Cristobal (was 03L) – Atlantic Ocean

June 10, 2020 – NASA Finds Post-Tropical Depression Cristobal Soaking the Great Lakes

NASA’s GPM satellite gathered data on what is now Post-Tropical Cyclone Cristobal and revealed some areas of heavy rain were occurring. Cristobal was bringing rainfall and gusty winds to the Great Lakes Region and still generating warnings.

Warnings and Advisories

On June 10, Cristobal was designated a post-tropical cyclone and the storm has triggered several watches and warnings in the Great Lakes area. The National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center (WPC) in College Park, Md. issued a Lakeshore Flood Warning for the northern shores of Lake St. Clair. Lakeshore Flood Advisories are in effect for the Lake Michigan shoreline of northern Lower Michigan, the Lake Michigan shoreline of Upper Michigan and the Lake Huron shoreline of Upper Michigan.

GPM image of Cristobal
The GPM’s core satellite passed over Cristobal on June 10 at 2 a.m. EDT (0600 UTC). GPM found heaviest rainfall (orange) occurring in two areas. One area was north and west of Lake Superior, north of Rossport and Red Rock, Ontario, Canada. The second area was over Georgian Bay in the eastern side of Lake Huron. In both places, heavy rain (orange) was falling at a rate of 1 inch (25 mm) per hour. Light rain (blue) appears stretched around the northern and eastern side of the system. Credit: NASA/NRL

In addition, a Gale Warning is in effect for Lake Michigan, eastern Lake Superior and portions of Lake Huron. Wind Advisories are in effect for parts of Wisconsin and Michigan.

What is a Post-tropical Cyclone?

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center defines a Post-tropical cyclone as a former tropical cyclone. This generic term describes a cyclone that no longer possesses sufficient tropical characteristics to be considered a tropical cyclone. Post-tropical cyclones can continue carrying heavy rains and high winds. Former tropical cyclones that have become fully extratropical and remnant lows are two classes of post-tropical cyclones.

Rainfall Estimates

When the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite passed over Cristobal on June 10 at 2 a.m. EDT (0600 UTC). GPM found heaviest rainfall occurring in two areas. One area was north and west of Lake Superior, north of Rossport and Red Rock, Ontario, Canada. The second area was over Georgian Bay on the eastern side of Lake Huron. In both places, rain was falling at rates of 1 inch (25 mm) per hour. Light rain appears stretched around the northern and eastern side of the system, falling at less than 0.2 inches (less than 5 millimeters) per hour.

Forecast Rainfall

The WPC noted, “The primary rainfall threat with Cristobal has ended. Sporadic heavy rain is possible today across the Great Lakes, along and ahead of a cold front associated with extratropical Cristobal. Minor to moderate river flooding will continue across portions of the Mississippi Valley.”

Cristobal’s Status on Wednesday, June 10, 2020

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC) on June 10, the center of Post-Tropical Cyclone Cristobal was located near latitude 45.8 degrees north and longitude 88.2 degrees west. That places the center about 195 miles (310 km) north-northeast of Madison, Wisconsin and about 185 miles (295 km) west of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The post-tropical cyclone is moving toward the north-northeast near 30 mph (48 kph) and this motion is expected to continue as Cristobal tracks into Ontario, Canada.

ISS image of Crisotbal
On June 8, from aboard the International Space Station, Astronaut Chris Cassidy captured this image of Tropical Storm Cristobal. Credit: NASA/Chris Cassidy Twitter

Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 kph) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours. The estimated minimum central pressure is 983 millibars.

Cristobal’s Forecast Path

WPC noted that in addition to rainfall, winds gusting over 40 mph are expected early during the morning of June 10 over portions of Wisconsin and Michigan close to the Great Lakes. In addition, a few tornadoes are possible today across in the Great Lakes region, with the greatest chances in parts of Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.

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 Suomi NPP satellite is a joint mission with NASA and NOAA.

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

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Cristobal (was 03L) – Atlantic Ocean

June 09, 2020 – NASA Tracks Tropical Depression Cristobal Moving Toward Great Lakes

Once a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico, now a tropical depression in the Mississippi Valley, NASA’s Aqua satellite is tracking Cristobal as it continues to generate large amounts of rainfall while it heads toward the Great Lakes region.

Aqua image of Cristobal
On June 9 at 3:40 a.m. EDT (0740 UTC) the MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite showed strongest storms in Tropical Depression Cristobal were northeast and north of the elongated center over western Missouri, Iowa and Illinois, where cloud top temperatures were as cold as minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 Celsius). Credit: NASA/NRL

Infrared Data Reveals Strongest Storms

NASA’s Aqua satellite used infrared light to analyze the strength of storms and determine where the strongest storms were within the tropical depression. Strong storms are not evenly distributed within a tropical system, so it helps forecasters to know which side of the storm has the strongest storms and biggest rainmakers. Infrared data provides temperature information, and the strongest thunderstorms that reach high into the atmosphere have the coldest cloud top temperatures.

On June 9 at 3:40 a.m. EDT (0740 UTC) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite showed strongest storms in Tropical Depression Cristobal were northeast and north of the elongated center over western Missouri, Iowa and Illinois, where cloud top temperatures were as cold as minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 Celsius). NASA research has shown that storms with cloud top temperatures that cold have the ability to generate heavy rainfall.

Watches, Warnings and Rainfall Expected

 On June 9, the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center (WPC) in College Park, Md. has taken over the forecast responsibility for Cristobal, now that it is far inland. WPC issued a Flash Flood Watch for areas in and near the length of the Mississippi Valley. A Gale Warning is in effect for much of Lake Michigan, portions of eastern Lake Superior and portions of Lake Huron.

WPC forecasts “Cristobal will produce storm total rainfall accumulations of 2 to 4 inches with local amounts to 6 inches from Arkansas to the western Great Lakes through Wednesday morning. This rainfall may produce flash flooding, and is forecast to produce new and renewed minor to moderate river flooding across portions of the lower Missouri and mid to upper Mississippi Valleys. Smaller streams and rivers across southeast Louisiana, southern Mississippi, and eastern Arkansas have already begun to rise.”

Cristobal’s Status   

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Cristobal was located near latitude 36.8 degrees north and longitude 92.0 degrees west. That puts the center of circulation about 140 miles (225 km) north of Little Rock, Arkansas and about 80 miles (130 km) east-southeast of Springfield, Missouri. The depression is moving toward the north near 25 mph (41 kph) and its motion is expected to accelerate to the north and north-northeast over the next 36 hours. Maximum sustained winds are near 30 mph (45 kph) with higher gusts. The estimated minimum central pressure is 995 millibars.

Cristobal Expected to Become Extra-Tropical

Often, a tropical cyclone will transform into an extra-tropical cyclone as it recurves toward the poles (north or south, depending on the hemisphere the storm is located in). Cristobal is expected to become an extra-tropical storm as it moves toward the Great Lakes region. An extra-tropical cyclone is a storm system that primarily gets its energy from the horizontal temperature contrasts that exist in the atmosphere.

Tropical cyclones have their strongest winds near the earth’s surface, while extra-tropical cyclones have their strongest winds near the tropopause – about 8 miles (12 km) up. Tropical cyclones, in contrast, typically have little to no temperature differences across the storm at the surface and their winds are derived from the release of energy due to cloud/rain formation from the warm moist air of the tropics.

Cristobal’s Path Forward

Some strengthening is forecast during the next 36 hours as Cristobal transitions into an extratropical cyclone. WPC said, “Gusty winds are expected Tuesday night and Wednesday [June 10] over portions of the Midwest and western Great Lakes as Cristobal strengthens as an extratropical low.”

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

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Cristobal (was 03L) – Atlantic Ocean

June 08, 2020 – NASA Calculates Soaking Rainfall in Tropical Depression Cristobal

When Tropical Storm Cristobal made landfall in southern Louisiana yesterday, June 7, it dropped a lot of rain, and continues to as it weakens and moves inland. NASA’s GPM satellite provided a look at the rainfall rates in the now depression.

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite passed over Cristobal on June 8 at 7:46 a.m. EDT (1146 UTC). GPM found heaviest rainfall north of center falling at rates of 1 inch (25 mm) per hour over northern Louisiana, southern Arkansas and northern Mississippi. Light rain appears around the entire system, falling at less than 0.2 inches (less than 5 millimeters) per hour.

GPM image of Cristobal
The GPM’s core satellite passed over Cristobal on June 8 at 7:46 a.m. EDT (1146 UTC). GPM found heaviest rainfall (orange) north of center falling at rates of 1 inch (25 mm) per hour over northern Louisiana, southern Arkansas and northern Mississippi. Light rain appears around the entire system (light blue), falling at less than 0.2 inches (less than 5 millimeters) per hour. Credit: NASA/NRL

Large Rainfall Totals Expected

The heavy rainfall rates that GPM observed are expected to add up to large amounts of rain on the ground, and the National Hurricane Center provided an estimate in the latest forecast on June 8, 2020.

NHC said, “Cristobal is expected to produce storm total rainfall accumulations of 5 to 10 inches across portions of the central to eastern Gulf Coast into the Lower Mississippi Valley, with isolated amounts to 15 inches.  Rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches with local amounts to 6 inches are expected across portions of the mid-to-Upper Mississippi Valley and Northern Plains near and in advance of Cristobal. This rainfall has led to flash flooding and forecast widespread river flooding across portions of the central Gulf Coast into the Lower Mississippi Valley.  Smaller streams across southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi have begun to rise and are forecast to crest mid-week. New and renewed significant river flooding is possible across the mid and upper Mississippi Valley.”

Gusty winds and isolated tornadoes are possible today with the depression.  Gusty winds could also occur Tuesday night and Wednesday over portions of the Midwest and western Great Lakes as Cristobal becomes an extratropical low. Isolated tornadoes are possible today and tonight across Mississippi, Alabama, southeastern Louisiana, eastern Arkansas, western Tennessee, and southeastern Missouri. Ocean swells generated by Cristobal are still affecting portions of the northern and eastern Gulf coast and are likely causing life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Cristobal’s Status on Monday, June 8, 2020

Animation of Cristobal by Worldview
This animation of visible imagery from the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite from June 4 at 0000 UTC to June 7 at 0000 UTC shows the northward movement of Tropical Storm Cristobal as it moved through the Gulf of Mexico. Credit: NASA Worldview

At 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Cristobal was located near latitude 31.8 degrees north and longitude 91.6 degrees west. That puts the center of circulation about 50 miles (75 km) south-southeast of Monroe, Louisiana. The depression is moving toward the north-northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h) and this motion should continue today. Maximum sustained winds were 35 mph (55 kph) with higher gusts. The estimated minimum central pressure based on surface observations is 994 millibars.

Cristobal’s Forecast Path

NHC forecasters expect that Cristobal will weaken through Tuesday. However, Cristobal is expected to strengthen some as it becomes an extratropical low pressure area Tuesday [June 9] night and Wednesday [June 10].

NHC expects a turn toward the north tonight, followed by a faster north-northeast motion Tuesday and Wednesday. On the forecast track, the center of Cristobal should move through northeastern Louisiana today, through Arkansas and eastern Missouri tonight and Tuesday, and reach Wisconsin and the western Great Lakes by Wednesday.

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 Suomi NPP satellite is a joint mission with NASA and NOAA.

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

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Cristobal (was 03L) – Atlantic Ocean

June 07, 2020 – NASA Analyzes Tropical Storm Cristobal Temperatures, Water Vapor

NASA scientists can analyze tropical cyclones in a variety of ways that include temperature and water vapor content. NASA’s Aqua satellite provided that data on Tropical Storm Cristobal as it approached the mouth of the Mississippi River on Sunday, June 7, 2020.

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.

Watches and Warnings 

On June 7 as Tropical Storm Cristobal was near the U.S. Gulf coast warnings were in effect. A Storm Surge Warning is in effect from the mouth of the Mississippi River to Ocean Springs, Mississippi and Lake Borgne. A Storm Surge Watch is in effect from east of Morgan City, Louisiana to the mouth of the Mississippi River. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from Intracoastal City, Louisiana to the Okaloosa/Walton County, Florida line and for Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.

 What the NASA Satellite Views Show

Aqua infrared image of Cristobal
On June 7 at 3:50 a.m. EDT (0750 UTC), the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite showed several areas of powerful thunderstorms (green) where temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 52.7 Celsius). All of those strongest storms were over the Gulf of Mexico, with the exception of an area over the southeastern Louisiana. Credit: NASA/NRL

On June 7 at 3:50 a.m. EDT (0750 UTC), the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite showed several areas of powerful thunderstorms where temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 52.7 Celsius). Cloud top temperatures that cold indicate strong storms with the potential to generate heavy rainfall. At the time of the imagery, all of those strongest storms were over the Gulf of Mexico, with the exception of an area over the southeastern Louisiana.

At the same time, a water vapor image of Tropical Storm Cristobal was taken from NASA’s Aqua satellite. The water vapor imagery confirmed the cloud top temperatures and showed where the greatest water content was in the storms.

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 stronger they are.

Water vapor image of Cristobal
A water vapor image of Tropical Storm Cristobal was taken from NASA’s Aqua satellite on June 7 at 3:50 a.m. EDT (0750 UTC), and the brown color (minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit/minus 52.7 degrees Celsius) showed where the greatest water content was in the storms. Credit: NASA/NRL

Looking at NASA and other satellite imagery, forecasters at NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted that Cristobal continues to resemble a subtropical cyclone more than a tropical cyclone.  At 5 a.m. EDT on June 7, the convection near the center remains limited, although it has become a little better organized during the past several hours.

Cristobal’s Status on June 7, 2020

At 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC), NHC noted that the center of Tropical Storm Cristobal was located by an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft near latitude 28.2 degrees north and longitude 89.9 degrees west. That puts the center about 70 miles (110 km) south of Grand Isle, Louisiana and about 75 miles (125 km) south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Cristobal was moving toward the north near 12 mph (19 kph) and this general motion is expected to continue today, followed by a gradual turn toward the north-northwest late today or tonight. Data from NOAA Doppler weather radars indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles (335 km) mainly to the east of the center. The minimum central pressure recently measured by the reconnaissance aircraft was 994 millibars.

Storm Surge, Rainfall, Winds, Tornadoes, Ocean Swells

NHC provided detailed information about expected storm surge, rainfall totals, winds, isolated tornadoes and ocean swells. For those details visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov.

NHC forecasters said, “A combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.  The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide.

GOES-East image of Cristobal
NOAA’s GOES East satellite provided a night-time view of Cristobal near the mouth of the Mississippi River on June 7 at 9 a.m. EDT. Credit: NRL/NOAA

Cristobal is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches across portions of the central Gulf Coast into the Lower Mississippi Valley, with isolated amounts to 12 inches.  Rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches with local amounts to 6 inches are expected across portions of the eastern Gulf Coast, along with the Mid to Upper Mississippi Valley and Northern Plains near and in advance of Cristobal.

Tropical storm conditions are expected within the Tropical Storm Warning area along the northern Gulf coast today and tonight. A few tornadoes are possible today and tonight across eastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama, and northern Florida.”

In addition, ocean swells generated by Cristobal will affect portions of the northern and eastern Gulf coast during the next couple of days. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Cristobal’s Forecast Path

Little change in strength is forecast before Cristobal makes landfall and weakening will begin once Cristobal moves inland. On the NHC forecast track, the center of Cristobal will approach the northern Gulf of Mexico coast during the afternoon of Sunday, June 7, then move inland across Louisiana late today through Monday morning [June 8] and northward across Arkansas and Missouri Monday afternoon into Tuesday [June 9].

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.

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

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Cristobal (was 03L) – Atlantic Ocean

June 06, 2020 – NASA Sees Cristobal Marching Through the Gulf of Mexico

NASA’s Aqua satellite provided visible and infrared imagery of the re-strengthened Tropical Storm Cristobal as it continued on a northward track through the Gulf of Mexico.

Aqua image of Cristobal
A visible image of Tropical Storm Cristobal was taken from NASA’s Aqua satellite on June 5 and showed the clouds in Cristobal’s eastern quadrant stretched over parts of Florida, while the center was still just north of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Credit: NASA Worldview

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.

Watches and Warnings 

On June 6, the NHC continued a Storm Surge Watch for the northern Gulf of Mexico coast from Indian Pass to Arepika, Florida and it also covers the area from East of Morgan City, Louisiana to the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Now, a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from east of Morgan City, Louisiana to the Okaloosa/Walton County, Florida line and for Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. In addition, a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from Intracoastal City, Louisiana to Morgan City.

 What the NASA Satellite Views Show

On June 6 at 3:10 a.m. EDT (0710 UTC), the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite provided a visible (above) and infrared (below) image of Cristobal after it moved through the Gulf of Mexico.

Aqua infrared image of Cristobal
On June 6 at 3:10 a.m. EDT (0710 UTC), the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite showed several areas of powerful thunderstorms (red) where temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 Celsius). All of the strongest storms were over the Gulf of Mexico, with the exception of an area over the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula. Credit: NASA/NRL

The visible image showed the clouds in Cristobal’s eastern quadrant stretched over parts of Florida, while the center was still just north of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. NHC forecaster Jack Beven said in the 5 a.m. EDT discussion, “Satellite imagery this morning shows that Cristobal does not have a classic tropical cyclone structure, probably due to interaction with a mid- to upper-level trough (elongated area of low pressure) and the associated entrainment of dry air (dry air moving into the storm).  The circulation is elongated north-south near the center, and multiple low-cloud swirls are preset.  In addition, the strongest convection is well removed from the center of Cristobal to the north and east.” The strongest convection and thunderstorms east of center was apparent on infrared imagery.

Infrared MODIS imagery showed several areas of powerful thunderstorms where temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 Celsius). All of the strongest storms were east of Cristobal’s center and over the Gulf of Mexico, with the exception of an area over the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula. Cloud top temperatures that cold indicate strong storms with the potential to generate heavy rainfall.

Cristobal’s Status on June 6, 2020

At 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC) on June 6, NOAA’s National Hurricane Center noted that the center of Tropical Storm Cristobal was located near latitude 23.9 degrees north and longitude 90.2 degrees west. That puts the center of Cristobal about 365 miles (590 km) south of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Cristobal is moving toward the north near 12 mph (19 kph), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph (85 kph) with higher gusts. Some additional slow strengthening is forecast until landfall occurs on the northern Gulf coast. The minimum central pressure estimated from Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft observations is 992 millibars.

Cristobal’s Forecast Path

On the NHC forecast track, the center of Cristobal will move northward over the central Gulf of Mexico today, and will be near the northern Gulf of Mexico coast on Sunday, June 7. Cristobal’s center is then forecast to move inland across Louisiana late Sunday and Monday morning, and across Arkansas Monday afternoon and Monday night (June 8).

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.

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

By Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

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 5, 2020

The NHC said at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on June 5, 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