Categorized | Environment, Featured, Sci-Tech

TRMM sees that Tropical Storm Andres has a good circulation

Images by NOAA-NASA GOES Project

Story by By Steve Lang, SSAI / Goddard Space Flight Center

TRMM captured Tropical Storm Andres Rainfall Image by NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce

TRMM captured Tropical Storm Andres Rainfall Image by NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce

The East Pacific hurricane season officially began on May 15 and runs through November 30. This year Tropical Storm Andres became the first named storm of the season after forming about 180 miles off of the southwestern coast of Mexico on the evening (local time) of June 21. Less than a week earlier, the first Tropical Depression 1E (TD #1E) of the season formed farther to the north before dissipating near the Mexican coast in the vicinity of Mazatlan. Andres originated from the 2nd depression of the season (TD #2E), which formed on the afternoon of June 21. After becoming a tropical storm, Andres has moved generally northward towards the Mexican coast.

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite (known as TRMM) was placed into service in November of 1997. From its low-earth orbit, TRMM has been providing valuable images and information on tropical cyclones around the Tropics using a combination of passive microwave and active radar sensors, including the first precipitation radar in space. TRMM captured this image of Andres as it was moving northward towards the southwestern coast of Mexico. The image was taken at 10:36 UTC (3:36 am PDT) June 22, 2009 and shows the horizontal distribution of rain intensity within the storm. Rain rates in the center swath are from the TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR), and rain rates in the outer swath are from the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI). The rain rates are overlaid on infrared (IR) data from the TRMM Visible Infrared Scanner (VIRS).

TRMM reveals that Andres does not have a well-defined eye but does have a fairly broad circulation as evidenced by the curvature in the rain bands. TRMM also shows that most of the rain is south and west of the center. The green and blue areas indicate moderate to light intensity rain, respectively. At the time of this image, Andres was a moderate tropical storm with sustained winds estimated at 45 knots (~50 mph) by the National Hurricane Center. Andres is expected to turn to the northwest parallel to the coast and to slowly intensify possibly into the first hurricane of the season.

TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.

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