Nav: Home

NASA finds extreme rainfall in Tropical Cyclone Kenanga

December 19, 2018

NASA found very cold cloud top temperatures within the Southern Indian Ocean's Tropical Cyclone Kenanga that indicate powerful thunderstorms reaching high into the troposphere. Those storms were generating very heavy rainfall as confirmed by the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite.

On December 18, 2018 at 10:04 a.m. EST (1504 UTC) the GPM core observatory satellite flew above powerful Tropical Cyclone Kenanga in the southwestern Indian Ocean. Tropical Cyclone Kenanga's most distinctive feature was its large eye. At the time of the GPM pass Kenanga's maximum sustained wind speeds were about 90 knots (104 mph).

At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, an analysis of the tropical cyclone's rainfall was derived from data collected by GPM's Microwave Imager (GMI) and GPM's Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) instruments. GPM clearly showed the extreme rainfall in Kenanga's well-defined circular eyewall. The heaviest rainfall was found by GPM in the tropical cyclone's southeastern quadrant. GPM's radar (DPR Ku Band) measured precipitation there falling at a rate of over 161 mm (6.3 inches) per hour on that side of the tropical cyclone.

A 3-D view of the storm was created at Goddard that showed the estimated relative heights of storms within tropical cyclone Kenanga. Those heights are based on measurements by the GPM satellite's radar (DPR Ku Band) blended with estimates from Japan's HIMAWARI-8 satellite's infrared temperatures. GPM's radar probes of Kenanga's eastern side indicated that storm tops in that part of the tropical cyclone were reaching heights above 12.2 km (7.6 miles). GPM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA.

On Dec. 19 at 2:53 a.m. EST (0753 UTC) the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured temperature data from Tropical Cyclone Kenanga, using infrared light. The most powerful storms, with coldest cloud top temperatures appeared around the eye and were colder than minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius). Satellite data showed that the eye is about 25 nautical miles in diameter and that the southern side of the storm appeared to be elongating, a sign of weakening.

On Dec. 19 at 10 a.m. EST (1500 UTC), Kenanga's wind speeds peaked at about 115 knots (132 mph/213 kph). It was centered near 16.6 degrees south latitude and 82.1 degrees east longitude. That's approximately 805 nautical miles southeast of Diego Garcia. Kenanga has tracked southwestward.

Kenanga is now expected to gradually weaken as the tropical cyclone moves toward the southwest over progressively cooler sea surface temperature.
-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.