Nav: Home

NASA estimates Imelda's extreme rainfall

September 20, 2019

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's Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM or IMERG, which is a NASA satellite rainfall product, estimated that by Friday morning, September 20, Tropical Storm Imelda had dropped over 24 inches of rain between Beaumont and Houston, Texas. Estimates of between 16 and 24 inches have fallen between Freeport and Beaumont, and 6 inches and more over a large area between southwestern Louisiana and Palacios, Texas. An image showing these rainfall totals was created at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

This near-real time rain estimate comes from the NASA's IMERG, which combines observations from a fleet of satellites, in near-real time, to provide near-global estimates of precipitation every 30 minutes. By combining NASA precipitation estimates with other data sources, we can gain a greater understanding of major storms that affect our planet.

If one compares the IMERG satellite-based rain estimate to that from a National Weather Service ground radar, one sees that IMERG correctly identified the large region of heavy rainfall near Beaumont, but IMERG failed to resolve an extremely narrow band of heavy rainfall along Galveston Island. Such good detection of large rain features in real-time would be impossible if the IMERG merely reported the precipitation observed by the periodic overflights of various agencies' satellites.

Instead, what the IMERG does is "morph" high-quality satellite observations along the direction of the steering winds to deliver information about rain at times and places where such satellite overflights did not occur. Information morphing is particularly important over the majority of the world's surface that lacks ground-radar coverage. Basically, IMERG fills in the blanks between weather observation stations.

The NASA image also identified where the rainfall from the remnant of Imelda caused a U.S. Geological Survey river gauge to swell to "major flood" stage. "Major" flood generally means that nearby homes and roads were flooded.  In addition, there were several preliminary reports of Imelda-spawned tornadoes on Wednesday and Thursday, September 18 and 19.

NOAA's National Weather Service noted on Sept. 20, "Intense tropical rainfall continues in portions of Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana from the remnants of Imelda. These additional rains will only compound ongoing issues with flooding. The heavy rain focus will gradually shift to the Arkansas-Louisiana-Texas region on Friday, Sept. 20."

Hurricanes are the most powerful weather event 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 more information about NASA's IMERG, visit: https://pmm.nasa.gov/gpm/imerg-global-image

For local forecasts, visit: http://www.weather.gov
-end-


NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Related Rainfall Articles:

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.
Changes in rainfall and temperatures have already impacted water quality
Changes in temperature and precipitation have already impacted the amount of nitrogen introduced into US waterways.
NASA looks at Tropical Storm Funani's rainfall
Tropical Storm Funani (formerly classified as 12S) continued to affect Rodrigues Island in the South Pacific Ocean when the GPM satellite passed overhead and analyzed its rainfall.
Rainfall extremes are connected across continents: Nature study
Extreme rainfall events in one city or region are connected to the same kind of events thousands of kilometers away, an international team of experts finds in a study now published in one of the world's leading scientific journals, Nature.
More Rainfall News and Rainfall Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.