News Column

NASA infrared imagery sees heavy rain potential in Tropical Depression 2E

June 18, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Defense & Aerospace Week -- A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Salina Cruz to the Mexico and Guatemala border as the depression remained stationary near the southwestern coast of Mexico on June 3.

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Depression 2E on June 3 at 08:17 UTC (4:17 a.m. EDT) and gathered data about the depression's cloud temperatures. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite provided that infrared data. A false-colored image of the cloud temperatures was created at NASA'sJet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California using the infrared data.

The AIRS image showed very cold cloud top temperatures in the depression indicating that the thunderstorms had strong uplift that pushed cloud tops near the top of the troposphere. Temperatures drop to just under 220 degrees kelvin (-63.6 F/-53.1C) at the top of the troposphere (and where the tropopause begins). Some of the depression's storms had cloud tops that cold and that high. An analysis of AIRS data indicated that storms that high in the troposphere have the potential for heavy rainfall.

Keywords for this news article include: Aerospace, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.

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Source: Defense & Aerospace Week