Featured Articles Archive

  • GPM Sees Hurricanes Maria and Jose
    The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission shows the rainfall distribution for two major storms churning in the Atlantic and Caribbean basins. The visualization shows Hurricane Jose as it continues to slowly move northward off the US East Coast east of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. At one time, Jose was a powerful category 4 border line category 5 storm with maximum sustained winds reported at 155 mph by the National Hurricane Center back on the 9th of September as it was approaching the northern Leeward Islands. Jose passed northeast of the Leeward Islands as a category 4 storm...
  • Using NASA Satellite Data to Predict Malaria Outbreaks
    In the Amazon Rainforest, few animals are as dangerous to humans as mosquitos that transmit malaria. The tropical disease can bring on high fever, headaches and chills and is particularly severe for children and the elderly and can cause complications for pregnant women. In rainforest-covered Peru, the number of malaria cases has spiked. In the past five years, the country has had on average the second highest rate in the South America. In each of the years 2014 and 2015 there were 65,000 reported cases. Containing malaria outbreaks is challenging because it is difficult to figure out where...
  • GPM Examines Hurricane Irma
    The GPM core observatory satellite had an exceptional view of hurricane Irma's eye when it flew above it on September 5, 2017 at 12:52 PM AST (1652 UTC). This visualization shows a rainfall analysis that was derived from GPM's Microwave Imager (GMI) and Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) data. Irma was approaching the Leeward Islands with maximum sustained winds of about 178 mph (155 kts). This made Irma a dangerous category five hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. Intense rainfall is shown within Irma's nearly circular eye. 
  • Hurricane Irma's Heat Engine Exposed
    At 1 PM EDT (1700 UTC) on September 5, 2017, the radar on the Global Precipitation Measuring Mission (GPM) satellite captured this 3D view of the heat engine inside of category-5 Hurricane Irma.  Under the central ring of clouds that circles the eye, water that had evaporated from the ocean surface condenses, releases heat, and powers the circling winds of the hurricane. The radar on the GPM satellite is able to estimate how much water is falling as precipitation inside of the hurricane, which serves as a guide to how much energy is being released inside the hurricane's central "heat...
  • GPM Captures Hurricane Harvey's Rainfall
    The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory captured these images of Hurricane Harvey at 11:45 UTC and 21:25 UTC on the 27th of August nearly two days after the storm made landfall as it was meandering slowly southeast at just 2 mph (~4 kph) near Victoria, Texas west of Houston. The image shows rain rates derived from GPM's GMI microwave imager (outer swath) and dual-frequency precipitation radar or DPR (inner swath) overlaid on enhanced visible/infrared data from the GOES-East satellite. Harvey's cyclonic circulation is still quite evident in the visible/infrared clouds, but...
  • Harvey Hits Texas, Unleashes Major Flooding
    Despite its earlier demise, after rejuvinating over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Harvey has become a major weather maker as it unleashes historical flooding over parts of coastal Texas. Harvey began on the 17th of August as a weak tropical storm about 250 miles (~400 km) east of Barbados in the Leeward Islands. Over the next two days, Harvey continued moving steadily westward passing through the Leeward Islands as a still weak tropical storm and entered into the east central Caribbean. On the 19th, Harvey succumbed to the effects of northeasterly wind shear over the...
  • A New Multi-dimensional View of a Hurricane
    NASA researchers now can use a combination of satellite observations to re-create multi-dimensional pictures of hurricanes and other major storms in order to study complex atmospheric interactions. In this video, they applied those techniques to Hurricane Matthew. When it occurred in the fall of 2016, Matthew was the first Category 5 Atlantic hurricane in almost ten years. Its torrential rains and winds caused significant damage and loss of life as it coursed through the Caribbean and up along the southern U.S. coast. Music: "Buoys," Donn Wilkerson, Killer Tracks; "Late Night Drive," Donn...
  • GPM Sees Larsen-C Ice Shelf Separation
    On July 12, 2017, a giant iceberg broke off Antarctica and a variety of satellites have been used to study it ever since. The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Microwave Imager (GMI) instrument can see the ribbon of relatively warm water and ice that separates the newly formed iceberg from the its parent mass of ice, the Larsen C ice shelf.  While the iceberg is separated from the parent iceshelf by only a few kilometers, the GMI instrument is sensitive enough to detect the variation in temperature between this relatively warm gap and the colder ice shelf and iceberg.

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