NASA eyes powerful winter storm spreading into mid-Atlantic

January 22, 2016

The winter storm that caused damage during the night along the Gulf Coast has deepened and has started to spread heavy rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow northward into the Mid-Atlantic region. NASA's GPM and NOAA's GOES satellites are providing data on rainfall, cloud heights, extent and movement of the storm.

The National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland said "An area of low pressure centered over the southeastern U.S. will continue developing into a major winter storm which will impact a large portion of the East Coast from the southern Appalachians through the Mid-Atlantic States from Friday into the weekend. Snowfall totals may exceed 2 feet in portions of these areas, including the Baltimore and Washington D.C. metropolitan areas."

The Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM mission core satellite gathered precipitation data on the increasingly dangerous storm on January 22, 2016 at 1329 UTC (8:29 a.m. EST). A precipitation analysis was created using data collected by GPM's Microwave Imager (GMI) and Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) instruments. GPM's DPR saw precipitation falling at a rate of over 64 mm (2.5 inches) per hour in storms over northern Alabama.

At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, radar data from GPM's DPR (Ku Band) were used to show the vertical structure of storm tops. Some of the storm tops were near 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) high along the Appalachians in eastern Tennessee and Kentucky. Higher storm cloud tops are indications that storms are likely stronger. At 3:46 a.m. EST on Jan. 22, the National Weather Service said "Areas of heavy snow are expected to develop in western Tennessee, Kentucky and in the southern Appalachians, and expand into central Appalachians and mid-Atlantic while increasing snowfall intensity."

An animation of infrared and visible imagery from NOAA's GOES-East satellite from Jan. 20 to 22 was created to show the movement of the system through the central U.S. into the Mid-Atlantic region. A visible image from NOAA's GOES-East satellite at 1830 UTC (1:30 p.m. EST) showed clouds associated with the winter storm stretching from Arkansas to the northeastern U.S. coast. The animation and images were created by the NASA/NOAA GOES Project at NASA Goddard.

NWS said "A strong low over the Atlantic waters will become a dominant force in setting up very gusty winds in the Mid-Atlantic to Long Island, with storm surge flooding possible."

The impacts from the storm stretch from the Ozark Mountains to the Mid-Atlantic. On Jan. 22, the NWS said heavy snowfall and increasingly strong winds through Saturday are predicted to cause dangerous blizzard conditions in Washington, D.C. where blizzard warnings were in effect. To the south, a quarter to half inch of ice accumulations across parts of the interior Carolinas outside the mountains - with lighter amounts expected in Kentucky and over the much of the central/eastern Carolinas. Severe weather is also possible across eastern Gulf coasts and Florida.

That winter storm is not the only big weather maker in the United States as another low pressure area was affecting the Pacific Northwest. On Jan. 22, heavy rainfall is expected in lower elevations of northwestern California and southwestern Oregon with heavy snow in higher elevations of Sierras and Washington Cascade mountain range.

For updated forecasts, visit NOAA's NWS website:

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Related Rainfall Articles from Brightsurf:

Study projects more rainfall in Florida during flooding season
A new study by researchers at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science projects an increase in Florida's late summertime rainfall with rising Atlantic Ocean temperatures.

Importance of rainfall highlighted for tropical animals
Imagine a tropical forest, and you might conjure up tall trees hung with vines, brightly colored birds, howling monkeys, and ... rain.

New study could help better predict rainfall during El Niño
Researchers at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science have uncovered a new connection between tropical weather events and US rainfall during El NiƱo years.

Mediterranean rainfall immediately affected by greenhouse gas changes
Mediterranean-type climates face immediate drops in rainfall when greenhouse gases rise, but this could be interrupted quickly if emissions are cut.

Future rainfall could far outweigh current climate predictions
Scientists from the University of Plymouth analysed rainfall records from the 1870s to the present day with their findings showing there could be large divergence in projected rainfall by the mid to late 21st century.

NASA estimates Imelda's extreme rainfall
NASA estimated extreme rainfall over eastern Texas from the remnants of Tropical Depression Imelda using a NASA satellite rainfall product that incorporates data from satellites and observations.

NASA estimates heavy rainfall in Hurricane Dorian
Hurricane Dorian is packing heavy rain as it moves toward the Bahamas as predicted by NOAA's NHC or National Hurricane Center.

NASA looks at Barry's rainfall rates
After Barry made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane, NASA's GPM core satellite analyzed the rate in which rain was falling throughout the storm.

NASA looks at Tropical Storm Barbara's heavy rainfall
Tropical Storm Barbara formed on Sunday, June 30 in the Eastern Pacific Ocean over 800 miles from the coast of western Mexico.

NASA looks at Tropical Storm Fani's rainfall rates
Tropical Storm Fani formed in the Northern Indian Ocean over the weekend of April 27 and 28, 2019.

Read More: Rainfall News and Rainfall Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to