Cristobal (was 03L) – Atlantic Ocean

June 05, 2020 – NASA Analyzes Cristobal, the Big Rainmaker

NASA’s Aqua satellite gathered infrared imagery and cloud top temperature data on Tropical Depression Cristobal, and it revealed the heavy rainmaking capability of the storm.

Aqua image of Cristobal
On June 5 at 4:05 a.m. EDT (0805 UTC), the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite gathered temperature information about Tropical Depression Cristobal’s cloud tops. MODIS found several areas of powerful thunderstorms (yellow and red) where temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 Celsius). Credit: NASA/NRL

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecasts Cristobal to track northward through the Gulf of Mexico and toward Louisiana’s coast. Watches and warnings have gone into effect.

On June 5, the NHC issued a Storm Surge Watch for the northern Gulf of Mexico coast from Indian Pass to Arepika, Florida, and from Grand Isle, Louisiana, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, including Lake Borgne. In addition, a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the northern Gulf of Mexico coast from Intracoastal City Louisiana to the Alabama/Florida border, including Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.

 Infrared Imagery and Cloud Top Temperatures

NASA’s Aqua satellite used infrared light to analyze the strength of storms in Cristobal. Infrared data provides temperature information, and the strongest thunderstorms that reach high into the atmosphere have the coldest cloud top temperatures. On June 5 at 4:05 a.m. EDT (0805 UTC), the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite gathered temperature information about Cristobal’s cloud tops.

MODIS found several areas of powerful thunderstorms where temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 Celsius). Cloud top temperatures that cold indicate strong storms with the potential to generate heavy rainfall. Those areas were located over Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, northeastern Guatemala, and out over the Eastern Pacific Ocean just off the coast of the Mexican states of Chiapas and Oaxaca.

NHC rainfall forecasts for Mexico’s Yucatan and Central America called for large quantities of rainfall. NHC noted of expected rainfall, “Mexican states of Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Yucatan…Additional 4 to 6 inches, isolated storm totals of 25 inches. Belize and the Mexican states of Tabasco and Oaxaca…Additional 4 to 6 inches, isolated storm totals of 12 inches. Southern Guatemala, coastal portions of Chiapas, and El Salvador…Additional 4 to 6 inches, isolated storm total amounts of 35 inches dating back to Saturday, May 30. Southern parts of Honduras…Additional 3 to 4 inches, isolated 8 inches.” Rainfall across Southeast Mexico and northern Central America would continue the risk of life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

NHC forecasters said, as Cristobal moves north through the Gulf of Mexico, “Through Wednesday morning, for portions of the eastern and central Gulf Coast and the lower Mississippi Valley, rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches, with local amounts to 12 inches, are forecast.”

Cristobal’s Status on June 6, 2020

The NHC said at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on June 6, the center of Tropical Depression Cristobal was located near latitude 20.0 degrees north and longitude 89.9 degrees west. That puts the center about 40 miles (65 km) east of Campeche, Mexico. The depression was moving toward the north near 12 mph (19 kph), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days.  The estimated minimum central pressure is 1000 millibars. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 kph).

NHC Forecast for Cristobal

On the NHC forecast track, the center will move back over the southern Gulf of Mexico this evening, over the central Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, and be near the northern Gulf of Mexico coast Sunday evening. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Cristobal is expected to regain tropical storm strength later today.  Some additional strengthening is forecast thereafter.

Typhoons/hurricanes are the most powerful weather events on Earth. NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.

“Effective 8:00 am Friday June 5, 2020 Stennis Space Center (SSC) will enter into Hurricane Condition III until further notice. In Hurricane Condition III, SSC is in a heightened state of awareness for potential dangerous weather conditions due to the effects of Tropical Storm Cristobal over the next 2 to 3 days. All employees should stay weather aware and monitor local weather for any changes in the forecast.”

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

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Cristobal (was 03L) – Atlantic Ocean

June 04, 2020 – NASA Infrared Imagery Indicates Cristobal’s Heavy Rainmaking Capabilities

One of the ways NASA observes tropical cyclones is by using infrared data that provides temperature information and indicates storm strength. The AIRS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite gathered that data and revealed Cristobal has the potential to generate heavy rainfall. That rainfall is now soaking Mexico and portions of Central America as Cristobal meanders.

AIRS image of Aqua
On June 3 at 3:11 p.m. EDT (1911 UTC) NASA’s Aqua satellite analyzed Tropical Storm Cristobal using the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument. AIRS found coldest cloud top temperatures as cold as or colder than (purple) minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius) east of center over Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Credit: NASA JPL/Heidar Thrastarson

At 9:35 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 3, Tropical Storm Cristobal made landfall in the Mexican state over Campeche, just to the west of Ciudad del Carmen. At the time of landfall, maximum winds were estimated to be 60 mph (95 kph) with higher gusts. Since landfall, Cristobal weakened to a depression, and moved very slowly in a southeasterly direction into northwestern Guatemala. As the storm weakened, it expanded, now heavy rainfall is expected in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize and Honduras.

Damaging and deadly flooding has already been occurring in portions of Mexico and Central America. Cristobal is expected to produce additional extreme rainfall amounts through the end of the week.

Colder Cloud Top Temperatures Indicate Strength

Cloud top temperatures provide information to forecasters about where the strongest storms are located within a tropical cyclone. Tropical cyclones do not always have uniform strength, and some sides are stronger than others. The stronger the storms, the higher they extend into the troposphere, and the colder the cloud temperatures.

NASA provides this infrared data to forecasters at NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) so they can incorporate in their forecasting. That data is reflected in the NHC forecasts of rainfall amounts.

On June 3 at 3:11 p.m. EDT (1911 UTC) NASA’s Aqua satellite analyzed Tropical Storm Cristobal using the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument. AIRS found coldest cloud top temperatures as cold as or colder than minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius) south and east of center, over Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.  NASA research has shown that cloud top temperatures that cold indicate strong storms that have the capability to create heavy rain.

A Look at Extreme Rainfall Potential

NHC forecasters using infrared and other satellite data noted that Cristobal is expected to produce high rain accumulations through Saturday, June 6. NHC noted,”The Mexican states of Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, and Yucatan are expected to receive an additional 6 to 12 inches, with isolated storm totals of 25 inches.

Mexican states of Veracruz and Oaxaca can expect an additional 5 to 10 inches, while southern Guatemala and parts of Chiapas can expect an additional 15 to 20 inches, and isolated storm total amounts of 35 inches dating back to Saturday, May 30. El Salvador can also expect an additional 10 to 15 inches, with isolated storm total amounts of 35 inches dating back to Saturday, May 30. In Belize and Honduras, an additional 3 to 6 inches with isolated amounts to 10 inches are forecast.

Rainfall in all of these areas may produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.”

Cristobal on June 4, 2020

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center updated Cristobal’s status on June 4 at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) and noted that since it made landfall on June 3, it had weakened to a depression. The center of Tropical Depression Cristobal was located near latitude 17.6 degrees north and longitude 91.0 degrees west. That places the center of Cristobal about 160 miles (260 km) south-southwest of Campeche, Mexico.

The depression is moving toward the east-southeast near 3 mph (6 kph). The estimated minimum central pressure is 998 millibars. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 35 mph (55 kph) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is expected through tonight [June 4].  Re-intensification is expected to begin on Friday.

Cristobal’s Forecast Path

Forecasters at the NHC said that Cristobal is expected to turn back into the Gulf of Mexico after moving over extreme northwestern Guatemala and eastern Mexico today and tonight. The center is forecast to move back over the southern Gulf of Mexico [June 5] Friday day or Friday night, over the central Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, and approach the northern Gulf of Mexico coast [June 7] Sunday day and Sunday night.

The AIRS instrument is one of six instruments flying on board NASA’s Aqua satellite, launched on May 4, 2002.

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

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center  

Nisarga – North Indian Ocean

June 04, 2020 – NASA Finds Nisarga’s Remnants over Central India

Tropical Cyclone Nisarga made landfall in west central India on June 4, and the next day NASA’s Terra satellite provided a look at the remnants of the storm.

Terra image of Nisarga
On June 4, 2020, the MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Terra satellite provided a visible image of the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Nisarga in central India. Credit: NASA Worldview

On June 4 at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC), the Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued their final warning on Tropical cyclone Nisarga. At that time, Nisarga was located near latitude 19.1 degrees north and longitude 73.7 degrees east, about 48 nautical miles east of Mumbai, India. Nisarga was moving to the north-northeast and still maintained maximum sustained winds 65 knots (75 mph/120 kph). As Nisarga tracked inland to the east of Mumbai the storm weakened from hurricane force to a depression, and finally into a remnant low-pressure area.

On June 4, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Terra satellite provided a visible image of Nisarga’s remnant clouds, now located over central India.

At 1130 IST (2 a.m. EDT), India’s Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre (RSMC) noted that the remnants of Nisarga was located over south Madhya Pradesh state and adjoining Vidarbha state near latitude 21.8 degrees north and longitude 77.6 degrees east, about 87 miles (140 km) north-northeast of Akola (Maharashtra) and 99 miles (160 km) south-southeast of Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh).

RSMC noted, “Light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places very likely over east Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy falls at isolated places very likely over Vidarbha and west Madhya Pradesh during next 24 hours.”

RSMC forecasters said the remnants are likely to move northeastward and weaken into a low-pressure area by the evening hours.

NASA’s Terra satellite is one in a fleet of NASA satellites that provide data for hurricane research.

Tropical cyclones/hurricanes are the most powerful weather events on Earth. NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Nisarga – North Indian Ocean

June 03, 2020 – NASA Infrared Data Shows Tropical Cyclone Nisarga Strengthened Before Landfall

Satellite data of Tropical Cyclone Nisarga’s cloud top temperatures revealed that the storm had strengthened before it began making landfall in west central India.

AIRS image of Nisarga
On June 2 at 4:47 p.m. EDT (2047 UTC) NASA’s Aqua satellite analyzed Tropical Cyclone Nisarga using the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument. AIRS found coldest cloud top temperatures as cold as or colder than (purple) minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius) around the storm’s center. Credit: NASA JPL/Heidar Thrastarson

Nisarga formed around 5 p.m. EDT (2100 UTC) on June 2, and had maximum sustained winds near 40 knots (46 mph/74 kph) at that time. Within 12 hours, the storm intensified to hurricane strength.

One of the ways NASA researches tropical cyclones is using infrared data that provides temperature information. Cloud top temperatures provide information to forecasters about where the strongest storms are located within a tropical cyclone (which are made of hundreds of thunderstorms). Tropical cyclones do not always have uniform strength, and some sides are stronger than others. The stronger the storms, the higher they extend into the troposphere, and the colder the cloud temperatures.

On June 2 at 4:47 p.m. EDT (2047 UTC) NASA’s Aqua satellite analyzed the storm using the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument. AIRS found cloud top temperatures were getting colder. Colder cloud tops are an indication that the uplift of air in the storm was getting stronger and thunderstorms were building higher into the troposphere. AIRS found temperatures as cold as or colder than minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius) around the center. NASA research has shown that cloud top temperatures that cold indicate strong storms that have the capability to create heavy rain.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted at 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), Tropical cyclone Nisarga was located near latitude 17.9 degrees north and longitude 72.9 degrees east, about 65 nautical miles (75 miles/120 km) south of Mumbai, India. The storm was moving to the northeast.

Maximum sustained winds were near 75 knots (86 mph/139 kph) making it a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Those hurricane force winds extended 25 miles (40 km) from the center, while tropical-storm force winds extended 75 miles from the center.

At that time, Nisarga was making landfall south of Mumbai. The system is forecast to track inland and dissipate.

Typhoons and hurricanes are the most powerful weather events on Earth. NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.

The AIRS instrument is one of six instruments flying on board NASA’s Aqua satellite, launched on May 4, 2002.

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center  

Cristobal (was 03L) – Atlantic Ocean

June 03, 2020 – NASA Finds Heavy Rainfall in Tropical Storm Cristobal

The third tropical cyclone of the Atlantic Ocean basin has been generating large amounts of rainfall over Mexico’s Yucatan and parts of Central America. Using satellite data, NASA analyzed that heavy rainfall and provided forecasters with valuable cloud top temperature data to help assess the strength of the storm.

On June 2, 2020, by 2 p.m. EDT, Tropical Depression 03L strengthened into Tropical Storm Cristobal over Mexico’s Gulf of Campeche. The Gulf of Campeche is surrounded by Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, and the gulf is part of the southwestern Gulf of Mexico.

GPM image of Cristobal
GPM satellite provided a look at Cristobal’s rainfall rates on June 3 at 0311 UTC (June 2 at 11:11 p.m. EDT). GPM found heaviest rainfall south of center falling at rates of more than 1 inch (25 mm) per hour over Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Lighter rain rates appear around the entire system. Credit: NASA/NRL

Cristobal remained in the Bay of Campeche on June 3, and a Tropical Storm Warning remained in effect from Campeche to Puerto de Veracruz.

Analyzing Rainfall

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM satellite provided a look at Cristobal’s rainfall rates on June 3 at 0311 UTC (June 2 at 11:11 p.m. EDT). GPM found heaviest rainfall south of center over Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, falling at rates of more than 1 inch (25 mm) per hour. Lighter rain rates appear around the entire system.

Analyzing Cloud Top Temperatures

Another way NASA analyzes tropical cyclones is by using infrared data that provides temperature information. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite provided data on cloud top temperatures of Cristobal.

Aqua image of Cristobal
On June 3 at 4:20 a.m. EDT (0820 UTC) NASA’s Aqua satellite analyzed Tropical Storm Cristobal using the MODIS instrument. MODIS found coldest cloud top temperatures (yellow) as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 Celsius). Credit: NASA

Cloud top temperatures provide information to forecasters about where the strongest storms are located within a tropical cyclone. Tropical cyclones do not always have uniform strength, and some sides are stronger than others. The stronger the storms, the higher they extend into the troposphere, and the colder their cloud top temperatures.

On June 3 at 4:20 a.m. EDT (0820 UTC) NASA’s Aqua satellite analyzed Tropical Storm Cristobal using the MODIS instrument and found coldest cloud top temperatures as cold as or colder minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 Celsius). A large area of the strongest storms were located over the Yucatan Peninsula and along the coastline of the Bay of Campeche. NASA research has shown that cloud top temperatures that cold indicate strong storms that have the capability to create heavy rain.

NASA provides data to forecasters at NOAA’s National Hurricane Center or NHC so they can incorporate it in their forecasting.

Cristobal’s Status on June 3, 2020

The National Hurricane Center noted on June 3 at 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Cristobal was located by an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft near latitude 18.8 degrees north and longitude 92.1 degrees west. The center was about 25 miles (40 km) northwest of Ciudad Del Carmen, Mexico.

Cristobal was moving toward the southeast near 3 mph (6 kph), and is expected to turn toward the east later in the day. Maximum sustained winds were near 60 mph (95 kph) with higher gusts. Tropical-storm-force winds extended outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center. Gradual weakening is forecast while the center remains inland, but re-strengthening is expected after Cristobal moves back over water Thursday night and Friday [June 5]. The minimum central pressure reported by an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft is 994 millibars.

NHC Forecast for Cristobal

A motion toward the north-northeast and north is expected on Thursday and Friday. On the forecast track, the center will cross the southern Bay of Campeche coast later today and move inland over eastern Mexico tonight and Thursday.  The center is forecast to move back over the Bay of Campeche Thursday night and Friday.

Tropical cyclones/hurricanes are the most powerful weather events on Earth. NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.

GPM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA. The GPM and Aqua satellites are part of a fleet of NASA Earth observing satellites.

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

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Tropical Depression 03L – Atlantic Ocean

June 02, 2020 – NASA Analyzes Gulf of Mexico’s Reborn Tropical Depression Soaking Potential

Infrared imagery from NASA’s Aqua satellite showed that strong storms from a redeveloped tropical cyclone were soaking parts of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Tropical Depression 03L is expected to generate heavy rainfall in the region.

Aqua image of TD3
On June 2 at 3:35 a.m. EDT (0735 UTC) the MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite found coldest cloud top temperatures (yellow) in several areas around Tropical Depression 03L’s center of circulation. They were as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 Celsius). One area of strong storms were off the coast and over the Bay of Campeche, Gulf of Mexico. Several other areas were over Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Credit: NASA/NRL

On June 2, a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from Campeche to Puerto de Veracruz, Mexico.

The Atlantic Ocean saw the development of Tropical Depression 03L on June 2 in the Bay of Campeche, Gulf of Mexico. However, it is not the first go-round for this system, though. Tropical Depression 03L formed from a former eastern Pacific Ocean tropical storm. On Sunday, May 31, Tropical Storm Amanda,that formed along the coast of Guatemala made landfall and dissipated over land. The remnants moved north and slid into the Bay of Campeche where it reformed into a tropical depression in the Atlantic Ocean basin, getting the number 03L.

Tropical cyclones/hurricanes are made of up hundreds of thunderstorms, and infrared data can show where the strongest storms are located. They can do that because infrared data provides temperature information, and the strongest thunderstorms that reach highest into the atmosphere have the coldest cloud top temperatures. Convection is rising air that condenses and forms the thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone. When it is strong, it pushes clouds higher into the troposphere (the layer of atmosphere closest to Earth’s surface). The higher you go in the troposphere, the colder the air temperature gets, so colder cloud tops indicate stronger, higher storm cloud tops.

On June 2 at 3:35 a.m. EDT (0735 UTC), the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite found coldest cloud top temperatures in several areas around Tropical Depression 03L’s center of circulation. They were as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 Celsius). One area of strong storms were off the coast and over the Bay of Campeche, Gulf of Mexico. Several other areas were over Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures that cold indicate strong storms with the potential to generate heavy rainfall.

That life-threatening heavy rainfall and flooding continues over portions of Mexico and Central America, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

NHC said, “Tropical Depression Three is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 20 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches over parts of the Mexican states of Tabasco, Veracruz, and Campeche.  The depression is also expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 15 inches over northern Chiapas and other Mexican states, Quintana Roo and Yucatan. Additional rainfall of 10 to 15 inches, with isolated amounts of 25 inches is expected along the Pacific coasts of Chiapas, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Some of these Pacific locations received 20 inches of rain over the weekend, and storm total amounts of 35 inches are possible.  Rainfall in all of these areas may produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.”

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC), on June 2, the center of Tropical Depression 03L was located near latitude 19.5 degrees north and longitude 92.6 west. That is about 140 miles (225 km) west of Campeche Mexico.

The depression is moving toward the west near 3 mph (6 kph). The depression is forecast to move slowly southwestward or southward this afternoon and tonight, and meander over the southern Bay of  Campeche through late Wednesday.  On the forecast track, the center of the cyclone is forecast to be near the coast of the southern Bay of Campeche tonight through Thursday. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 kph) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and the depression is likely to become a tropical storm today. The minimum central pressure reported by an Air Force Hurricane Hunter plane is 1005 millibars.

Tropical cyclones/hurricanes are the most powerful weather events on Earth. NASA researches these storms to determine how they rapidly intensify, develop and behave. NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Amanda – Eastern Pacific

June 01, 2020 – NASA Catches Short-Lived Tropical Storm Amanda

Tropical Storm Amanda, the first of the Eastern Pacific Ocean hurricane season, formed on Sunday, May 31, along the coast of Guatemala and quickly moved inland. NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a look at the storm as it was developing.

Aqua image of Amanda
On May 31, 2020, the MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible image of developing Tropical Storm Amanda in the eastern Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of Guatemala. Credit: NASA Worldview

On May 31, 2020, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible image of developing Tropical Storm Amanda in the eastern Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of Guatemala.

At 8 a.m. EDT on May 31, the National Hurricane Center noted that Eastern Pacific Tropical Storm Amanda had developed and had already moved inland over southeastern Guatemala. Once inland, it quickly weakened over the mountainous terrain of Guatemala.

By 5 p.m. EDT the same day, Amanda dissipated near latitude 16.0 degrees north and longitude 90.0 degrees west, about 100 miles (165 km) north-northeast of Guatemala City, Guatemala. The remnants were expected to generate heavy rainfall over portions of El Salvador, Guatemala, western Honduras, and southeastern Mexico over the next few days

The National Hurricane Center noted in its discussion on Sunday, May 31 at 5 p.m. EDT, “There have been reports of torrential rainfall from Amanda over portions of El Salvador and Guatemala during the past 12-24 hours. Although the system is no longer a tropical cyclone, the larger cyclonic gyre located over southeastern Mexico is likely to continue producing heavy rainfall over portions of Central America and southern Mexico during the next several days. These rains are likely to cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.”

Amanda quickly weakened to a remnant low pressure area and tracked north toward Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, June 1, the National Hurricane Center noted that Amanda might be reborn as an Atlantic Ocean basin tropical cyclone. “A large area of disturbed weather, associated with the remnants of eastern Pacific Tropical Storm Amanda, is located over the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. This disturbance is forecast to move northwestward over the southeastern portion of the Bay of Campeche later today or tonight where environmental conditions are expected to be conducive to support development, and a new tropical depression is likely to form within the next day or so.”

NASA’s Aqua satellite is one in a fleet of NASA satellites that provide data for hurricane research.

Tropical cyclones/hurricanes are the most powerful weather events on Earth. NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.

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

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Bertha – Atlantic Ocean

May 28, 2020 – NASA Looks at Inland Rainfall from Post Tropical Cyclone Bertha

NASA’s GPM core satellite analyzed rainfall generated from post-tropical cyclone Bertha as it continues to move toward the Great Lakes.

GPM image of Bertha
The GPM’s core satellite passed over Bertha and analyzed its rainfall rates on May 28 at 1:21 a.m. EDT (0521UTC). GPM found heaviest rainfall over south central West Virginia, where rain was falling at rates of 1 inch (25 mm) per hour. A large area of light rain northwest of the center was falling at around 0.2 inches (less than 5 millimeters) per hour. Credit: NASA/NRL

Bertha formed into a tropical storm on May 27, about 30 miles off the South Carolina coast. By 9:30 a.m. EDT, Bertha made landfall along the coast of South Carolina, east of Charleston. Data from NOAA and CORMP buoys showed that maximum sustained winds increased to near 50 mph (80 kph) before landfall. By 2 p.m. EDT, Bertha weakened to a tropical depression and heavy rainfall spread across the Carolinas. By 11 p.m. EDT, heavy rainfall spread across western North Carolina and southwest Virginia into West Virginia. At that time, the center of Bertha was located about 95 miles (150 km) south-southwest of Roanoke, Virginia. By May 28, Bertha had become a post-tropical cyclone.

A Post-Tropical Storm is a generic term for a former tropical cyclone that no longer possesses sufficient tropical characteristics to be considered a tropical cyclone. Former tropical cyclones that have become fully extratropical, subtropical, or remnant lows, are three classes of post-tropical cyclones. In any case, they no longer possess sufficient tropical characteristics to be considered a tropical cyclone. However, post-tropical cyclones can continue carrying heavy rains and high winds.

On May 28, flash flood watches were in effect for central West Virginia and a small part of coastal North Carolina through early morning. NOAA’s National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center in College Park Md. noted, “Bertha is expected to produce total rain accumulations of around one inch from West Virginia through eastern Ohio, southern and western Pennsylvania and far western New York, and 1 to 2 inches from South Carolina across eastern North Carolina into southeast Virginia. Isolated maximum storm total amounts of 4 inches are possible in southern Pennsylvania and parts of the Carolinas and southeast Virginia. This rainfall may produce life threatening flash flooding, aggravate and prolong ongoing river flooding, and produce rapid out of bank rises on smaller rivers.”

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM satellite provided a look at Bertha’s rainfall rates on May 28 at 1:21 a.m. EDT (0521UTC). GPM found heaviest rainfall over south central West Virginia, where rain was falling at rates of 1 inch (25 mm) per hour. A large area of light rain northwest of the center was falling at around 0.2 inches (less than 5 millimeters) per hour.

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), the center of Post-Tropical Cyclone Bertha was located near latitude 38.3 degrees north and longitude 80.8 degrees west, about 80 miles (130 km) north-northwest of Roanoke, Virginia. The post-tropical cyclone is moving toward the north near 28 mph (44 kph) and this motion is expected to continue through midday Thursday, May 28, followed by a turn to the north-northeast. Maximum sustained winds are near 25 mph (35 kph) with higher gusts. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1012 millibars.

Bertha is expected to weaken and dissipate by Thursday evening as it crosses the eastern Great Lakes.

Tropical cyclones/hurricanes are the most powerful weather events on Earth. NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.

GPM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA.

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center


May 28, 2020 – Four Views of Tropical Storm Bertha Data from NASA’s GPM Core Satellite

GPM image of Bertha

The Global Precipitation Measurement Mission or GPM core satellite provides a look at precipitation around the world. GPM works with a constellation of other satellites to provide a global picture of precipitation and storms. In this collage of data gathered on Tropical Storm Bertha, there are four different views of data from GPM. The GPM core satellite passed over the southeastern coast of the U.S. on May 27 at 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC) and captured data on Tropical Storm Bertha as it was nearing landfall in South Carolina. These four images provided different insight to forecasters about the storm.

The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Microwave Imager (GMI) instrument is a multi-channel, conical- scanning, microwave radiometer– an essential role in near-global-coverage. The upper left panel is the low frequency (10 and 18 GHz) composite from GMI. “These channels are excellent at detecting liquid precipitation over ocean and show the rain band impinging on the North Carolina/South Carolina coast,” said S. Joseph Munchak, Research Meteorologist and GPM Deputy Project Scientist for Ground Validation at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “But due to the high emissivity from soil and vegetation over land, they are less useful [over land areas].”

The lower left image is a composite from the 37 and 89 GHz channels. In addition to detecting liquid precipitation over the ocean, these higher frequencies are excellent for capturing ice-phase precipitation over land and water, which is depicted by the light gray colors, and show the curved storm structure quite well.

The lower right comes from the highest frequencies on GMI, which are sensitive to water vapor and ice clouds, and show a similar pattern to the ice precipitation from the 37/89 GHz channels.

The upper right image was created from a special type of data that only GMI provides – a “polarization difference” at 166 GHz.  “When this difference is positive, it means that the ice in the clouds must be horizontally aligned (think of ice crystals as pancakes oriented parallel to the ground),” Munchak said. “Understanding exactly what type of ice crystals produce this signal, and how it can be used to improve precipitation estimation and modeling, is an area of ongoing research at NASA Goddard.”

For more information about GPM, visit: www.nasa.gov/gpm

By Rob Gutro / S. Joseph Munchak
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Bertha – Atlantic Ocean

May 27, 2020 – Short-lived Bertha Brought Heavy Rains to Parts of Florida

Bertha was a named storm for just the briefest of periods, becoming a tropical storm on the morning of Wednesday, May 27 at 8:30 am EDT just one hour before it made landfall along the South Carolina coast near Charleston. Using satellite and other observations, NASA calculated the large rainfall totals that it generated over parts of Florida early in its short lifetime.

IMERG data on Bertha
IMERG surface rainfall accumulations are shown for the southeast US. The heaviest rainfall totals are located over southeastern Florida and the northern Bahamas where upwards of 150 to 200 mm (~6 to 8 inches, shown in orange and red) of rain are shown to have fallen. Miami received over 7 inches in one 24-hour period. Rainfall totals over South Carolina where Bertha made landfall, however, are much lighter on the order 25 to 50 mm (~1 to 2 inches, shown in green) or more as the storm moved quickly on. Credit: NASA/JAXA, Steve Lang

After making landfall, Bertha quickly weakened into a tropical depression and was then accelerated northward by the southerly flow between a deep trough of low pressure over the Mississippi Valley to the west and a ridge of high pressure located just off the U.S. East Coast. Because of this, rainfall totals over the Carolina’s were not very heavy.  Bertha’s biggest impact actually occurred when it was still in the formation process, before it became organized enough to be named.

On Monday May 25, a trough (elongated area) of low pressure became established over the Florida Straits, initiating shower and thunderstorm activity in the region. Over the next day, as this trough, which extended eastward over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and eventually led to Bertha, slowly moved northward up the Florida peninsula, it provided a focus for showers and thunderstorms, which brought heavy rains to southeast Florida.

Calculated Rainfall Totals

NASA’s Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) algorithm, combines observations from a fleet of satellites, in near-realtime, to provide near-global estimates of precipitation every 30 minutes. IMERG surface rainfall accumulations were calculated for the period from May 23 to 27, 2020, for the southeastern U.S.  The heaviest rainfall totals are located over southeastern Florida and the northern Bahamas where upwards of 150 to 200 mm (~6 to 8 inches) of rain are shown to have fallen. Miami received over 7 inches in one 24-hour period.  Rainfall totals over South Carolina where Bertha made landfall, however, are much lighter on the order 25 to 50 mm (~1 to 2 inches) or more as the storm moved quickly on.

The rainfall calculation was visualized in an image produced with the Giovanni online data system, developed and maintained by the NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC).

What is IMERG?

IMERG is a satellite-based rain estimate is somewhat coarse in resolution and can miss short-lived, intense storm-cells, but the IMERG algorithm often does captures the large-scale features of storms wherever they form in the world.  While the United States is fortunate to have a network of ground radars that can provide higher-resolution precipitation estimates, in other parts of the world, notably over most of the world’s oceans, the IMERG rain estimate is an important reference point.

This near-real time rain estimate comes from the NASA’s IMERG algorithm, which combines observations from a fleet of satellites, in near-real time, to provide near-global estimates of precipitation every 30 minutes. By combining NASA precipitation estimates with other data sources, we can gain a greater understanding of major storms that affect our planet.

IMERG fills in the “blanks” between weather observation stations. IMERG satellite-based rain estimates can be compared to that from a National Weather Service ground radar.  Such good detection of large rain features in real time would be impossible if the IMERG algorithm merely reported the precipitation observed by the periodic overflights of various agencies’ satellites.  Instead, what the IMERG algorithm does is “morph” high-quality satellite observations along the direction of the steering winds to deliver information about rain at times and places where such satellite overflights did not occur.  Information morphing is particularly important over the majority of the world’s surface that lacks ground-radar coverage.

Image from NASA Goddard using IMERG data archived at:  https://giovanni.gsfc.nasa.gov/giovanni/.

By Steve Lang / Rob Gutro 
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


May 27, 2o20 – NASA-NOAA Satellite Sees Tropical Storm Bertha Organizing

The second tropical storm of the North Atlantic Ocean hurricane season has formed off the coast of South Carolina. NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite provided forecasters with a visible image of Tropical Storm Bertha as it was organizing.

Suomi NPP image of Bertha
NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over the western North Atlantic Ocean as Tropical Storm Bertha was organizing off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina on May 26, 2020. Bertha became a tropical storm early on May 27 off the coast of South Carolina. Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)

On May 27, NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued a Tropical Storm Warning in effect from Edisto Beach, SC to South Santee River, SC.

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard Suomi NPP provided a visible image of developing Tropical Storm Bertha late on May 26. The imagery showed strong thunderstorms were circling the center of circulation.

Satellite imagery on May 27 at 8:30 a.m. EDT showed the area of disturbed weather that NHC has been tracking over the past day or so quickly became better organized. The circulation had become better defined and the center had reformed beneath the area of deep convection. Those strongest storms were located just off the South Carolina coast.

At 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Bertha was located near latitude 32.7 degrees north and longitude 79.4 degrees west. Bertha’s center of circulation was just 30 miles (50 km) east-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina.

Bertha is moving toward the northwest near 9 mph (15 kph) and this motion is expected to continue through tonight. Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph (75 kph) with higher gusts. Bertha is expected to weaken to a tropical depression after moving inland and become a remnant low tonight. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1009 millibars.

Bertha is expected to produce total rain accumulation of 2 to 4 inches with isolated totals of 8 inches across eastern and central South Carolina into west central to far southeastern North Carolina and southwest Virginia.  This rainfall may produce life-threatening flash flooding.

NHC said, “The system will be moving inland very shortly and little, if any, additional strengthening is expected.  Once inland, the small tropical cyclone should weaken rapidly and dissipate over central North Carolina on Thursday [May 28].”

Tropical cyclones/hurricanes are the most powerful weather events on Earth. NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as hurricane weather forecasting.

By Rob Gutro 
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Mangga (was 27S) – Southern Indian Ocean

May 26, 2020 – NASA Catches the Extra-Tropical Ending of Mangga

By Sunday, May 24, Tropical Cyclone Mangga had already transitioned to an extra-tropical storm and was affecting the southwestern coast of Australia.

Aqua image of Mangga
NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible look at extra-tropical storm Mangga the southwestern coast of Western Australia on May 24. The center of circulation was difficult to pinpoint in the visible image. Credit: NASA/NRL

When a storm becomes extra-tropical, it means that a tropical cyclone has lost its “tropical” characteristics. The National Hurricane Center defines “extra-tropical” as a transition that implies both poleward displacement (meaning it moves toward the north or south pole) of the cyclone and the conversion of the cyclone’s primary energy source from the release of latent heat of condensation to baroclinic (the temperature contrast between warm and cold air masses) processes. It is important to note that cyclones can become extra-tropical and retain winds of hurricane or tropical storm force.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued Severe Weather Warnings in Western Australia on Sunday as the extra-tropical system tracked in a southeasterly direction.

The final warning for Mangga came on May 23 at 5 pm EDT (2100 UTC), when it was located near latitude 21.6 south and longitude 104.7 east, about 525 nautical miles west of Learmonth, Australia. Mangga was moving southeast at a speedy 44 knots (51 mph/81 kph) and had maximum sustained winds of 35 knots (40 mph/65 kph).

NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible look at the extra-tropical low-pressure area along the southwestern coast of Western Australia on May 24. The center of circulation was difficult to pinpoint in the visible image, captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, an instrument that flies aboard Aqua.

On May 24, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s Severe Weather Warning called for “Damaging, locally destructive winds and abnormally high tides for people in Central West, Lower West, South West, South Coastal, South East Coastal, Great Southern, Central Wheat Belt and parts of Gascoyne and Goldfields districts.”

The extra-tropical low-pressure area passed over the southwestern part of the state on Monday, May 25 as it continued to weaken and move back over open waters of the Indian Ocean.

By Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center