NASA finds heavy rain potential in tropical storm Sarai

December 27, 2019

NASA analyzed the cloud top temperatures in Tropical Storm Sarai using infrared light to determine the strength of the storm. Sarai has triggered warnings for Fiji and Tonga in the Southern Pacific Ocean,

On Dec. 27, there are regional warnings in effect for Fiji and Tonga. In Fiji, there is a storm warning is in force for Vatulele and Kadavu. A gale warning is in force for Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Yasawa and the Mamanuca Group, Kadavu, Lomaiviti Group, Viti Levu and nearby smaller islands. Tonga is on tropical cyclone alert

One of the ways NASA researches tropical cyclones is using infrared data that provides temperature information. Cloud top temperatures identify where the strongest storms are located. The stronger the storms, the higher they extend into the troposphere, and they have the colder cloud temperatures.

On Dec. 27 at 0135 UTC (Dec. 26 at 8:35 p.m. EST) NASA's Aqua satellite analyzed the storm using the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument. The AIRS imagery showed the strongest storms circling the center of circulation, just west of Fiji and in a thick band of thunderstorms northeast of Fiji. In those areas, AIRS found coldest cloud top temperatures as cold as or colder 210 Kelvin minus 81 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 63.1 degrees Celsius). NASA research has shown that cloud top temperatures that cold indicate strong storms that have the capability to create heavy rain.

Tropical cyclones do not always have uniform strength, and some sides have stronger sides than others, so knowing where the strongest sides of the storms are located helps forecasters. NASA then provides data to tropical cyclone meteorologists so they can incorporate it in their forecasts.

At 10 a.m. EST (1500 UTC) on Dec.27 the Joint Typhoon Warning Center or JTWC noted that the center of Tropical cyclone Sarai was located near 18.7 degrees south latitude and 176.1 degrees east longitude. That is about 136 nautical miles west-southwest of Suva, Fiji. Maximum sustained winds were near 55 knots (63 mph/102 kph) and the storm was strengthening. It was moving to the south and expected to turn east.

Sarai is forecast to move toward the east. The storm is expected to strengthen briefly to 65 knots on closest approach to the main Fijian islands, but weaken as it nears Tonga.

Typhoons and 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.

The AIRS instrument is one of six instruments flying on board NASA's Aqua satellite, launched on May 4, 2002.
-end-
Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Related Infrared Light Articles from Brightsurf:

Near-infrared probe decodes telomere dynamics
A new synthetic probe offers a safe and straightforward approach for visualizing chromosome tips in living cells.

Infrared light antenna powers molecular motor
Light-controlled molecular motors can be used to create functional materials, to provide autonomous motion or in systems that can respond on command, for example, to open drug-containing vesicles.

Colloidal quantum dot light emitters go broadband in the infrared
A team of ICFO researchers develops a new class of broadband solid state light emitter in the short-wave infrared that could be miniaturized, integrated with CMOS technology and used for many applications including food inspection, health or safety.

NASA's infrared view of typhoon Kujira
NASA's Terra satellite used infrared light to identify strongest storms and coldest cloud top temperatures in Typhoon Kujira as it tracked through the northwestern Pacific Ocean.

CIC nanoGUNE reaches new depths in infrared nanospectroscopy
Researchers from the Nanooptics Group at CIC nanoGUNE (San Sebastian) demonstrate that nanoscale infrared imaging - which is established as a surface-sensitive technique - can be employed for chemical nanoidentification of materials that are located up to 100 nm below the surface.

Black phosphorus-based van der Waals heterostructures for mid-infrared light-emission applications
Optically- and electrically- driven mid-infrared (MIR) light-emitting devices are realized in a simple but novel van der Waals (vdW) heterostructure, constructed from thin-film black phosphorus (BP) and transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDC).

Doing more with terahertz: Simplifying near-infrared spectroscopy systems
Researchers from Beihang University, China, and Tokushima University, Japan, have developed a terahertz spectroscopy scheme that offers outstanding resolution using a single laser.

NASA examines tropical storm Mangga in infrared light
NASA's Aqua satellite used infrared light to provide forecasters with a look at the temperatures of the cloud tops in Tropical Storm Mangga.

New light shed on damaging impact of infrared and visible rays on skin
New research reveals for the first time that UV combined with visible and infrared light cause damage to the skin and we need to protect our skin against all three to prevent aging.

Near-infrared electrochromism of a new multilayered complex
A multilayer cyclometalated diruthenium complex was prepared via interfacial layer-by-layer coordination assembly of diruthenium complex with zirconium(IV) ions and exhibited reversible near-infrared electrochromism.

Read More: Infrared Light News and Infrared Light Current Events
Brightsurf.com 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 Amazon.com.