TRMM satellite finds heavy rain in Tropical Storm Bavi

March 12, 2015

After Tropical Storm Bavi formed in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean, NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's TRMM satellite passed overhead and found heavy rain occurring in the western quadrant of the storm. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Ujae and Enewetakin in the western Marshall Islands as Bavi nears.

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite can calculate rainfall rates from space, and as it flew over Tropical Storm Bavi on March 12 at 1215 UTC (8:15 a.m. EDT), TRMM radar data showed heavy rain falling at over 1.4 inches (40 mm) per hour near the center of the storm, and moderate rainfall near 1 inch (25 mm) per hour in a wide band of thunderstorms west of the center. At the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, TRMM data was overlaid on infrared cloud data from Japan's MTSAT-2 satellite to provide a complete look at the storm and the rainfall rates within. The cloud imagery shows a large, wide band of thunderstorms wrapping into the center of circulation from the northwestern quadrant.

At 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT) on March 12, Bavi had maximum sustained winds near 35 knots (40 mph/62 kph). It was moving to the west-northwest at 12 knots (13.8 mph/22.2 kph). Bavi was near 8.4 north latitude and 165.6 east longitude, about 229 nautical miles (263.5 miles/ 424.1 km) east-southeast of Ujelang.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) forecast takes Bavi west-northwest towards Guam. JTWC forecasts expect Bavi to peak near 60 knots before the storm begins weakening in three days.

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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