NASA sees Cyclone Mahasen hit Bangladesh

May 17, 2013

NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite known as TRMM measured Cyclone Mahasen's rainfall rates from space as it made landfall on May 16. Mahasen has since dissipated over eastern India.

Tropical Cyclone Mahasen hit southern Bangladesh on May 16, causing the reported deaths of at least 13 people and the destruction of many homes. Mahasen brought heavy rains and tropical storm force winds when it came ashore, but the winds quickly weakened.

NASA's TRMM satellite had two very informative views as deadly Tropical Cyclone Mahasen was moving toward and then over Bangladesh. TRMM passed above Mahasen on May 15, 2013 at 2133 UTC (5:33 p.m. EDT) and saw Mahasen again on May 16, 2013 at 0406 UTC (12:06 a.m. EDT) after the tropical cyclone's center passed over Bangladesh's Ganges Delta. With the first orbit, TRMM's Precipitation Radar found rain within Mahasen falling at a rate of over 67 mm (~2.6 inches) per hour and at a rate of over 57mm (~2.25 inches) per hour with the later view.

BBC News reported that predicted storm surge was avoided because it hit at low tide on Thursday morning, May 16. Mahasen made landfall in Patuakhali district in southern Bangladesh. According to the Bangladesh Meteorological Deparment, Mahasen's sustained winds were only near 16 mph (25 kph) near Chittagong and Cox's Bazar.

The Bangladesh Meteorological Department said Cyclone Mahasen had weakened and moved over the Sitakunda and Feni regions of Bangladesh, then into India's Tripura state.

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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