sept. 8, 2018 – NASA’s Aqua Satellite Finds Tropical Storm Florence Strengthening

Tropical Storm Florence appeared stronger and more organized in infrared imagery from NASA’s Aqua satellite on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018. The imagery showed a more rounded storm, and higher, much colder cloud tops.

At 2:00 a.m. EDT (0600 UTC) on Sept. 8, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Tropical Storm Florence in infrared light. AIRS found coldest cloud tops had temperatures near minus 112 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 80 degrees Celsius) (in yellow) around the center. Credit: NASA/NRL

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center or NHC noted that regardless of Florence’s eventual track, large swells are affecting Bermuda and will begin to affect portions of the U.S. East Coast this weekend, resulting in life-threatening surf and rip currents.

Infrared satellite data at 2:00 a.m. EDT (0600 UTC) on Sept. 8, from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite showed coldest cloud top temperatures near minus 112 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 80 degrees Celsius) around Florence’s center. The previous day, when wind shear was strongly affecting the storm, cloud tops were only as cold as minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius). The colder the cloud tops, the stronger the storms and the greater the capability to produce heavy rain.

NHC forecaster Stewart noted on Sept. 8, “Deep convection with overshooting cloud tops near minus 80 degrees Celsius and an abundance of lightning activity have developed very close to the center.”

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Florence was located near latitude 24.5 degrees north and longitude 54.2 degrees west. Florence is about 840 miles (1,350 km) southeast of Bermuda and about 720 miles (1,155 km) northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands.

Florence is moving toward the west near 9 mph (14 kph), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple days.  A west-northwestward motion with an increase in forward speed is expected by early next week and continue into middle part of next week. On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the warm waters of the southwestern Atlantic Ocean through Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph (100 kph) with higher gusts. Gradual re-strengthening is forecast over the weekend. Florence is forecast to become a hurricane by Sunday, Sept. 9 and is expected to become a major hurricane again early next week.

NHC cautioned “The risk of other direct impacts associated with Florence along the U.S. East Coast next week has increased.  However, there is still very large uncertainty in model forecasts of Florence’s track beyond day 5, making it too soon to determine the exact location, magnitude, and timing of these impacts.  Interests near and along the U.S. East Coast should monitor the progress of Florence through the weekend and ensure they have their hurricane plans in place.”

For updates on Florence, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.


Sep. 07, 2018 – NASA’s Aqua Satellite Finds Florence Temporarily Fighting Wind Shear

Tropical Storm Florence appeared weaker in infrared imagery from NASA’s Aqua satellite, with warmer cloud top temperatures. However, forecasters believe this is a temporary setback.

AIRS image of Florence
At 1:20 a.m. EDT (0520 UTC) on Sept. 7, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Tropical Storm Florence in infrared light. AIRS found coldest cloud tops had temperatures near minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius) (in yellow) around the center and pushed to the northeast of the center, Credit: NASA/NRL

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center cautioned that the U.S. coasts will start to feel some effects from Florence over the weekend of Sept. 8 and 9. Regardless of Florence’s eventual track, large swells will begin to affect Bermuda later today and portions of the U.S. East Coast this weekend, resulting in life-threatening surf and rip currents.

Infrared satellite data at 1:20 a.m. EDT (0520 UTC) on Sept. 7, from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite showed coldest cloud top temperatures near minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius) around Florence’s center and in a band of thunderstorms northeast of center.

NHC forecaster Zelinsky said “Florence’s structure continues to be negatively affected by strong southwesterly [wind] shear. Cloud tops have generally warmed over the past 6 hours, and recent microwave data show that the low-level circulation center of Florence is displaced nearly 20 nautical miles to the southwest of the mid-level center.”

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC) on Friday, Sept. 7 the center of Tropical Storm Florence was located near latitude 25.1 degrees north and longitude 50.7 degrees west. Florence is moving toward the west near 7 mph (11 kph). This general motion will likely continue for the next couple of days.  A turn toward the west-northwest is expected by the end of the weekend.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 65 mph (100 kph) with higher gusts.  Little change in intensity is expected today. However, Florence is forecast to restrengthen and become a hurricane again over the weekend.

Swells generated by Florence will begin to affect Bermuda later today and will reach portions of the U.S. East Coast over the weekend.  These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

NHC noted “There is still very large uncertainty in Florence’s track beyond day 5, and it is too soon to determine what, if any, other impacts Florence could have on the U.S. East Coast next week.”.

For updates on Florence, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center


Sep. 06, 2018 – Pics from Astronaut Ricky Arnold from the ISS
ISS image of Florence
Astronaut Ricky Arnold took this image of Hurricane Florence strengthening in the early morning hours over the Atlantic.
ISS image of Florence
Astronaut Ricky Arnold captured this image from the ISS of Florence strengthening in the early morning hours over the Atlantic.

Sep. 06, 2018 – NASA’s GPM Peers Under the Clouds of Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence became more powerful over the past few days while moving through the central Atlantic Ocean and wind speeds increased from tropical storm force to a Category 3 hurricane. The GPM core satellite provided a look under the clouds to investigate the rate rain in which was falling throughout the storm.

GPM image of Florence
On Sept. 5, GPM revealed that storms north of Florence’s eye were producing heavy rainfall at a rate of 50 mm/2 inches per hour (red). The GPM satellite’s Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) scanned the nearly rain-free areas to the west of the hurricane. Credit: NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core observatory satellite passed over hurricane Florence on Sept. 5, 2018 at 1:14 a.m. EDT (0514 UTC).  Data collected by the GPM satellite’s Microwave Imager (GMI) instruments showed the intensity and location of precipitation around the center of the hurricane. GPM’s GMI revealed that storms north of Florence’s eye were producing heavy rainfall a rate of 50 mm/2 inches per hour. The GPM satellite’s Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) only scanned the nearly rain-free areas to the west of the hurricane.

At NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. a 3D animation was created that showed the estimated heights of storms within hurricane Florence at the time of the GPM satellite pass. Heights are based on data observed by GPM’s radar (DPR Ku Band) blended with estimates from geostationary satellite cloud top temperatures. GPM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA.

At 5 a.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center noted that Florence was weakening, although still a hurricane. It was centered near latitude 24.1 degrees north and longitude 47.9 degrees west. That’s about 1,060 miles (1,705 km) east-northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands and about 1,170 miles (1,885 km) east-southeast of Bermuda.

Florence is moving toward the northwest near 12 mph (19 kph).  NHC forecasters said a turn toward the west-northwest with a decrease in forward speed is expected later today, followed by a turn toward the west by the weekend. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 115 mph (185 kph) with higher gusts.  Florence is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Some additional weakening is forecast today, but Florence is expected to remain a strong hurricane for the next several days.

Although still quite a distance from Bermuda, ocean swells generated by Florence will begin to affect Bermuda on Friday and will reach portions of the U.S. East Coast over the weekend.  These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Hurricane Florence is being steered toward the northwest by the Atlantic subtropical ridge. Early next week the National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicts that hurricane Florence will have moved to a location southeast of Bermuda. Interests in Bermuda should watch the progression of the storm.

For updates on Florence, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro / Hal Pierce
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 05, 2018 – NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP Satellite Sees Florence Strengthening into a Major Hurricane

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP passed over strengthening Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic Ocean and observed powerful thunderstorms within a more organized storm.

Suomi NPP image of Florence
On Sept. 5 at 1:06 a.m. EDT (0505 UTC) the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite provided an infrared image of Hurricane Florence. Strongest thunderstorms with coldest clouds tops appear in red. Credit: NOAA/NASA /NRL

Florence became the Atlantic Ocean’s third hurricane of the season on Sept. 4 at 11 a.m. EDT and continued to strengthen in the season’s first major hurricane at 8:35 a.m. EDT on Sept. 5.

On Sept. 5 at 1:06 a.m. EDT (0506 UTC) the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured an infrared image of Hurricane Florence.

The Infrared image provided forecasters with temperature data that showed where the strongest storms were located within the hurricane. Coldest clouds tops and strongest storms were around the center of circulation and a thick band of thunderstorms wrapping around the northern quadrant where temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 Celsius). NASA research has shown that storms with cloud top temperatures that cold can produce heavy rainfall.

On Sept. 5 at 8:35 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Florence was located near latitude 21.7 degrees north and longitude 45.2 degrees west. That’s 1,185 miles (1,910 km) east-northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands.

Florence is temporarily moving toward the northwest near 13 mph (20 kph). A turn back toward the west-northwest is expected later today, and this general motion is expected to continue with Florence’s forward speed decreasing by the weekend.

Recent satellite imagery indicates that Florence is still strengthening and is now a major hurricane.  Maximum sustained winds are estimated to be 120 mph (195 kph).

NHC forecasters expect a gradual weakening trend to begin tonight and continue through Friday, Sept 7. After that time, Florence is forecast to re-strengthen through the weekend.

For updated forecasts on Florence, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov.

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 04, 2018 – NASA Sees Tropical Storm Florence Still Feeling the Shear

NASA’s Aqua satellite showed that the center of Tropical Storm Florence’s circulation was still displaced to the southeast of the bulk of the storm indicating wind shear was still affecting the storm.

Aqua image of Florence
At 12:50 a.m. EDT (0450 UTC) on Sept. 4, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Tropical Storm Florence in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud tops (red) had temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). Credit: NASA/NRL

Infrared satellite data on Monday, Sept. 3 indicated vertical wind shear was affecting Florence. Imagery showed that the low-level center of Florence’s circulation was southeast of the bulk of the tropical cyclone’s clouds and that persists today, Sept. 4.

At 12:50 a.m. EDT (0450 UTC) on Sept. 4, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked Florence in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud tops had temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius) southeast of the bulk of Florence’s clouds.

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), the National Hurricane Center or NHC noted “An earlier Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 or AMSR2 (aboard the GCOM-W1 satellite) overpass revealed a rather obvious tilt toward the east-northeast, indicative of the moderate southwesterly shear.”

The center of Tropical Storm Florence was located near latitude 19.3 degrees north and longitude 42.0 degrees west. That’s about 1,300 miles (2,090 km) east-northeast of the Lesser Antilles.

Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 13 mph (20 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days followed by a turn toward the northwest around Friday. Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph (110 km/h) with higher gusts.  Little change in strength is expected through tonight, but some weakening is forecast on Wednesday.  Afterward, gradual strengthening is forecast through the weekend.

For updates on Florence, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 03, 2018 – NASA Sees Dislocated Core of Tropical Storm Florence   

Infrared data from NASA’s Aqua satellite showed that Florence’s center of circulation was south of the bulk of precipitation.

Aqua image of Florence
At 12:10 a.m. EDT (0410 UTC) on Sept. 3, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Florence in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud tops (yellow) were as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 Celsius) southwest of the center. They were surrounded by slightly less powerful thunderstorm (red) with cloud top temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). Credit: NASA/NRL

At 12:10 a.m. EDT (0410 UTC) on Sept. 3, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Florence in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud tops (yellow) around the center were as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 Celsius) southwest of the bulk of the storm.

The center was surrounded, mostly northeast, by slightly less powerful thunderstorms (red) with cloud top temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). Storms with cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to produce heavy rainfall.

By 5 a.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center noted “Several recent microwave images indicate that the tropical storm’s center is still dislocated to the south of most of the associated convection, but convective banding has increased. There is also evidence that Florence has developed better defined low-level inner-core.”

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Florence was located near latitude 18.0 degrees north and longitude 37.5 degrees west. That’s about 895 miles (1,440 km) west-northwest of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands.

The National Hurricane Center noted that Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 kph).  The tropical storm is expected to move generally westward to west-northwestward at a slightly slower forward speed for the next several days. Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph (95 kph) with higher gusts. Little change in intensity is expected over the next several days

Interests in Bermuda should watch the progression of Florence by the end of the week.

For updates on Florence, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 02, 2018 – NASA Finds Wind Shear Affecting Tropical Storm Florence

NASA’s Terra satellite provided forecasters with a visible image of Tropical Storm Florence that showed it was still being affected by wind shear.

Terra image of Florence
NASA’s Terra satellite passed over Tropical Storm Florence at 8:50 a.m. EDT (1250 UTC).The image provided by the MODIS instrument aboard Terra showed wind shear was pushing the bulk of clouds northeast of the center. Credit: NASA/NRL

NASA’s Terra satellite passed over Tropical Storm Florence at 8:50 a.m. EDT (1250 UTC).

But the image provided by the MODIS instrument, or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer that flies aboard Terra, showed wind shear was pushing the bulk of clouds northeast of the center. The western quadrant was only circled by a wispy circle of clouds.

National Hurricane Center (NHC) Forecaster Stewart noted ” Florence’s convective cloud appearance has become rather disheveled this morning, with most of the deep convection sheared to the east and northeast of the now fully exposed but well-defined low-level circulation center. ”

NHC noted at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC), Sept. 2, the center of Tropical Storm Florence was located near latitude 17.0 degrees north and longitude 33.2 degrees west. Florence is far from land areas and is about 605 miles (970 km) west-northwest of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands.

Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 18 mph (30 kph).  A westward to west-northwestward motion at a similar forward speed is expected for the next few days. Maximum sustained winds have decreased slightly to near 50 mph

(85 kph) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next few days.

For forecast updates on Florence, visit the NHC website: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 01, 2018 – NASA Sees Tropical Storm Florence Develop Near African Coast

Potential tropical cyclone Six has organized in the overnight hours and strengthened into the sixth tropical storm of the Atlantic Ocean hurricane season. NASA’s Terra satellite passed over Tropical Storm Florence early on Sept. 1.

Terra image of Florence
On Sept. 1 at 8:05 a.m. EDT (1205 UTC) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite provided a visible image of Florence. The MODIS image showed strong thunderstorms around the center, and in a thick band wrapping into the low-level center from the southwest.

The system developed over western Africa and moved into the eastern Atlantic where it started to organize. On Aug. 31, a Tropical Storm Warning was posted for the Cabo Verde Islands of Santiago,

Fogo, and Brava as the low pressure area was moving west, passing the islands and staying to the south.  On Sept. 1, that warning was discontinued. However, the system could still produce an additional 1 to 2 inches of rain across the southern Cabo Verde Islands today, Sept. 1. There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

On Sept. 1 at 8:05 a.m. EDT (1205 UTC) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite provided a visible image of Florence. The MODIS image showed strong thunderstorms around the center, and in a thick band wrapping into the low-level center from the southwest.

A recent SSMIS instrument microwave image has revealed that the cyclone has become much better organized with more pronounced convective banding. The Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) flies aboard the F8, F10, F11, F13, F14, F15, F16, and 17 polar-orbiting satellite platforms of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program.

At 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC), the National Hurricane Center said the center of Tropical Storm Florence was located near latitude 14.6 degrees North and longitude 27.2 degrees west.  Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 14 mph (22 kph), and this general motion is expected to continue through Tuesday.  On the forecast track, the center of Florence will continue to move away from the Cabo Verde Islands today.

Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 kph) with higher gusts. A gradual strengthening is forecast during the next several days.

For updates on Florence, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Aug. 31, 2018 – NASA Finds a Less Elongated Potential Tropical Cyclone Six

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured an infrared image of Potential Tropical Cyclone Six that shows the storm is not as “stretched out” as it was the previous day. Despite its lack of organization, a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Cabo Verde Islands of Santiago, Fogo, and Brava.

Suomi NPP image of Potential Tropical Cyclone 6
NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite flew over Potential Tropical Cyclone Six on Aug. 30 at 11:18 p.m. EDT (Aug. 31 at 0318 UTC). A few strong storms (red) were found where cloud top temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). Credit: NASA/NOAA/NRL

Tropical storm conditions expected over the southern Cabo Verde islands later today, Aug. 31.

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite flew over Potential Tropical Cyclone Six on Aug. 30 at 11:18 p.m. EDT (Aug. 31 at 0318 UTC). The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite provided a visible image that showed the circulation is gradually becoming less elongated. Satellite data revealed that there is still relatively little deep convection near the estimated center of circulation. A few strong storms were found where cloud top temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius).

The National Hurricane Center said that “Most of the convection remains confined to the monsoon trough southwest of the center, where low-level convergence is strongest. Therefore, the system is not quite yet being designated as a tropical cyclone.”

At 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC), the disturbance was centered near latitude 13.7 degrees north and longitude 21.8 degrees west. The system is moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph (19 kph), and this motion at a slightly faster forward speed is expected to continue for the next three to four days. On the forecast track, disturbance is expected to move near or over the southern Cabo Verde Islands as a tropical storm later today and tonight.

Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 kph) with higher gusts. Strengthening is forecast during the next several days, and the disturbance is expected to become a tropical storm later today or Saturday.

NHC said “Environmental conditions are favorable for the system to become a tropical cyclone later today.”

For updated forecasts, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Aug. 30, 2018 – NASA Finds Some Strong Storms in Atlantic’s Potential Tropical Cyclone 6 

The Northern Atlantic Ocean has only seen five storms so far this hurricane season and satellite data indicates a potential sixth tropical cyclone is forming in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean.

Aqua image of TC6
On Aug. 30 at 11:25 a.m. EDT (1525 UTC) NASA’s Aqua satellite revealed cloud top temperatures in strongest storms were fragmented in four areas around potential Tropical Cyclone 6’s center of circulation. Those temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees (red) Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). Credit: NASA/NRL

Because of the potential for a tropical cyclone to develop, a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Santiago, Fogo and Brava.

Infrared satellite imagery provides temperature data, and when NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over the low pressure area east-southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands, the coldest cloud tops appeared fragmented in four areas,

Cloud top temperatures determine strength of the thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone. The colder the cloud top, the stronger the uplift in the storm that helps thunderstorm development. Basically, infrared data helps determine where the most powerful storms are within a tropical cyclone.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard Aqua provided that infrared data on Aug. 30 at 11:25 a.m. EDT (1525 UTC). MODIS data showed the strongest thunderstorms were north and southwest of the center of circulation. They were as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). NASA research indicates very cold cloud tops with the potential to generate very heavy rainfall.

The NHC noted that the developing system could produce total rain accumulations of 4 to 8 inches across the southern Cabo Verde Islands. These rains could produce life-threatening flash floods.

At 2 p.m. EDT (1800 UTC) on Aug. 30, the National Hurricane Center or NHC said the disturbance was centered near latitude 12.9 degrees north and longitude 19.0 degrees west. The system is moving toward the west near 12 mph (19 km/h), and this general motion with a gradual turn toward the west-northwest is expected to continue during the next few days. On the forecast track, the disturbance is expected to move near or over the southern Cabo Verde Islands on Friday, Aug. 31.

Maximum sustained winds are near 30 mph (45 kph) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and the disturbance is expected to become a tropical storm during the next day or so.

NHC said “Environmental conditions are favorable for the system to become a tropical cyclone tonight or Friday”

For updated forecasts on this storm, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov.

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

01S (South Indian Ocean)

Sep. 17, 2018 – NASA Catches Tropical Cyclone 01S’s Last Breath in So. Indian Ocean  

The first tropical cyclone of the Southern Indian Ocean season, 01S, formed on Sept. 15 and was already fizzling two days later. Visible satellite imagery from NASA’s Aqua satellite revealed recently developed tropical cyclone 01S was already fading.

Aqua image of 01S
At 6:05 a.m. EDT (1005 UTC) on Sept. 17, the MODIS instrument aboard Aqua captured a visible image of Tropical Depression 01S in the Southern Indian Ocean. Visible satellite imagery shows a few cloud swirls pivoting around a mean center with only a small amount of strongest thunderstorms displaced east of the center. Credit: NASA/NRL

At 6:05 a.m. EDT (1005 UTC) on Sept. 17, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard Aqua captured a visible image of Tropical Depression 01S. The MODIS image shows a few cloud swirls pivoting around a mean center with only a small amount of strongest thunderstorms displaced east of center.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center or JTWC issued their final advisory on 01S on Sept. 17 at 0300 UTC (Sept. 16 at 11 p.m. EDT). At that time Tropical Cyclone 01S was located near 12.3 degrees south latitude and 63.6 degrees east longitude or 592 miles northeast of Port Louis, Mauritius. 01S was moving to the west and had maximum sustained winds 30 knots (34.5 mph/55.5 kph). However, the winds were weakening and 01S is forecast to dissipate soon.

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

 

 

Mangkhut (NW Pacific Ocean) 2018

Sep. 20, 2018 – NASA Created Rainfall Analysis for Super Typhoon Mangkhut

At NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. data was used to create a map of rainfall generated by Super Typhoon Mangkhut.

GPM image of Mangkhut's rainfall totals
The NASA analysis showed IMERG rainfall estimates over the western Pacific Ocean during the period from September 11-17, 2018. Rainfall totals above 300 mm (11.8 inches) were often indicated along Mangkhut’s path. The highest rainfall accumulation estimates of over 700 mm (27.6 inches) were shown by IMERG south of Mangkhut’s track in the Philippine Sea. Credit: NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce

Compared to hurricane Florence, that stalled over the state of North Carolina, super typhoon Mangkhut moved fairly quickly across the western Pacific. Mangkhut killed at least 81 people in the Philippines. The typhoon’s rainfall caused a landslide in the northern Philippines that killed at least 66 people. At least four people in China and one person in Taiwan were also reported victims of Mangkhut. When it was moving between the Marianas and the Philippines the typhoon had sustained winds reported at 155 knots (178 mph). Wind speeds of 135 knots (155 mph) were reported when it hit Hong Kong. This made it the most intense tropical cyclone in Hong Kong’s history.

The NASA rainfall accumulation analysis was derived from NASA’s Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM data (IMERG). GPM is the Global Precipitation Measurement mission satellite, managed by both NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

The NASA analysis showed IMERG rainfall estimates over the western Pacific Ocean during the period from September 11-17, 2018.  Rainfall totals above 300 mm (11.8 inches) were often indicated along Mangkhut’s path. The highest rainfall accumulation estimates of over 700 mm (27.6 inches) were shown by IMERG south of Mangkhut’s track in the Philippine Sea.  Credit: NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce

IMERG data are used to calculate estimates of precipitation from a combination of space-borne passive microwave sensors, including the GMI microwave sensor onboard the GPM satellite, and geostationary IR (infrared) data. The analysis showed IMERG rainfall estimates over the western Pacific Ocean during the period from September 11-17, 2018. During that period typhoon Mangkhut moved west of Guam to the Philippines and then over the South China Sea into southeastern China. Rainfall totals above 300 mm (11.8 inches) were often indicated along Mangkhut’s path. The highest rainfall accumulation estimates of over 700 mm (27.6 inches) were shown by IMERG south of Mangkhut’s track in the Philippine Sea.

By Harold F. Pierce
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 18, 2018 – 7-Day Animation of Mangkhut Affecting the Philippines

In the past week, Typhoon Mangkhut has affected the Philippines, mainland China, and Hong Kong, as shown in this 7-day animation of NASA’s satellite-based IMERG precipitation product.

The upper frame shows the storm-total accumulation starting at 0000 UTC on September 11, 2018 (8 p.m. EDT on Sept. 10). Storm-total accumulations in excess of 4 inches stretched from Manila to the northern tip of Luzon Island where the rainfall triggered deadly landslides.

The lower frame shows the short-term accumulation in a 3-hour period that slides from the beginning to the end of the 7-day-long movie. The sliding 3-hour accumulation clearly shows how Mangkhut’s compact eyewall prior to its Philippines landfall was replaced by a much larger, ragged eyewall thereafter. In some cases, interactions with mountainous islands greatly reduce a tropical cyclone’s rainfall, but in this case, Typhoon Mangkhut was too powerful to succumb to these mountain interactions.

NASA’s GPM or Global Precipitation Measurement mission satellite provides information on precipitation from its orbit in space. GPM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency or JAXA. GPM also utilizes a constellation of other satellites to provide a global analysis of precipitation that are used in the IMERG calculation.

At NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, those data are incorporated into NASA’s IMERG or Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM. IMERG is used to estimate precipitation from a combination of passive microwave sensors, including the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission’s core satellite’s GMI microwave sensor and geostationary IR (infrared) data. IMERG real-time data are generated by NASA’s Precipitation Processing System every half hour and are normally available within six hours.

For more information about IMERG, please visit https://pmm.nasa.gov/.

For storm history and NASA images on Mangkhut, visit:
https://blogs.nasa.gov/hurricanes/2018/09/10/mangkhut-nw-pacific-ocean-2018/

Credit: NASA/JAXA/NASA Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio

Sep. 17, 2018 – Warnings Were Up for Hong Kong for Typhoon Mangkhut After Landfall

On Sunday, Sept. 16, Typhoon Mangkhut had made landfall in southern China and Hurricane signal #10 was still in force. NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over the storm and captured an image that showed the storm after landfall.

Aqua image of Mangkhut
NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible look at the storm on Sept. 16 on 2:20 a.m. EDT (0620 UTC) after it made landfall in China. The image showed the cloud-filled center of the storm over the coast. Credit: NASA/NRL

A Red Alert, the most severe warning was issued by authorities in southern China.

At 5 a.m EDT (0900 UTC) on Sunday, Sept. 16,  Mangkhut was centered near 21.6 north latitude and 113.6 east longitude, about 54 miles southwest of Hong Kong. Mangkhut was moving to the west-northwest at 17 knots and had maximum sustained winds 80 knots (92 mph/148 kph)

NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible look at the storm on Sept. 16 on 2:20 a.m. EDT (0620 UTC) after it made landfall in China. The image showed the cloud-filled center of the storm over the coast. The storm brought surges as high as 3 meters (approx. 9 feet) around Hong Kong.

On Sunday evening, local time, Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall in southern China’s Guangdong province.

After landfall, the storm moved inland  and continued to weaken, dropping very heavy rainfall.

By Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 14, 2018 #2 – Typhoon Mangkhut Reaches Luzon
Suomi NPP Image of Mangkhut
On September 14, 2018, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite acquired a natural-color image of Mangkhut just after midday. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin, using VIIRS data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership.

In the early hours of September 15, 2018, Super Typhoon Mangkhut (Ompong) blew into Cagayan Province near the northern tip of Luzon, one of the most populated of the Philippine islands. Local reports described wind speeds of 205 kilometers (130 miles) per hour. The storm stretched nearly 900 kilometers (600 miles) across, with an eye 50 kilometers (30 miles) wide. It is the strongest tropical cyclone in any ocean basin so far this year.

For more on this story visit: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/92761/typhoon-mangkhut-reaches-luzon?src=eoa-iotd

Sep. 14, 2018 #1 – NASA Sees Dangerous Super Typhoon Mangkhut, Eyeing the Philippines

Super Typhoon Mangkhut is a powerful tropical cyclone headed toward the northern Philippines. It is a Category 5 storm on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite provided a visible image as it passed over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and stared the storm in its eye.

Suomi NPP image of Mangkhut
At 12:54 a.m. EDT (0454 UTC) on Sept. 14, the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of Super Typhoon Mangkhut approaching the Philippines. Credit: NASA/NRL

Many warnings are posted in the Philippines. They include: Public storm warning signal #3 for the Luzon provinces of Batanes, southern Isabela, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Mountain Province, Benguet, Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Northern Aurora. Public storm warning signal #2 is in effect for the Luzon provinces of Pangasinan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, southern Aurora, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Northern Quezon incl. Polillo Island. Public storm warning signal #1 is in effect for the Luzon provinces of Bataan, Rizal, Metro Manila, Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Rest of Quezon, Lubang Is.,Marinduque, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Burias Island.

In the Philippines, Mangkhut is known locally as Ompong.

At 12:54 a.m. EDT (0454 UTC) on Sept. 14, the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Mangkhut. The image showed a symmetrical storm with a clear eye surrounded by powerful thunderstorms. At the time of the image, the western quadrant of the storm was already spreading over the eastern Philippines.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted on Sept. 14 at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) Barijat’s maximum sustained winds were near 167 mph (145 knots/268 kph). It was located near 17.4 degrees north latitude and 124.4 east longitude. That’s approximately 245 nautical miles northeast of Manila, Philippines. Mangkhut is moving to the west-northwest.

Mangkhut is moving northwest and is forecast to pass over the north of Luzon as a category 5 equivalent typhoon.  After re-emerging over water, the system is forecast to re-strengthen slightly to pass close the south coast of China towards a landfall in northern Vietnam.

By Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

 

Sep. 13, 2018 – NASA Satellite Analyzes Powerful Super Typhoon Mangkhut

NASA’s Aqua satellite provided an infrared look at powerful Super Typhoon Mangkhut early on Sept. 13 that revealed a large eye surrounded by a large area of powerful storms. Mangkhut is a Category 5 storm.

Aqua imge of Mangkhut
At 9:35 a.m. EDT (1335 UTC) on Sept. 13, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Super Typhoon Mangkhut in infrared light as it was approaching the Philippines. MODIS found coldest cloud top temperatures around the eye, as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees (yellow) Fahrenheit (minus 112 degrees Celsius). Surrounding the eye were thick rings of powerful storms with cloud tops as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees (red) Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). Credit: NASA/NRL

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that “animated enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows deepening or strengthening convection (rising air that forms the thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone) with colder cloud tops.” Colder cloud tops mean that the uplift of air has strengthened and pushed cloud tops higher in the troposphere. The higher and colder the cloud top, the stronger the storm and the greater potential for heavier rainfall.

At 9:35 a.m. EDT (1335 UTC) on Sept. 13, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Typhoon Mangkhut in infrared light as it was approaching the Philippines. MODIS saw that Mangkhut has a 27 nautical-mile-wide eye.

MODIS also found coldest cloud top temperatures around the eye, as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (F)/minus 112 degrees Celsius (C). Surrounding the eye were thick rings of powerful storms with cloud tops as cold as or colder than minus 70F (minus 56.6C).

NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures as cold as or colder than the 70F/56.6C threshold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.
At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC), the center of Super Typhoon Mangkhut was located near latitude 15.2 degrees north and longitude 128.4 degrees west. That’s about 465 miles east of Manila, Philippines. Super Typhoon Mangkhut was moving toward the west-northwest. Mangkhut’s maximum sustained winds were near 167 mph (145 knots/268 kph) with higher gusts. Mangkhut is a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale.

Mangkhut is forecast to make landfall along the northeast coast of Luzon, Philippines around 5 p.m. EDT (2100 UTC) on Sept. 14. Warnings are already in effect.

By Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 12, 2018 – NASA-NOAA Satellite Stares Down Super Typhoon Mangkhut’s Eye

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed directly over Super Typhoon Mangkhut from space and stared down its almost 30 nautical-mile-wide eye to the waters of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean. Mangkhut is threatening the northern Philippines where is known as Ompong.

Suomi NPP image of Mangkhut
Visible imagery on Sept. 11 at 11:44 p.m. EDT (Sept. 12 at 0354 UTC) from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite flew directly over Super Typhoon Mangkhut and stared into its eye. Credit: NASA/NOAA/NRL

At 10 a.m. EDT (10 p.m. local time, Philippines) on Sept. 12, the eye of Typhoon Mangkhut was located approximately 1,005 km East of Virac, Catanduanes, Philippines near 14.3 degrees north latitude and 133.5 degrees east longitude. Maximum sustained winds were near 172 mph (150 knots/277 kph).

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) noted that the typhoon continues to threaten Northern Luzon.

On Sept. 13 at 11 a.m. local time (11 a.m. EDT), PAGASA noted that “the province of Catanduanes and Camarines Sur will experience the peripheral effects of Mangkhut within the next day and a half, bringing occasional rains and gusty winds. Possible inclusion to Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal (TCWS) #1over the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora, Quirino, Pollilo Islands, Camarines Norte and Albay tomorrow morning (September 13).”

Visible imagery on Sept. 12 at 11:44 p.m. EDT (Sept. 12 at 0354 UTC from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite showed that Mangkhut had a clear eye that enabled the satellite to see through it all the way to the surface of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean. Mangkhut was surrounded by a thick ring of powerful, rotating thunderstorms. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that satellite imagery shows a symmetric and highly consolidated system with strong, compact feeder bands (bands of thunderstorms) spiraling tightly into a sharply-outlined 29 nautical mile wide eye.

The storm is expected to make landfall in the northern tip of Cagayan on Saturday, September 15 and make a second landfall south of Hong Kong, China on Sept. 16.

For updated forecasts, visit PAGASA at: http://bagong.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/tropical-cyclone/severe-weather-bulletin

By Rob Gutro
NASA’ Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 11, 2018 – NASA-NOAA Satellite Tracking Super Typhoon Mangkhut

Typhoon Mangkhut had already strengthened into a Super Typhoon when NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite grabbed a visible image of the storm in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean on Sept. 11. It is forecast to intensify even more.

Suomi NPP image of Mangkhut
On Sept. 11 at 12:12 a.m. EDT (0412 UTC) the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of Super Typhoon Mangkhut moving through the Northwestern Pacific Ocean. Credit: NOAA/NASA/NRL

Fortunately, Mangkhut has moved away from the Marianas Islands and is moving over open ocean so there are no watches or warnings in effect.

On Sept. 11 at 12:12 a.m. EDT (0412 UTC) the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured visible image of Super Typhoon Mangkhut. The image showed a clear eye surrounded by bands of powerful thunderstorms.

At 5 a.m. EDT (7 p.m. CHST/0900 UTC) on Sept. 11, the eye of Super Typhoon Mangkhut was located near latitude 14.0 degrees north and longitude 139.1 degrees east. That’s about 380 miles west of Guam. Mangkhut is moving west at 17 mph. This westward motion is expected to continue tonight, followed by a turn to the west-northwest on Wednesday and Thursday, bringing Mangkhut near northern Luzon Friday evening.

The National Weather Service in Tiyan, Guam noted that “Maximum sustained winds have increased to 155 mph, making Mangkhut a Category 4 super typhoon. Mangkhut is expected to intensify into a Category 5 super typhoon Wednesday and Thursday.”

Typhoon force winds extend up to 65 miles from the center. Tropical storm force winds extend up to 205 miles northeast of the center and up to 165 miles to the southwest.

By Rob Gutro
NASA’ Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 10, 2018 – NASA Finds Typhoon Mangkhut Lashing Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands

NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and captured a visible image of Typhoon Mangkhut lashing Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands.

Aqua image of Mangkhut
At 0335 UTC on Sept.10 (11:35 p.m. EDT on Sept. 9) the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Typhoon Mangkhut over the Marianas Islands in visible light. Credit: NASA/NRL

On Sept. 7 when Mangkhut formed as a tropical depression it was known as Tropical Depression 26W. On the day it formed, a tropical storm watch was posted for Enewetak. 26W then moved west toward Micronesia and strengthened into a typhoon.

On Sept. 10, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Tiyan, Guam said a Typhoon Warning remains in effect for Guam, Rota, Tinian, Saipan and adjacent coastal waters in the Mariana Islands. Guam is a U.S. island territory in Micronesia.

At 0335 UTC on Sept.10 (11:35 p.m. EDT on Sept. 9) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible image of Typhoon Mangkhut. Satellite imagery shows the center over the Northern Mariana Islands and a thick band of thunderstorms wrapping from south of the center to the west past Guam.

At 5 a.m. EDT on Sept. 10 (7 p.m. CHST local time), the NWS in Guam noted that “Damaging or destructive winds are now occurring. Damaging south winds of up to 105 mph with gusts to 120 mph will continue for the next few hours. Winds will gradually decrease to between 55 and 65 mph around midnight. Damaging south winds early Tuesday morning will decrease to 25 to 35 mph by the afternoon. Small craft should remain in port and well secured.”

At 11 a.m. EDT (1 a.m. CHST/1500 UTC) the center of Typhoon Mangkhut was located near Latitude 14.1 degrees north and longitude 143.5 degrees east. That’s about 95 miles west-northwest of Guam, 115 miles west of Rota, 155 miles west-southwest of Tinian and about 165 miles west-southwest of Saipan.

Typhoon Mangkhut is moving toward the west at 17 mph. It is expected to make a slight turn to the west-northwest with a decrease in forward speed over the next few days.Maximum sustained winds remain at 115 mph. Typhoon Mangkhut (26W) is forecast to intensify through Wednesday, Sept 12.

Typhoon force winds extend outward from the center up to 50 miles. Tropical storm force winds extend outward from the center up to 180 miles to the north and up to 120 miles to the south.

Mangkhut is forecast to move on a westerly track and move away from Guam and the Marianas while strengthening.

Updated forecasts can be found at: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/guam/cyclone.php

By Rob Gutro
NASA’ Goddard Space Flight Center

Paul (Eastern Pacific Ocean) 2018

Sep. 12, 2018 – NASA Sees Paul Become a Remnant Low Pressure Area

Former Tropical Storm Paul lost its strength and appeared as a swirl of clouds on infrared imagery from NASA.

Aqua image of Paul
NASA’s Aqua satellite found Tropical Depression Paul a swirl of clouds when it passed overhead on Sept. 12 at 6:35 a.m. EDT (1035 UTC). Credit: NASA/NRL

At 5 a.m. EDT on Sept. 12, the National Hurricane Center noted that Paul has lacked organized deep convection (rising air that creates the thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone) for over 12 hours  and had become a remnant low pressure area about 1,115 miles (1,795 km) west of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico.

The center of Post-Tropical Cyclone Paul was located near latitude 22.3 degrees north and longitude 127.4 degrees west. Paul is moving toward the west near 9 mph (15 kph), and this general heading with a decrease in forward speed is expected for the next day or two. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 kph) with higher gusts.

For the first time since August 14, the northeast Pacific has no tropical cyclones.

NASA’s Aqua satellite passed Paul on Sept. 12 at 6:35 a.m. EDT (1035 UTC) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument and saw the remnants devoid of rainfall. Paul looked like a ghostly swirl of clouds in infrared imagery. Wind shear was clearly affecting the system as the bulk of clouds were pushed west and southwest of the center.

The remnant low is expected to gradually weaken over the next several days.

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 11, 2018 – NASA Sees Tropical Depression Paul’s Strength Sapped

NASA’s Aqua satellite provided an infrared look at Tropical Depression Paul and found its center pushed away from strongest storms.

Aqua image of Paul
At 5:50 a.m. EDT (0950 UTC) on Sept. 11, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Tropical Depression Paul infrared light. MODIS found a small area of coldest cloud tops (red) had temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). Credit: NASA/NRL

At 5:50 a.m. EDT (0950 UTC) on Sept. 11, from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite revealed a small area of strongest storms in Paul. Those storms, pushed west of the center of circulation, had cloud tops with temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) said “The center of Paul remains to the east of a small area of deep convection.”

At 8 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Paul was located near latitude 22.3 North, longitude 124.1 West. Paul is far from land areas so there are no warnings or watches in effect. It is centered about 905 miles (1,460 km) west of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico.

The depression is moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph (19 kph).  A gradual turn toward the west and a decrease in forward speed is anticipated over the next few days.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 35 mph (55 kph) with higher gusts. Slow weakening is anticipated as Paul moves into a stable, drier air mass and over cooler sea surface temperatures. Paul is expected to weaken into a remnant low on Wednesday, Sept. 12.

For updated forecasts, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’ Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 10, 2018 – NASA Finds Wind Shear Affecting Tropical Storm Paul     

Infrared imagery from NASA’s Aqua satellite showed that newly developed tropical storm Paul in the Eastern Pacific is dealing with wind shear.

Aqua image of Paul
At 2:30 a.m. EDT (0630 UTC) on Sept. 10, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Tropical Storm Paul in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud tops (red) had temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius) were pushed southwest of the center from wind shear. Credit: NASA/NRL

Tropical Depression 18E formed on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 11 a.m. EDT and strengthened in a tropical storm on Sept. 9.

Infrared satellite data at 2:30 a.m. EDT (0630 UTC) on Sept. 10 from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite revealed the strongest storms in Tropical Storm Paul were displaced from the center.

MODIS found coldest cloud tops had temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius) being pushed southwest of the center from northeasterly vertical wind shear. NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.

The National Hurricane Center noted “Paul continues to have its low-level center displaced on the northeast side of the main area of deep convection. This convection is not well organized and there is little or no evidence of banding features.”

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Sept. 10 the The National Hurricane Center of NHC noted the center of Tropical Storm Paul was far from land and located near latitude 20.8 degrees north and longitude 120.7 degrees west. That’s about 705 miles (1,140 km) west of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico. Paul is moving toward the northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h), and a turn toward the west-northwest is expected by tonight. Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 kph) with higher gusts. Weakening is forecast, and Paul is expected to become a remnant low in a few days.

For updates on Paul, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Helene (Eastern Atlantic Ocean) 2018

Sep. 17, 2018 – NASA Sees Post-Tropical Cyclone Helene Affecting Ireland, United Kingdom

Post-tropical cyclone Helene developed off the west coast of Africa and moved north then northeast where it is now raining on parts of Ireland and the United Kingdom. Clouds and rainfall connected to Helene are already affecting those countries.

Worldview image of Helene
On Sept. 17, the MODIS instrument aboard Aqua captured a visible image of Post-Tropical Cyclone Helene just southwest of Ireland and the United Kingdom. Clouds ahead of the system have already blanketed those countries. Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS).

Early on Sept. 17, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard Aqua captured a visible image of Post Tropical Cyclone Helene southwest of Ireland and the United Kingdom (U.K.). The MODIS image showed a large system with a wide band of clouds and showers extending to the northeast over Ireland and the U.K.

There is a Yellow Alert for the U.K. regions of: Central, Tayside & Fife, East Midlands, East of England, Grampian, Highlands & Eilean Siar, North East England, North West England, Northern Ireland, Orkney & Shetland, SW Scotland, Lothian Borders, South West England, Strathclyde, Wales, West Midlands, Yorkshire & Humber.

The U.K. Meteorological Service noted that the Yellow Alert means “a spell of very windy weather is expected. Gusts of 50-60 mph are possible inland between [1 a.m. and 5 p.m. local time on Wed., Sept. 19].”

For updated forecasts, visit: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 14, 2018 – NASA-NOAA Satellite Find Wind Shear Affecting Helene, Azores Warnings Up

Tropical Storm Helene may be battling wind shear but it’s caused a Tropical Storm Warning for all of the Azores Islands on Sept. 15. NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over the eastern Atlantic Ocean and analyzed the storm.

Suomi NPP image of Helene
On Sept. 14 at 0354 UTC (Sept. 13 at 11:54 p.m. EDT) the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured an infrared image of Tropical Storm Helene. Coldest cloud top temperatures (yellow) of strongest thunderstorms were as cold as minus 50F/minus 45.5C, pushed northeast of the center. Credit: NOAA/NASA/NRL

Southwesterly shear continues to affect now Tropical Storm Helene as it nears the Azores. In general, wind shear is a measure of how the speed and direction of winds change with altitude. Winds at different levels of the atmosphere pushed against the cylindrical circulation center and skewed it, weakening the rotation.

On Sept. 14 at 1:36 a.m. EDT (0536 UTC) the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured an infrared image of Tropical Storm Helene. VIIRS showed wind shear was pushing all of the strongest storms northeast of center. In that quadrant of the storm, the coldest cloud top temperatures of strongest thunderstorms were as cold as minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit/minus 45.5 degrees Celsius.

The National Hurricane Center or NHC said “at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) the center of Tropical Storm Helene was located near latitude 32.9 degrees north and longitude 36.3 degrees west. Helene is moving toward the north near 23 mph (37 kph). A turn toward the north-northeast is forecast Saturday followed by a turn toward the northeast by Sunday night.

Satellite data indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 70 mph (110 kph) with higher gusts.  Little change in strength is forecast during the next 24 hours.  Afterward, gradual weakening is expected over the weekend as Helene makes the transition to a post-tropical extratropical cyclone.

On the forecast track, Helene will pass near or over the Azores late Saturday, Sept. 15 or Sunday, Sept. 16.

Helene is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches across the Azores, with isolated amounts up to 8 inches across the western Azores. This rainfall may cause life-threatening flash flooding. Ocean swells generated by Helene are affecting portions of the Azores.  These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Interests in the Ireland and United Kingdom should consult products from their local meteorological service for information about potential impacts from Helene in those locations.

Local forecasts and warnings for the U.K. can be found on the website of the UK Met Office at https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/.

Local forecasts and warnings for Ireland can be found on the website of Met Eireann at https://www.met.ie/.

For updated forecasts, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro (with information from NHC)
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 13, 2018 – NASA Sees Hurricane Helene Decoupled By Wind Shear

NASA’s Aqua satellite provided an infrared look at Helene as it continued tracking toward the Azores Islands in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean. Satellite imagery shows that Helene is decoupled from wind shear.

Aqua image of Helene
NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Hurricane Helene on Sept. 13 at 12:45 a.m. EDT (0445 UTC) and analyzed it in infrared light. Strongest storms with coldest cloud tops appeared in red. Credit: NASA/NRL

The National Hurricane Center or NHC said “Helene’s surface circulation has become fully exposed this morning with the center decoupled about 110 miles south of edge of the remaining deep convection.” That means that the circulation or center of the storm is off-center, and the bulk of the storm has been pushed away from the rotating center. That decoupling happened because Helene is dealing with southwesterly (coming from the southwest) vertical wind shear. NHC noted that the wind shear is expected to increase later on Sept. 13.

What is Wind Shear?

In general, wind shear is a measure of how the speed and direction of winds change with altitude. Wind shear can tear a tropical cyclone apart or weaken it.

NASA’s Infrared View of Helene

NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Hurricane Helene on Sept. 13 at 12:45 a.m. EDT (0445 UTC) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard analyzed cloud top temperatures in infrared light. Coldest cloud top temperatures were being pushed northeast of center and were as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 Celsius). Cloud top temperatures that cold indicate strong storms that have the capability to create heavy rain.

Helene’s Status on Sept. 13, 2018

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Helene was located near latitude 23.5 degrees north and longitude 37.3 degrees west. Helene is currently about 1,170 miles (1,885 km) miles southwest of the Azores. Helene is moving toward the north near 14 mph (22 kph). A turn toward the north-northeast with an increase in forward speed is expected tonight followed by a turn toward the northeast over the weekend of Sept 15 and 16.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 75 mph (120 kph) with higher gusts.  Continued weakening is forecast over the next couple of days, and Helene is expected to become a tropical storm by tonight.

Heads Up to the Azores

On Sept. 13, Helene is weakening while moving northward over the eastern Atlantic and interests in the Azores should monitor the progress of the storm.

For updated forecasts, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 12, 2018 – NASA Looks at Hurricane Helene’s Water Vapor Concentration

When NASA’s Terra satellite passed over the Eastern Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 12 it analyzed water vapor within Hurricane Helene.

 

Terra image of Helene
NASA’s Terra satellite passed over Hurricane Helene on Sept. 12 at 9:25 a.m. EDT (1325 UTC) and highest concentrations of water vapor (brown) and coldest cloud top temperatures were around the center and a band of thunderstorms spiraling in from the east. Credits: NASA/NRL

NASA’s Terra satellite passed Hurricane Helene on Sept. 12 at 9:25 a.m. EDT (1325 UTC) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument gathered water vapor content and temperature information. The MODIS image showed highest concentrations of water vapor and coldest cloud top temperatures were around the center and a band of thunderstorms spiraling in from the east. The MODIS image also showed that the eye has become less distinct, although the storm remains well organized and symmetric.

MODIS saw coldest cloud top temperatures were as cold as minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius) in those areas. Storms with cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to produce heavy rainfall.

Water vapor analysis of tropical cyclones tells forecasters how much potential a storm has to develop. Water vapor releases latent heat as it condenses into liquid. That liquid becomes clouds and thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone. Temperature is important when trying to understand how strong storms can be. The higher the cloud tops, the colder and the stronger they are.

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Helene was located near latitude 20.3 degrees north and longitude 36.5 degrees west. Helen is 1,350 miles (2,170 km) south-southwest of the Azores Islands.

Helene is moving toward the north-northwest near 14 mph (22 kph). A turn toward the north and northeast with an increase in forward speed is expected during the next few days. Maximum sustained winds remain near 90 mph (150 kph) with higher gusts. Gradual weakening is forecast over the next couple of days, and Helene is expected to become a tropical storm on Thursday, Sept. 13.

NHC said that Helene forecast to weaken over the eastern Atlantic and that interests in the Azores Islands should monitor the progress of Helene.

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 11, 2018 – NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP Satellite Stares Helene in the Eye

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over the eye of Hurricane Helene in the eastern Atlantic.

Suomi NPP image of Helene
On Sept. 10 at 10:42 a.m. EDT (1442 UTC) the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of Hurricane Helene. Credit: NOAA/NASA/NRL

On Sept. 10 at 10:42 a.m. EDT (1442 UTC) the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured visible image of Hurricane Helene. VIIRS imagery showed the eye was about 20 nautical miles wide.

The next day, Sept. 11, NOAA’s National Hurricane Center noted another satellite image of Helene showed a well-developed closed eyewall and  strong band of thunderstorms with cold cloud tops of minus 104 degrees Fahrenheit/minus 76 degrees Celsius (indicating very strong storms) wrapping around the south through east quadrants of the cyclone.

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), on Sept. 11 the center of Hurricane Helene was located near latitude 16.0 degrees north and longitude 33.6 degrees west. That’s about 620 miles (995 km) west of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands and about 1,570 miles (2,530 km) south-southwest of the Azores Islands.

Maximum sustained winds are near 110 mph (175 kph) with higher gusts.  Some strengthening is possible during the next 12 hours, but a gradual weakening trend is expected after that time.

Helene is moving toward the west-northwest near 14 mph (22 kph), and this motion is expected to continue with a decrease in forward speed through tonight. A turn toward the northwest and then north-northwest is forecast on Wednesday, Sept. 12 and Thursday, Sept. 13.

For updated forecasts, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’ Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 10, 2018 – NASA Sees an Organized Hurricane Helene near Africa   

Visible image from NASA’s Aqua satellite showed that newly developed Hurricane Helene had strengthened and organized quickly.

Aqua image of Helene
On Sept. 10, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Hurricane Helene in the far Eastern Atlantic Ocean. Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)

Tropical Depression 8 formed on Sept. 7 at 11 a.m. EDT and strengthened in a tropical storm on by 11 p.m. EDT that day. When it became a tropical storm it was re-named Helene.

On Sept. 10 from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite showed an organized storm with a thick band of powerful thunderstorms circling the eye.

The National Hurricane Center noted at 11 a.m. EDT on Sept. 10, “Helene’s cloud pattern has become much better organized during the past few hours, with a clear 20 nautical miles wide eye seen in Meteosat infrared imagery.

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Sept. 10 the National Hurricane Center of NHC noted the eye of Hurricane Helene was located near latitude 14.6 degrees north and longitude 30.0 degrees west. It was located about 375 miles (600 km) west of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands so there are no watches or warnings in effect.

Helene is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 kph). A west-northwestward motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected through late Tuesday, followed by a turn toward the northwest and then toward the north-northwest on Wednesday and Thursday. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 105 mph (165 kph) with higher gusts.

Some additional strengthening is expected today, and Helene is forecast to become a major hurricane by tonight. Steady weakening is forecast to begin by late Tuesday.

For updates on Helene, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Isaac (Atlantic Ocean) 2018

Sep. 14, 2018 – NASA-NOAA Satellite Finds Winds Tearing Tropical Depression Isaac Apart

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over tropical cyclone Isaac in the eastern Caribbean Sea and it has weakened to a depression as a result of being hammered by vertical wind shear.

Suomi NPP image of Isaac
On Sept. 14 at 1:36 a.m. EDT (0536 UTC) the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured an infrared image of Tropical Depression Isaac in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Coldest cloud top temperatures (red) of strongest thunderstorms were as cold as minus 70F/minus 56.6C. Credit: NOAA/NASA/NRL

Northwesterly shear continues to take a toll on Isaac. In general, wind shear is a measure of how the speed and direction of winds change with altitude. Winds at different levels of the atmosphere pushed against the cylindrical circulation center and skewed it, weakening the rotation.

On Sept. 14 at 1:36 a.m. EDT (0536 UTC) the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured an infrared image of Tropical Depression Isaac in the eastern Caribbean Sea. VIIRS showed wind shear was tearing the storm apart. The coldest cloud top temperatures of strongest thunderstorms were as cold as minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit/minus 56.6 degrees Celsius and were limited to one area of the storm.

The National Hurricane Center or NHC said “Although the system is still producing areas of deep convection, [satellite imagery] indicated that the circulation had become even less defined.

Moderate to strong northwesterly shear and dry mid-level air are likely to cause additional weakening, and Isaac is forecast to degenerate into an open wave within the next several days, but this could occur much sooner if the current trends continue.”

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Isaac was located near latitude 15.0 degrees north and longitude 65.5 degrees west. That’s about 190 miles (310 km) south-southwest of St. Croix. The depression is moving toward the west near 15 mph (24 kph), and this general motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected over the next few days.  Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 35 mph (55 kph) with higher gusts. Isaac is forecast to gradually weaken over the next few days, and could degenerate into a tropical wave at any time.

On the forecast track, Isaac will move over the eastern and central Caribbean Sea during the next few days.

For updated forecasts, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro (with information from NHC)
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 13, 2018 – NASA-NOAA Satellite Finds Wind Shear Pushing on Tropical Storm Isaac’s Center

Wind shear seems to be affecting several storms in the Atlantic Ocean today, Sept. 13, 2018. Wind shear is affecting Hurricane Helene in the Eastern Atlantic and in the Western Atlantic, Hurricane Florence and even Tropical Storm Isaac are feeling its effects.

Suomi NPP image of Isaac
At 1:54 a.m. EDT (0554 UTC) on Sept. 13, the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite looked at Tropical Storm Isaac in infrared light. VIIRS found coldest cloud top temperatures off-center as cold as or colder than 70 degrees (red) Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). Credit: NASA/NRL

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite provided an infrared look at Tropical Storm Isaac that revealed its circulation center was displaced from the bulk of clouds and precipitation. That’s an indication that wind shear is affecting the storm.

What is Vertical Wind Shear?

In general, wind shear is a measure of how the speed and direction of winds change with altitude. In order to understand how it affects a tropical cyclone or hurricane, think of a tropical cyclone as a series of vertically stacked tires, all rotating. As you go up from the ground, each tire represents the rotation of the storm’s center at a higher level in the atmosphere. The different levels of rotating winds in the center of tropical cyclones need to be stacked on top each other to strengthen. If there are winds higher up that push some of the tires askew near the top, it affects the balance and rotation of the tires below. That’s what happens when vertical wind shear pushes against a storm. It pushes the center and weakens (or wobbles) the rotation of all of the tires.

The Satellite Data Reveal

The National Hurricane Center or NHC noted “Satellite imagery indicate that Isaac remains a poorly organized tropical cyclone, with the low-level center mostly exposed during the early morning hours.” Isaac is being battered by strong vertical wind shear.

At 1:54 a.m. EDT (0554 UTC) on Sept. 13, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite analyzed Tropical Storm Isaac in infrared light. VIIRS found a small area of coldest cloud top temperatures off-center were as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius).

NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures as cold as or colder than the 70F/56.6C threshold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.
At 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC) radiosonde data from the eastern Caribbean and NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft data indicate that the circulation of Isaac is fairly shallow and small. It is entirely possible that Isaac will degenerate into a tropical wave during the next day or two due to the continued effects of strong wind shear.

Warnings and Watches on Sept. 13

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe. Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Martin and St. Maarten.

Isaac’s Stats on September 13, 2018

At 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located near latitude 15.2 degrees north and longitude 60.9 degrees west. Isaac is moving faster toward the west near 21 mph (33 km/h). This general motion is forecast to continue today with a decrease in forward speed over the Caribbean Sea. Maximum sustained winds remain near 45 mph (75 kph) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is expected over the next several hours as Isaac moves through the Leeward Islands. Gradual weakening is forecast after that as Isaac moves through the eastern Caribbean.

Rainfall Anticipated in Leeward and Windward Islands

NHC said Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 2 to 4 inches with isolated amounts up to 6 inches across Martinique, Dominica, and Guadeloupe, especially over elevated terrain. Rainfall of 0.5 to 1.5 inches with isolated amounts to 3 inches are forecast across Puerto Rico and the southern United States Virgin Islands, with up to an inch anticipated across the remaining Windward and Leeward Islands. This rainfall may cause dangerous flash flooding.

Isaac’s Forecast Path

NHC said on the forecast track, Isaac should move across the central Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea later today, and then move across the eastern and central Caribbean Sea through the weekend.

For updated forecasts, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 12, 2018 – NASA/JAXA Satellite Finds Heavy Rainfall in Tropical Storm Isaac

Tropical Cyclones generate a lot of rainfall and the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM satellite and constellation of satellites gather that data and share it with forecasters. GPM recently passed over Tropical Storm Isaac and analyzed its rainfall.

GPM image of Isaac
On Sept. 11, 2018 at 11:53 p.m. EDT the GPM core observatory satellite found heaviest rainfall within Isaac was located to the southeast of the center. GPM found rain falling at a rate of over 140 mm (5.5 inches) per hour when it sliced through an isolated storm southwest of Isaac’s center. The 3D view showed heavy downpours there. Storm tops were found by GPM’s radar to reach heights above 16.2 km (10.0 km) in this area. Credit: NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce

That rainfall is expected to affect the warning areas. The National Hurricane Center posted A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Antigua, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Saba and St. Eustatius.

GPM is an example of NASA’s partnerships with other agencies around the world. GPM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency or JAXA and the GPM core observatory satellite had an excellent view of tropical storm Isaac on Sept. 11, 2018 at 11:53 p.m. EDT (Sept. 12, 2018 at 0353 UTC).

GPM 3-D image of Isaac
On Sept. 11, 2018 at 11:53 p.m. EDT the GPM core observatory satellite found heaviest rainfall within Isaac was located to the southeast of the center. GPM found rain falling at a rate of over 140 mm (5.5 inches) per hour when it sliced through an isolated storm southwest of Isaac’s center. The 3D view showed heavy downpours there. Storm tops were found by GPM’s radar to reach heights above 16.2 km (10.0 km) in this area. Credit: NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce

The satellite revealed that, although expected to weaken, Isaac still contained some powerful convective storms. The GPM satellite’s Microwave Imager (GMI) and Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) instruments collected data that were used in an analysis of Isaac’s rainfall. Those data showed that the heaviest rainfall within the tropical storm was located to the southeast of Isaac’s center of circulation. GPM’s radar (DPR Ku Band) measured rain falling at a rate of over 140 mm (5.5 inches) per hour when it sliced through an isolated convective burst southwest of Isaac’s center.

GPM’s radar (DPR ku Band) data were used in at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. to create a 3D view from the north-northeast to show the 3D structure of precipitation within the  convective burst southwest of ISAAC’s center of circulation. DPR found that heavy downpours there. Storm tops were found by GPM’s radar to reach heights above 16.2 km (10.0 km) in this area of convection.

At 11 a.m.  (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located by a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft near latitude 15.0 degrees north and longitude 54.7 degrees west. Isaac is moving toward the west near 17 mph (28 kph), and this general motion with some decrease in forward is expected to continue through the weekend. Aircraft data indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 60 mph (95 kph) with higher gusts. Gradual weakening is forecast during the next 72 hours.

On Sept. 11, 2018 at 11:53 p.m. EDT the GPM core observatory satellite found heaviest rainfall within Isaac was located to the southeast of the center. GPM found rain falling at a rate of over 140 mm (5.5 inches) per hour when it sliced through an isolated storm southwest of Isaac’s center. The 3D view showed heavy downpours there. Storm tops were found by GPM’s radar to reach heights above 16.2 km (10.0 km) in this area. Credit: NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce

Hurricane Florence, tropical storm Isaac and Hurricane Helene are currently active in the Atlantic Ocean.

Tropical storm Isaac is the next tropical cyclone to affect the western Atlantic. It is moving westward toward the Leeward and Windward Islands.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicts that Isaac will pass through the Leeward and Windward Islands and move into the Caribbean Sea over the next few days. The NHC predicts that Isaac will weaken as it encounters moderate vertical shear and nearby dry air.

For updated forecasts, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By  Harold F. Pierce / Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 11, 2018 – NASA Finds Wind Shear Pushing on Tropical Storm Isaac’s Center

NASA’s Aqua satellite provided an infrared look at Tropical Storm Isaac that revealed its circulation center was displaced from the bulk of clouds and precipitation. That’s an indication that wind shear is affecting the storm.

Aqua image of Isaac
At 1 a.m. EDT (0500 UTC) on Sept. 11, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Tropical Storm Isaac in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud top temperatures off-center as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees (yellow) Fahrenheit (minus 112 degrees Celsius). Those most powerful storms were embedded in strong storms with cloud tops as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees (red) Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). Credit: NASA/NRL

What is Vertical Wind Shear?

In general, wind shear is a measure of how the speed and direction of winds change with altitude. In order to understand how it affects a tropical cyclone or hurricane, think of a tropical cyclone as a series of vertically stacked tires, all rotating. As you go up from the ground, each tire represents the rotation of the storm’s center at a higher level in the atmosphere. The different levels of rotating winds in the center of Tropical cyclones need to be stacked on top each other to strengthen. If there are winds higher up that push some of the tires askew near the top, it affects the balance and rotation of the tires below. That’s what happens when vertical wind shear pushes against a storm. It pushes the center and weakens (or wobbles) the rotation of all of the tires.

The Satellite Data Reveal

The National Hurricane Center or NHC noted “Satellite images indicate that the strong tropical storm still has a central dense overcast pattern and a limited amount of outer bands [of thunderstorms].  Earlier microwave data indicated that the center was not located in the middle of the convection, however, likely due to some westerly [wind] shear.”

At 2:30 a.m. EDT (0630 UTC) on Sept. 11, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite analyzed Tropical Storm Isaac in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud top temperatures off-center were as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 112 degrees Celsius). Those most powerful storms were embedded in strong storms with cloud tops as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius).

NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures as cold as or colder than the 70F/56.6C threshold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.

Isaac’s Stats on September 11, 2018

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located near latitude 14.6 degrees north and longitude 48.1 degrees west. That’s about 880 miles (1,420 km) east of the Lesser Antilles.

Isaac is moving toward the west near 14 mph (22 kph).  This general motion is expected to continue through the end of the week.  Maximum sustained winds remain near 70 mph (110 kph) with higher gusts.  Little change in strength is forecast during the next few days, but Isaac is forecast to be at or near hurricane strength as it approaches the Lesser Antilles.

Rainfall Anticipated in Leeward and Windward Islands

NHC said that Isaac is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 2 to 4 inches with isolated amounts near 6 inches across the Leeward Islands late this week, with 1 to 2 inches anticipated across the Windward Islands.

Isaac’s Forecast Path

On the forecast track, Isaac should move across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea on Thursday.

For updated forecasts, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’ Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 10, 2018 – NASA Covers Hurricane Isaac’s Ragged Center   

NASA’s Aqua satellite found a thick ring of powerful storms around Hurricane Isaac’s ragged eye and southwest of center on Sept. 10.

Aqua image of Isaac
At 12:15 a.m. EDT (0415 UTC) on Sept. 10, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Hurricane Isaac in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud tops (red) had temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius) around the center. Credit: NASA/NRL

Infrared satellite data at 12:15 a.m. EDT (0415 UTC) on Sept. 10 from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite revealed powerful storms circling Isaac’s center and in fragmented bands southwest of the center. In those areas, MODIS found coldest cloud tops had temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.

The National Hurricane Center observed “Isaac’s cloud pattern is currently a bit ragged-looking, with an irregular central dense overcast and limited convective banding [of thunderstorms].”

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC), the National Hurricane Center or NHC noted the center of Hurricane Isaac was located near latitude 14.7 North, longitude 43.9 West. That’s about 1,150 miles (1,855 km) east of the Windward Islands. Isaac is moving toward the west near 14 mph (22 kph).  A westward motion with a slight increase in forward speed is expected through the end of the week.

Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph (120 kph) with higher gusts.  Additional strengthening is expected over the next day or two.  Weakening is forecast to begin by the middle of the week as Isaac approaches the Lesser Antilles.

On the forecast track, Isaac should move across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea on Thursday.

For updates on Isaac, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Joyce (Atlantic Ocean) 2018

Sep. 18, 2018 – NASA Infrared Imagery Reveals Wind Shearing Tropical Depression Joyce

NASA’s Aqua satellite provided an infrared look at Tropical Depression Joyce and found wind shear was pushing the bulk of clouds and showers to the east of the center.

Aqua image of Joyce
At 11:20 p.m. EDT on Sept. 17 (0320 UTC on Sept. 18), the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Tropical Depression Joyce in infrared light. MODIS found a small area of coldest cloud top temperatures around the center of circulation. Those were as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees (red) Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). Joyce is located south of the Azores Islands. Credit: NASA/NRL

The National Hurricane Center noted at 5 a.m. EDT on Sept. 18, “The latest convective burst associated with Joyce is weakening due to the effects of 35 to 40 knots of westerly vertical [wind] shear and very dry mid-level air.”

In general, wind shear is a measure of how the speed and direction of winds change with altitude. Wind shear can tear a tropical cyclone apart or weaken it.

At 11:20 p.m. EDT on Sept. 17 (0320 UTC on Sept. 18), Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite analyzed Tropical Depression Joyce in infrared light. MODIS found a small area of coldest cloud top temperatures around the center of circulation. Those were as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). The bulk of the storm, however, was being pushed to the northeast from the wind shear.

NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures as cold as or colder than the 70F/56.6C threshold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Joyce was located near latitude 32.9 degrees north and longitude 27.6 degrees west. That’s 355 miles (570 km) south of the Azores Islands.

The depression is moving toward the south-southeast near 6 mph (9 kph). A turn toward the south is forecast later today, followed by a motion toward the southwest on Wednesday, Sept. 19 and Thursday, Sept. 20. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts. Gradual weakening is expected during the next couple of days, and Joyce is forecast to become a remnant low later today or tonight.

For updated forecasts on Joyce, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 17, 2018 – NASA Finds Tropical Depression Joyce Continues to Lose It

Visible and infrared satellite imagery from NASA’s Aqua satellite revealed Tropical Storm Joyce continues to become more disorganized.

Aqua image of Joyce
At 8:55 a.m. EDT (1205 UTC) on Sept. 17, the MODIS instrument aboard Aqua captured a visible image of Joyce. Visible satellite imagery shows a few cloud swirls pivoting around a mean center with only a small amount of strongest thunderstorms displaced about 90 miles northeast of the mean center. Credit: NASA/NRL

On Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, there were no coastal watches or warnings in effect as Joyce was far from land.

At 8:55 a.m. EDT (1205 UTC) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard Aqua captured a visible image of Joyce. Drier air is moving into the depression causing it to lose organization. The dry air is sapping the storm’s ability to form the thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone. Visible satellite imagery shows a few cloud swirls pivoting around a mean center with only a small amount of strongest thunderstorms displaced about 90 miles northeast of the mean center.

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Sept. 17, the center of Tropical Depression Joyce was located near latitude 34.0 degrees north and longitude 28.4 degrees west. That’s 280 miles (465 km) south-southwest of the Azores Islands.

The National Hurricane Center or NHC said the depression is moving toward the east-southeast near 8 mph (13 kph) and this forward speed is expected to continue while turning toward the southeast today, south on Tuesday, and southwest on Wednesday, Sept. 19. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1008 millibars. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 kph) with higher gusts. Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Joyce is expected to become a remnant low tonight or Tuesday, Sept. 18.

For updated forecasts from the NHC, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 14, 2018 – Wind Shear Affecting Tropical Storm Joyce in NASA-NOAA Satellite Image

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over the eastern Atlantic Ocean and saw that Tropical Storm Joyce is battling wind shear. Winds are pushing thunderstorm development northeast of the center.

Suomi NPP image of Joyce
On Sept. 14 at 1:36 a.m. EDT (0536 UTC) the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured an infrared image of Tropical Storm Joyce. Coldest cloud top temperatures (yellow) of strongest thunderstorms were as cold as minus 50F/minus 45.5C, pushed northeast of the center. Credit: NOAA/NASA/NRL

Southwesterly shear continues to affect now Tropical Storm Joyce. In general, wind shear is a measure of how the speed and direction of winds change with altitude. Winds at different levels of the atmosphere pushed against the cylindrical circulation center and skewed it, weakening the rotation.

On Sept. 14 at 1:36 a.m. EDT (0536 UTC) the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured an infrared image of Tropical Storm Joyce. VIIRS showed wind shear was tearing the storm apart. The coldest cloud top temperatures of strongest thunderstorms were as cold as minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit/minus 45.5 degrees Celsius and were northeast of the center.

The National Hurricane Center or NHC said “The system continues to produce bands of convection (developing thunderstorms) over the northeastern portion of the circulation, but the center remains exposed due to shear.”

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC) the center of Tropical Storm Joyce was located near latitude 32.1 degrees north, longitude 44.9 degrees west. That’s 1,090 miles (1,750 km) west-southwest of the Azores Islands. Joyce is moving toward the south-southwest near 8 mph (13 kph).   Joyce is forecast to slow down and turn eastward by tonight, and then accelerate northeastward over the weekend.

Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 kph) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next couple of days.

Joyce is also close to Helene. In fact, Joyce is being steered in that direction around the larger circulation of Helene, located to its east-southeast.  Once Helene passes east-northeast of Joyce later today, Joyce should turn eastward, then begin to accelerate northeastward over the weekend of Sept. 15 and 16.

Joyce is expected to weaken early next week.

For updated forecasts, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro (with information from NHC)
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 13, 2018 – NASA Finds Subtropical Storm Joyce Disorganized, Wandering 

Subtropical Storm Joyce seemed dazed by its own formation, wandering in the north central Atlantic Ocean and disorganized. NASA satellite imagery confirmed the lack of organization and patchy development of thunderstorms within the system.

Terra image of Joyce
NASA’s Terra satellite captured an infrared image of Subtropical Storm Joyce at 12:40 a.m. EDT (0440 UTC) on Sept. 13. The image revealed that the low-level center is exposed to the northwest of a small patch of strong thunderstorms where cloud top temperatures were as cold as minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 Celsius). Credit: NASA/NRL

Joyce formed at 5 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 12.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured an infrared image of Subtropical Storm Joyce at 12:40 a.m. EDT (0440 UTC) on Sept. 13. The MODIS image revealed that the low-level center is exposed to the northwest of a small patch of deep convection (strong thunderstorms that developed).

Infrared data provides temperature information. That small patch of strongest thunderstorms had cloud top temperatures as cold as minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 Celsius). NASA research has shown that cloud tops with temperatures that cold were high in the troposphere and have the ability to generate heavy rain.

At 11 a.m. EDT NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted the center of Subtropical Storm Joyce was located near latitude 33.7 degrees north and longitude 43.7 degrees west. That’s about 980 miles (1,575 km) west-southwest of the Azores Islands.

The storm is moving toward the west-southwest near 6 mph (9 kph). NHC said that a turn toward the south-southwest and then toward the south is expected later today through early Friday. A gradual turn toward the east-northeast and northeast with an increase in forward speed is expected Saturday, Sept. 15 and Sunday, Sept. 16.

Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 kph) with higher gusts. While little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours, Joyce could transition to a tropical storm in the next day or two.

For updated forecasts on Joyce, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Barijat (NW Pacific Ocean) 2018

Sep. 13, 2018 – NASA-NOAA Satellite Finds Barijat Crossing Gulf of Tonkin

Tropical Cyclone Barijat appeared disorganized on satellite imagery as it moved across the Gulf of Tonkin, South China Sea. The Gulf of Tonkin is a body of water located off the coast of northern Vietnam and southern China. Barijat is being torn apart and had weakened from wind shear. After a landfall on Sept. 13, it is expected to dissipate quickly.

Suomi NPP image of Barijat
At 1:18 a.m. EDT (0518 UTC) on Sept. 13, the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Depression Barijat in the Gulf of Tonkin. Credit: NASA/NRL

In general, wind shear is a measure of how the speed and direction of winds change with altitude. Winds at different levels of the atmosphere pushed against the cylindrical circulation center and skewed it, weakening the rotation.

Barijat weakened from a tropical storm to a tropical depression today, Sept. 13.

At 1:54 a.m. EDT (0554 UTC) on Sept. 13, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite analyzed Tropical Storm Isaac showed a disorganized storm with little thunderstorm development. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted “Convection (rising air that form the thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone) has all but dissipated and remnant upper level clouds are sheared to the southwest of the low level circulation center.”

On Sept. 13 at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) Barijat’s maximum sustained winds had dropped to 28.7 mph (25 knots/46.3 kph). It was located approximately 129 nautical miles east of Hanoi, Vietnam. Barijat is moving westward and is expected to make landfall in Vietnam where it will dissipate on Sept. 14.

By Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 12, 2o18 – NASA Sees Tropical Storm Barijat Affecting Southern China

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite found that as Tropical Storm Barijat was affecting Southern China, wind shear was affecting the storm.

Suomi NPP image of Barijat
Visible imagery on Sept. 12 at 1:42 a.m. EDT (0542 UTC) from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite showed that Barijat was being affected by wind shear that was pushing the bulk of its clouds southwest of center. Credit: NASA/NOAA/NRL

Visible imagery on Sept. 12 at 1:42 a.m. EDT (0542 UTC) from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite showed that Barijat was being affected by northerly vertical wind shear that was pushing the bulk of its clouds southwest of center.  In general, wind shear is a measure of how the speed and direction of winds change with altitude. Wind shear can tear a tropical cyclone apart or weaken it.

The latest Tropical Cyclone Warning Bulletin issued by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO).at 1:45 p.m. EDT (01:45 a.m. HKT on Sept. 13) reported that the Strong Wind Signal, No. 3 is in force. That means that winds with mean speeds of 25 to 38 mph (41 to 62 kilometers) per hour are expected.

At 2 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 12, (2 a.m. HKT local time on Sept. 13) Tropical Storm Barijat was estimated to be about 161 miles (260 kilometers) southwest of Hong Kong, near 20.8 degrees north 112.3 degrees east. Barijat is forecast to move west at about 12.4 mph (20 kph) towards the vicinity of Leizhou Peninsula. Maximum sustained winds recorded at Waglan Island were 27.3 mph (44 kph).

HKO noted that Strong Wind Signal, No. 3 will remain in force for some time. Local winds will gradually weaken later today, Sept. 13 local time.

Barijat continues to track westward and move away from Hong Kong and toward Vietnam.

For updated forecasts from HKO, visit: https://www.hko.gov.hk

By Rob Gutro
NASA’ Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 11, 2018 – Tropical Storm Barijat Appears Disorganized to NASA-NOAA Satellite

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over the small Tropical Storm Barijat as it continued moving west toward southern China.

Suomi NPP image of Barijat
On Sept. 11 at 2:00 a.m. EDT (0600 UTC) the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of disorganized Tropical Storm Barijat. Credit: NOAA/NASA/NRL

On Sept. 11 at 2:00 a.m. EDT (0600 UTC) the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured visible image of Tropical Storm Barijat. The image shows a small and disorganized system with flaring and developing thunderstorms that are obscuring the low=level circulation center.

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC), on Sept. 11 the center of Barijat was located near latitude 20.5 degrees north and longitude 116.5 degrees west. That’s about 186 nautical miles southeast of Hong Kong. Barijat was moving to the west-southwest. Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (35 knots/62 kph) with higher gusts.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast noted that only a slight intensification expected because of dry air near the system. After Barijat moves over southern China’s Leizhou Peninsula on Sept. 13, the storm will steadily weaken.

By Rob Gutro
NASA’ Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 10, 2018 – NASA Sees Tropical Storm 27W Moving Through Luzon Strait

NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over the Luzon Strait and captured a visible image of the latest tropical storm to form in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean, Tropical Storm 27W. 27W is expected to be renamed Tropical Storm Barijat.

Aqua image of Barijat
At 1:10 a.m. EDT (0510 UTC) on Sept. 10, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Tropical Storm 27W in visible light as it was moving through the Luzon Strait. Credit: NASA/NRL

The Luzon Strait is a body of water located between Taiwan and the Philippines. It is south of Taiwan and north of Luzon, Philippines. Luzon is the largest and most populous island in the Philippines and the northernmost island.

At 1:10 a.m. EDT (0510 UTC) on Sept.10 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible image of Tropical Storm 27W. Satellite imagery shows a small, slowly consolidating system with flaring central convection (developing thunderstorms) and shallow bands of thunderstorms loosely wrapping into an obscured low level circulation.

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Sept. 10, 27W was located near latitude 21.3 degrees north and longitude 120.4 degrees east. That’s about 225 nautical miles south of Taipei, Taiwan. Maximum sustained winds were near 40 mph (35 knots/62 kph). 27W is moving toward the west-southwest near 7 mph (6 knots/11 kph).

Tropical Storm 27W is forecast to continue tracking west-southwestward over the next three day and slowly intensify. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that the storm is only expected to peak at 52 mph (45 knots/83 kph) sometime on Sept. 12. Tropical Storm 27W is expected to make landfall on Sept. 13 over the Luichow Peninsula, China and cross it where it will emerge into the Gulf of Tonkin and make a final landfall late on Sept. 13 or early Sept. 14 north of Hanoi, Vietnam.

By Rob Gutro
NASA’ Goddard Space Flight Center

Olivia (Eastern Pacific) 2018

Sep. 14, 2018 – NASA Sees Wind Shear Bringing Post-tropical Cyclone Olivia Toward Dissipation

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite found that as Post-tropical cyclone Olivia was being strongly affected by wind shear in the Central Pacific Ocean. That shear was preventing the development of the thunderstorms that would revive the storm, so it weakened into a post-tropical system and is expected to dissipate over the weekend of Sept. 15.

Suomi NPP image of Olivia
Infrared imagery on Sept. 13 at 7:54 p.m. EDT (2354 UTC) from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite showed that Tropical Depression Olivia was being affected by westerly wind shear that was pushing the bulk of its clouds (yellow) east of center. Credit: NASA/NOAA/NRL

Infrared imagery on Sept. 13 at 7:54 p.m. EDT (2354 UTC) from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite showed that Tropical Depression Olivia was being affected by westerly wind shear that was pushing the bulk of its clouds east of center.  In general, wind shear is a measure of how the speed and direction of winds change with altitude. Wind shear can tear a tropical cyclone apart or weaken it.

At 11 a.m. EDT (5 a.m. HST/1500 UTC) the Central Pacific Hurricane Center issued their final advisory on Olivia. At that time the center of Post-Tropical Cyclone Olivia was located near latitude 18.9 degrees north and longitude 164.2 degrees west. The

post-tropical cyclone is moving toward the west near 15 mph (24 km/h). This motion will continue into Friday, followed by a turn toward the west-northwest on Saturday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 kph) with higher gusts.

Weakening is forecast, with dissipation expected by Sunday.

 By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 13, 2018 – NASA Sees Tropical Depression Olivia’s Strength Waning     

NASA’s Aqua satellite provided an infrared look at a weakening and now tropical depression Olivia in the Central Pacific Ocean. Olivia soaked the Hawaiian Islands on its east to west track through them.

Aqua image of Olivia
At 8:55 a.m. EDT (1255 UTC) on Sept. 13, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Tropical Depression Olivia in infrared light. MODIS found a small area of powerful storms with cloud tops as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees (red) Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius) west of the Hawaiian Islands. Credit: NASA/NRL

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center or CPHC noted now that Olivia’s center has moved west of the Hawaiian Islands, as such there are no coastal watches or warnings in effect. However, interests in the northwest Hawaiian Islands should monitor the progress of Olivia.

 On Sept. 13, Olivia was moving rapidly toward the west-southwest, far southwest of Hawaii, however, flooding rainfall continues across parts of the main Hawaiian Islands.

At 2:20 a.m. EDT (0230 UTC) on Sept. 13, Moderate Resolution Imagine Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite analyzed Tropical Depression Olivia in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud top temperatures in powerful storms with cloud tops as cold as or colder than minus 70F (minus 56.6C) west of the Hawaiian Islands. NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures as cold as or colder than the 70F/56.6C threshold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.

Despite the heaviest rainfall off-shore, the CPHC noted scattered thunderstorms continue to develop far northeast, southeast, and south of the low-level circulation center, but the core of the system remains completely devoid of deep convection (developing strong thunderstorms).

The CHPC forecast said “Lingering moisture from Olivia continues to cause heavy rainfall across portions of the main Hawaiian Islands this morning. These wet conditions will likely persist through tonight. Since many areas are already saturated, any additional heavy rainfall could produce life-threatening flash flooding.”

Olivia is being weakened by southwesterly vertical wind shear of over 30 knots (34.5 mph/55.5 kph). In general, wind shear is a measure of how the speed and direction of winds change with altitude. Wind shear can tear a tropical cyclone weaken it or even tear it apart.

At 11 a.m. EDT (5 a.m. HST/1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Olivia was located near latitude 19.5 degrees north and longitude 162.2 degrees west. That’s about 250 miles (400 km) southwest of Lihue, Hawaii.

CPHC said the depression is moving toward the west-southwest near 18 mph (30 kph), and this general motion is expected to continue through this morning with a slight decrease in forward speed, followed by a turn toward the west later today. Olivia, or its remnant low, is forecast to turn toward the west-northwest later tonight or Friday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 kph) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast through tonight. Olivia is expected to become a post-tropical remnant low by Friday.

For updated forecasts on Olivia, visit: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc

By Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 12, 2018 – NASA Sees Hawaii Facing Tropical Storm Olivia

While the U.S. East Coast prepares for Hurricane Florence, the U.S. state of Hawaii is feeling the effects of Tropical Storm Olivia. NASA’s Aqua satellite provided an infrared look at Olivia that showed wind shear was affecting it before landfall.

AIRS image of Olivia
When NASA’s Aqua satellite saw Tropical Storm Olivia on Sept. 12 at 8:11 a.m. EDT (1211 UTC) was closing in on landfall in Hawaii. The AIRS instrument aboard Aqua saw coldest cloud top temperatures near minus 63F/minus 53C (purple). Credit: NASA JPL/Heidar Thrastarson

On Sept. 12, a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Oahu, Maui County including the islands of Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe. Interests in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands should monitor the progress of Olivia.

When NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Olivia on Sept. 12 at 8:11 a.m. EDT (1211 UTC) was closing in on landfall in Hawaii. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument analyzed the storm in infrared light which provides temperature information. Temperature is important when trying to understand how strong storms can be. The higher the cloud tops, the colder and the stronger they are.

Vertical wind shear was affecting Olivia and pushing storms east of its center. In general, wind shear is a measure of how the speed and direction of winds change with altitude. Wind shear can tear a tropical cyclone apart or weaken it.

AIRS saw coldest cloud top temperatures were as cold as minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius) pushed east of the center. Storms with cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to produce heavy rainfall.

That rainfall is affecting Hawaii today, Sept. 12. The CPHC said “Showers will continue to increase over the main Hawaiian Islands today. Olivia is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 5 to 10 inches in some areas, with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches possible, especially in higher terrain. This rainfall may produce life-threatening flash flooding. Up to 6 inches of rain has already fallen over parts of Maui.”

At 11 a.m. EDT (5 a.m. HST/1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Olivia was located near latitude 21.2 degrees north, longitude 155.7 degrees west. That’s about 55 miles (90 km) east-northeast of Kahului Hawaii. Olivia is moving toward the west near 12 mph (19 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue through this morning. A motion toward the west-southwest is expected later today, with an increase in forward speed. This general motion is then expected to continue the next couple of days.

Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph (75 kph) with higher gusts. Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

For updated forecasts, visit: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 11, 2018 – NASA Sees Hurricane Olivia Moving Toward Hawaii

NASA’s Terra satellite provided an inside look at Hurricane Olivia as it continued to track toward Hawaii. Watches and Warnings remain in effect as Olivia nears.

Terra image of Olivia
At 4:45 a.m. EDT (0845 UTC) on Sept. 11, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite looked at Hurricane Olivia in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud tops (red) had temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). Credit: NASA/NRL

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for. Oahu, Maui County…including the islands of Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and, Kahoolawe, and Hawaii County. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Kauai County…including the islands of Kauai and Niihau.

At 4:45 a.m. EDT (0845 UTC) on Sept. 11, from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite revealed strongest storms in Olivia had cloud tops with temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.

NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) said “Hurricane Hunters from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron found Olivia’s low-level center further east than anticipated. Some conflicting data exists as to the current intensity, as the central pressure has risen, but winds in the northwest quadrant were stronger than earlier today.”

At 8 a.m. EDT (2 a.m. HST/1200 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Olivia was located near latitude 21.9 degrees north and longitude 150.7 degrees west. That’s about 320 miles (515 km) east-northeast of Hilo, Hawaii.

Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph (100 kph) with higher gusts. Gradual weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, but Olivia is expected to remain a tropical storm as it moves over the islands.

Olivia is moving toward the west near 10 mph (17 kph). A turn to the west-southwest is expected later today, with this general motion continuing for the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the center of Olivia will be moving over portions of the main Hawaiian Islands late tonight into Wednesday, Sept. 12.

For updated forecasts, visit: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc

By Rob Gutro
NASA’ Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 10, 2018 – NASA Tracking Hurricane Olivia’s Track toward Hawaii

Hurricane Olivia moved from the Eastern Pacific into the Central Pacific and is expected to affect Hawaii. NASA’s Aqua satellite the northeast and southwestern quadrants of the storm to be the most powerful on Sept. 10.

Aqua image of Olivia
At 12:15 a.m. EDT (0415 UTC) on Sept. 10, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Hurricane Olivia in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud tops (red) had temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius) around the center. Credit: NASA/NRL

Infrared satellite data at 12:15 a.m. EDT (0415 UTC) on Sept. 10 from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite revealed the strongest storms were southwest and northeast of the center. In those areas MODIS found coldest cloud tops had temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.

The MODIS data showed that the strongest storms only extended out 30 miles from the center. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km).

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center of CPHC noted a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Hawaii that covers Maui County, including the islands of Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe and Hawaii County. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Oahu.

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC/5 a.m. HST), the center of Hurricane Olivia was located near latitude 21.7 degrees north and longitude 148.0 degrees west. Maximum sustained winds are near 85 mph (140 kph) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast today, with slight weakening starting tonight and continuing through Tuesday. However, Olivia is forecast to be a strong tropical storm when it reaches the Hawaiian Islands.

Olivia is moving toward the west near 10 mph (17 kph). This general motion is expected to continue early today, followed by a turn toward the west-southwest starting later today. This west-southwest motion is expected to continue through Tuesday night. On this forecast track, tropical storm conditions are expected over parts of Hawaii starting late Tuesday.

For updates on Olivia, visit: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 07, 2018 – Hurricane Olivia’s Eye Obvious from NASA’s Aqua Satellite

Hurricane Olivia’s eye was clear in infrared imagery taken by NASA’s Aqua satellite from its orbit in space.

AIRS image of Olivia
At 4:50 p.m. EDT (2205 UTC) on Sept. 6, the AIRS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Hurricane Olivia in infrared light. AIRS found coldest cloud tops ( had temperatures near minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius).Credit: NASA/NRL

Infrared satellite data at 4:50 p.m. EDT (2205 UTC) on Sept. 6, from the instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite showed a clear image of Hurricane Olivia’s eye surrounded by coldest cloud top temperatures near minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius). NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.

On Sept.7, Olivia’s overall cloud structure in infrared and passive microwave satellite imagery has changed little since the previous advisory, except that the cloud tops have warmed significantly around the well-defined, 20-nautical-mile in diameter eye.

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC) on Sept. 7 the National Hurricane Center or NHC noted the center of Hurricane Olivia was located near latitude 19.6 degrees north and longitude 131.2 degrees west.

Olivia is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 mph (24 kph), and this general motion is forecast to continue through Saturday.  A gradual turn toward the west is expected Saturday night or Sunday. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 125 mph (205 kph) with higher gusts.  Olivia is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

NHC said “A slow weakening trend is expected through the weekend.”

For updates on Olivia, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 06, 2018 – NASA’s GPM Finds Heavy Rain Rings Category 3 Hurricane Olivia’s Eye

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM satellite passed over Hurricane Olivia and found heaviest rain in a tight ring around the eye.

GPM image of Olivia
On Sept. 6 at 6:31 a.m. EDT (1031 UTC) the GPM core satellite provided an analysis of rainfall rates occurring in Hurricane Olivia. Strongest rainfall was occurring around the eye at a rate of 1.5 inches (38 mm) per hour (pink). The GPM data was overlaid on infrared cloud imagery from NOAA’s GOES-West satellite. Credit: NASA/JAXA/NRL/NOAA

On Sept. 6 at 6:31 a.m. EDT (1031 UTC) the GPM core satellite provided an analysis of rainfall rates occurring in Hurricane Olivia. GPM found that heaviest rainfall rates were occurring around the eye at a rate of 1.5 inches (38 mm) per hour. Because the storm is compact, that area of heavy rainfall was also compact. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km).

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC) on Sept. 6, the National Hurricane Center or NHC noted the center of Hurricane Olivia was located near latitude 18.2 degrees north and longitude 126.5 degrees west. That’s about 1,125 miles (1,805 km) west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico.

Olivia is moving toward the west-northwest near 14 mph (22 kph), and this motion with some increase in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days.  A gradual turn toward the west is expected over the weekend of Sept. 8 and 9.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 120 mph (195 kph) with higher gusts.  Olivia is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Some additional strengthening is possible today.  After that, a gradual weakening trend is forecast to begin tonight or Friday.

For updates on Olivia, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 05, 2018 – NASA Finds a Weaker Hurricane Olivia

Infrared data from NASA’s Terra satellite revealed that the area of coldest cloud topped thunderstorms has dropped from the previous day, indicating weaker uplift and less-strong storms.

Terra image of Olivia
On Sept. 5 at 2:10 a.m. EDT (0610 UTC) the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured an image of Hurricane Olivia. Strongest thunderstorms were smaller in area (red) than the previous day. Credit: NASA/NRL

On Sept. 5 at 2:10 a.m. EDT (0610 UTC) NASA’s Terra satellite passed over Olivia and analyzed the storm in infrared light to show temperatures. The MODIS or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite revealed cloud top temperatures as cold or colder than minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius) in fragmented areas southwest and east of the center. NASA research indicates very cold cloud tops with the potential to generate very heavy rainfall.  At the time of the satellite image, Olivia had weakened but it was still a Category 3 hurricane.

Olivia encountered moderate easterly wind shear which continued to weaken the storm.

By 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC), the National Hurricane Center or NHC said Olivia weakened to a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The center of Hurricane Olivia was located near latitude 17.1 degrees north and longitude 122.3 degrees west. Olivia was far from land areas. It was 900 miles (1,445 km) west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico.

Olivia is moving toward the west near 13 mph (20 kph), and this motion is expected to continue today.  A turn toward the west-northwest is expected tonight, followed by a gradual turn back toward the west over the weekend.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 110 mph (175 kph) with higher gusts. The NHC said additional slow weakening is expected during the next few days.

For updated forecasts, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep. 04, 2018 – Infrared NASA Data Shows Hurricane Olivia’s Strongest Sides  

NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over Hurricane Olivia and found bands of thunderstorms wrapping around its eye and improved thunderstorm development over the southern quadrant of the storm. The eastern quadrant also showed strong storms.

Aqua image of Olivia
At 5:45 a.m. EDT (0945UTC) on Sept. 4, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite looked at Hurricane Olivia in infrared light. MODIS found coldest cloud tops (red) had temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius).Credit: NASA/NRL

Infrared satellite data at 5:45 a.m. EDT (0945UTC) on Sept. 4, from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite showed coldest cloud top temperatures in Olivia in the eastern and southern quadrants. In those areas, cloud tops had temperatures near minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.

Infrared data also provided forecasters with a look at surrounding sea surface temperatures (SSTs). Tropical cyclones require SSTs at least near 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.6 degrees Celsius) to maintain strength. NHC forecasters noted at 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC) on Sept. 4 that “Olivia has about 24-36 hours or so remaining over warm SSTs with marginally favorable upper wind conditions.”

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), the National Hurricane Center or NHC noted the center of Hurricane Olivia was located near latitude 16.9 degrees north and longitude 117.2 degrees west. That’s about 630 miles (1,015 km) southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico.

Olivia is moving toward the west near 12 mph (19 kph), and the hurricane is forecast to turn west-northwestward Wednesday with an increase in forward speed.

Maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph (130 kph) with higher gusts.  Some strengthening is forecast, and Olivia could become a category 2 hurricane tonight, with gradual weakening commencing early Thursday, Sept. 6.

For updates on Olivia, visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center