Idai (Southern Indian Ocean)

March 22, 2019 – NASA’s IMERG Calculates Excessive Mozambique Rainfall from Cyclone Idai

Tropical Cyclone Idai brought heavy rainfall and deadly flooding to Mozambique. Idai made landfall directly on top of the City of Beira in Mozambique. This City is home to more than 500,000 people who have been impacted by flooding and other damage caused by the cyclone.

The Precipitation Processing System (PPS) at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. processes and creates the realtime IMERG data products.  This Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM IMERG animation, created at NASA shows accumulated precipitation for the region from March 3 to 19.  IMERG showed over 20 inches of rain fell in some areas. The other piece of analysis is that the early precipitation saturated the soil, which made the flooding worse when the cyclone turned around and made landfall.

The Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) creates a merged precipitation product from the GPM constellation of satellites. These satellites include DMSPs from the U.S. Department of Defense, GCOM-W from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Megha-Tropiques from the Centre National D’etudies Spatiales (CNES) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), NOAA series from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Suomi-NPP from NOAA-NASA, and MetOps from the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT).  All of the instruments (radiometers) onboard the constellation partners are intercalibrated with information from the GPM Core Observatory’s GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) and Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR).

For NASA’s Disaster resource website, visit: https://disasters.nasa.gov/cyclone-idai-2019

By Jacob Reed
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Joaninha (Southern Indian Ocean)

March 22, 2019 – NASA Catches Development of Tropical Cyclone Joaninha
satellite image of Joaninha
On March 22, 2019, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite provided a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Joaninha in the Southern Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar (seen to the left). Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)

Visible imagery from NASA’s Terra satellite showed Tropical Cyclone Joaninha in the Southern Indian Ocean, far to the east of Madagascar.

On March 22 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite provided a visible image of Joaninha soon after it developed. Born as Tropical Depression 22S, it quickly intensified into a tropical storm and was renamed Joaninha. Convective (rising air that consolidates into clouds and storms) bands of thunderstorms spiraled into the center of circulation from the north and east. The center of circulation was obscured by high clouds.

At 11 a.m. EDT on March 22, 2019, maximum sustained winds near Joaninha’s center were near 46 mph (40 knots/74 kph). Joaninha was centered near 15.0 degrees south latitude and 62.4 degrees east longitude. That’s about 760 nautical miles southwest of Diego Garcia in the Central Indian Ocean. Diego García is an atoll, located just south of the equator.

Joaninha is forecast to move south, later southeast, while continuing to intensify. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center or JTWC expects Joaninha’s sustained winds to peak at 115 mph (100 knots /185 kph). The storm is forecast to pass far to the east of Mauritius and La Reunion Island. After four days, at the tropical cyclone will start to weaken as conditions deteriorate.

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

Gelena (Southern Indian Ocean)

Feb. 8, 2019 – NASA’s Aqua Satellite Finds Tropical Cyclone Gelena’s Strongest Side

NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over the Southern Indian Ocean and captured an infrared image of Tropical Cyclone Gelena that revealed strongest storms were northwest of the eye.

Satellite image of storm Gelena
At 5:05 a.m. EST (1005 UTC) on Feb. 8, the MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite gathered infrared data on Tropical Cyclone Gelena. Strongest thunderstorms were in the northwestern quadrant of the storm, where cloud top temperatures were as cold as minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62 Celsius) and appear in yellow in this false colored image. Credit: NASA/NRL

On Feb. 8, a tropical cyclone warning class 2 is in force at Mauritius and Rodrigues.

At 5:05 a.m. EST (1005 UTC) on Feb. 8 the MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite gathered infrared data on Tropical Cyclone Gelena. Infrared data provides temperature information. MODIS found coldest cloud top temperatures as cold as minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62 Celsius) in storms in the northwestern quadrant, outside of the eye. 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 10 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Cyclone Gelena was located near latitude 15.7 degrees south and longitude 55.3 degrees east. That’s about 288 nautical miles north-northwest of Port Louis, Mauritius. Maximum sustained winds were near 105 knots (121 mph/194.5 kph) and strengthening.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that Gelena will strengthen to 130 knots (149.6 /241 kph) within 24 hours. Although a weakening trend will then begin, Gelena is forecast to have winds of about 120 knots (138 mph/222 kph) upon closest approach to Rodrigues on Feb. 9.

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

Funani (Southern Indian Ocean)

Feb. 8, 2019 – NASA Looks at Tropical Cyclone Funani’s Rainfall Rates

Tropical Cyclone Funani continued tracking southeast through the Southern Indian Ocean on Feb. 7, 2019. When the GPM satellite passed overhead, it revealed that Funani’s strongest rains wrapped around the center and extended northwest.

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission, or GPM, core satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Funani on Feb. 8. GPM found the heaviest rainfall around the center and a fragmented band of thunderstorms northwest of center. In both areas rain was falling at a rate between 10 and 13 mm (0.4 and 0.5 inches) per hour. GPM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA.

satellite image of Funani rainfall
The GPM core satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Funani on Feb. 8, 2019. GPM found the heaviest rainfall (red) was around the center and a fragmented band of thunderstorms northwest of center. In both areas rain was falling at a rate between 10 and 13 mm (0.4 and 0.5 inches) per hour. Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS), JAXA
Link to high-res image: https://go.nasa.gov/2Sg1ASi

At 10 a.m. EST (1500 UTC), the center of Funani was located near latitude 24.4 degrees south and longitude 71.2 degrees west. That’s about 813 nautical miles east-southeast of Port Louis, Mauritius. Maximum sustained winds were near 105 knots (121 mph/195 kph).

Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect Funani will continue to move southeast. The storm will gradually weaken before becoming extra-tropical after a day or so.

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

Gelena (Southern Indian Ocean)

Feb. 7, 2019 – NASA Satellite Shows Tropical Cyclone Gelena Near Madagascar

A visible-light image from NASA’s Terra satellite revealed Tropical Cyclone Gelena was strengthening off the northeastern coast of Madagascar.

Satellite image of Gelena
On Feb. 7, 2019, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite provided a visible-light image of Tropical Cyclone Gelena in the Southern Indian Ocean. The image showed thunderstorms wrapping into the low-level center. Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)
High-resolution Link: https://go.nasa.gov/2HYKvru

On Feb. 7, 2019, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Gelena. The visible-light image showed bands of thunderstorms wrapping into what the Joint Typhoon Warning Center called “an intermittent eye feature.” The western quadrant had the bulk of clouds and thunderstorms that extended to the northern tip of Madagascar.

At 10 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Feb. 7, Gelena was located near 13.1 degrees south latitude and 53.7 east longitude, approximately 453 nautical miles north-northwest of St. Denis, La Reunion Island. Gelena was moving to south-southeast. Maximum sustained winds were near 75 knots (86 mph/139 kph). Gelena is a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale.

Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect Gelena to strengthen rapidly while moving southeast. Gelena is forecast to move away from Madagascar over the next several days, but will pass close enough to Mauritius for the island to feel the tropical cyclone’s effects.

The storm will peak at 120 knots (138 mph/222 kph) upon closest approach to Rodrigues on Saturday, Feb. 9.

Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Funani (Southern Indian Ocean)

Feb. 7, 2019 – NASA Finds a Pinhole Eye in Tropical Cyclone Funani

Visible-light imagery from NASA’s Aqua satellite revealed the development of a small eye in Tropical Cyclone Funani as the storm rapidly intensified into a major hurricane in the Southern Indian Ocean.

On Feb. 7, 2019, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Funani. The visible image revealed a pinhole eye surrounded by a thick ring of powerful thunderstorms.

satellite image of Funani
On Feb. 7, 2019, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Funani in the Southern Indian Ocean. The image revealed a pinhole eye surrounded by a thick ring of powerful thunderstorms. Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)

At 10 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Feb. 7, Funani was located near 19.9 degrees south latitude and 66.7 east longitude, approximately 530 nautical miles east of Port Louis, Mauritius. Funani was moving to south-southeast. Maximum sustained winds were near 115 knots (132 mph/213 kph). Funani is now a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect Funani to strengthen slightly more and then begin a weakening trend on its trek to the south-southeast.

Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Funani (Southern Indian Ocean)

Feb. 6, 2019 – NASA Looks at Tropical Storm Funani’s Rainfall

Tropical Storm Funani (formerly classified as 12S) continued to affect Rodrigues Island in the South Pacific Ocean when the GPM satellite passed overhead and analyzed its rainfall.

On Feb. 6, a tropical cyclone warning class 2 is in force at Rodrigues, with cyclonic conditions starting to occur from late evening (local time).

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission, or GPM, Core Satellite passed over Tropical Storm Funani at 7:51 a.m. EDT (1251 UTC). GPM found the heaviest rainfall was southwest of the center of circulation. There, rain was falling at a rate of 1.2 inches per hour. Other areas of heavy rainfall were occurring in fragmented bands of thunderstorms east of the center. GPM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA.

Satellite image of Funani
The GPM Core Observatory passed over Tropical Storm Funani at 7:51 a.m. EDT (1251 UTC). GPM found the heaviest rainfall was southwest of the center of circulation. There, rain was falling at a rate of 1.2 inches per hour. Credit: NASA/JAXA/NRL

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Cyclone Funani was located near latitude 17.5 degrees south and longitude 64.4 degrees east. That’s about 432 nautical miles east-northeast of Port Louis, Mauritius. Maximum sustained winds were near 65 knots (75 mph/120 kph), making it a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted Funani is rapidly strengthening as it moves southeast. The storm will intensify to 105 knots (121 mph/192 kph) within two days, before starting to weaken.

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

Gelena (Southern Indian Ocean)

Feb. 6, 2019 – NASA Catches Development of Tropical Cyclone Gelena

Visible-light imagery from NASA’s Aqua satellite revealed the development of Tropical Depression 13S into a tropical storm. Tropical Storm Gelena intensified rapidly and appeared to have a cloud-filled eye.

At 5:20 a.m. EDT (1020 UTC) on Feb. 6 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible image of Tropical Storm Gelena in the Southern Indian Ocean. The image showed the storm developing an eye, with bands of thunderstorms wrapping into the low-level center.

image of Gelena
At 5:20 a.m. EDT (1020 UTC) on Feb. 6, 2019, the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible image of Tropical Storm Gelena in the Southern Indian Ocean. The image showed the storm developing an eye, with bands of thunderstorms wrapping into the low-level center. Credit: NASA/NRL

At 10 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Feb. 6, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center or JTWC noted that Trami had maximum sustained winds near 45 knots (52 mph/83 kph). It was centered near 12.3 degrees south latitude and 53.4 degrees east longitude. That’s 504 nautical miles north-northwest of St. Denis, La Reunion Island.

JTWC has forecast Gelena to strengthen rapidly and will eventually turn to the southeast. It is expected to reach hurricane-strength upon approach to Rodrigues, on Feb. 9.

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

12S (Southern Indian Ocean)

Feb. 5, 2019 – NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP Satellite Catches Development of Tropical Cyclone 12S

Tropical Cyclone 12S has developed east of the African island nation of Madagascar. NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over the Southern Indian Ocean and captured a visible image of the newly formed storm that has triggered a warning for Rodrigues, an outer island of the Republic of Mauritius.

Tropical Cyclone 12S
On Feb. 5, 2019, the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone 12S, located northeast of Madagascar, in the Southern Indian Ocean. Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) https://go.nasa.gov/2HRTDhi

On Feb. 5, 2019, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured visible image of Tropical Cyclone 12S. VIIRS imagery showed powerful thunderstorms wrapping into the low-level center from a large, thick band of thunderstorms spiraling in from the southern quadrant of the storm. Outer clouds from the western quadrant were just brushing the northeastern coast of Madagascar.

At 10 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Feb. 5 the center of Tropical Storm 12S was located near latitude 15.8 degrees south and longitude 64.3 degrees east. That’s about 492 nautical miles (566 miles/912 km) east-northeast of Port Louis, Mauritius. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 knots (40 mph/65 kph) with higher gusts. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects continuous strengthening and 12S is expected to reach hurricane-force by Feb. 7. It is expected to reach peak intensity near 105 knots (121 mph/194 kph) in three days.

A tropical cyclone warning class 1 is in force at Rodrigues. For local forecasts from the Mauritius Meteorological Service, visit: http://metservice.intnet.mu/.

12S is moving southwestward and is forecast to turn to the southeast and move away from Mauritius and La Reunion Islands.

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Kong-rey (Northwestern Pacific Ocean) 2018

Oct. 05, 2018 -NASA Investigates Tropical Storm Kong-Rey’s Rainfall Rates

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite passed over Tropical Storm Kong-Rey and analyzed the rates in which rain was falling throughout the storm.

NASA/JAXA/NRL
The GPM or Global Precipitation Measurement mission core observatory satellite passed above Kong-Rey on Oct. 5. GPM indicated that rain was falling at over 1.8 inches (45.7 mm) per hour within two areas of storms northwest of Kong-Rey’s center. Credit: NASA/JAXA/NRL

At the time GPM passed overhead, GPM’s Microwave Imager (GMI) instruments collected data that revealed moderate convective rainfall northwest of Kong-Rey’s center. GPM indicated that rain was falling at over 1.8 inches (45.7 mm) per hour within two areas of storms northwest of Kong-Rey’s center.

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC) on Friday, Oct. 5, the center of Tropical Storm Kong-Rey was located near 29.6 degrees north latitude and 125.9 degrees west longitude. Kong-Rey is about 211 nautical miles north-northwest of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa Island, Japan. Maximum sustained winds are near 63 mph (55 knots/102 kph) with higher gusts.

Kong-Rey is moving toward the north. A turn toward the northeast is expected to take the storm into the Sea of Japan. The storm is now weakening, and will become extra-tropical over northern Japan.

Rob Gutro
NASA’ Goddard Space Flight Center