Frances, Ivan Contribute to Hurricane Studies

Sep 16, 2004
Frances, Ivan Contribute to Hurricane Studies

Seen through the eyes of the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer aboard NASA's Terra satellite, the menacing clouds of Hurricanes Frances and Ivan provide a wealth of information that can help improve hurricane forecasts.

The ability of forecasters to predict the intensity and amount of rainfall associated with hurricanes still requires improvement, particularly on the 24- to 48-hour timescales vital for disaster planning. Scientists need to better understand the complex interactions that lead to hurricane intensification and dissipation, and the various physical processes that affect hurricane intensity and rainfall distributions. Because uncertainties in representing hurricane cloud processes still exist, it is vital that model findings be evaluated against actual hurricane observations whenever possible. Two-dimensional maps of cloud heights such as those provided by the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer offer an unprecedented opportunity for comparing simulated cloud fields against actual hurricane observations.

Image: NASA's Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer captured these images and cloud-top height retrievals of Hurricane Frances on September 4, 2004, and Hurricane Ivan on September 5th.

The newly released images of Hurricanes Frances and Ivan were acquired Sept. 4 and Sept. 5, 2004, respectively, when Frances' eye sat just off the coast of eastern Florida and Ivan was heading toward the central and western Caribbean. They are available at: http: //photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA04367.

The left-hand panel in each image pair is a natural-color view from the instrument's nadir camera. The right-hand panels are computer-generated cloud-top height retrievals produced by comparing the features of images acquired at different view angles. When these images were acquired, clouds within Frances and Ivan had attained altitudes of 15 and 16 kilometers (9.3 and 9.9 miles) above sea level, respectively.

The instrument is one of several Earth-observing experiments aboard Terra, launched in December 1999. The instrument acquires images of Earth at nine angles simultaneously, using nine separate cameras pointed forward, downward and backward along its flight path. It observes the daylit Earth continuously and every 9 days views the entire globe between 82 degrees north and 82 degrees south latitude. It was built and is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

More information about the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer is available at: http: //www-misr.jpl.nasa.gov/.

Source: JPL, NASA

Explore further: Image: Akari view of the Cygnus region in the Milky Way

Related Stories

Cooler waters help diminish Isaac's punch

Aug 29, 2012

(Phys.org)—Seven years after the powerful Category 3 Hurricane Katrina caused widespread devastation along the Gulf Coast, a Category 1 Hurricane Isaac, with maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour ...

UF Researchers Take Pulse Of Hurricane Dennis

Jul 12, 2005

University of Florida researchers working on at least two separate projects helped gauge Hurricane Dennis' fury Saturday and Sunday. In the first, a team of research engineers from UF and two other Florida uni ...

NASA Scans Ivan Inside for 3D Image

Sep 16, 2004

On the morning of September 15, 2004, NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite captured a 3-D look inside Hurricane Ivan, still a Category 4 storm. This unique look at Ivan shows the struct ...

NASA Watching Hurricane Ivan

Sep 15, 2004

Weather forecasts indicate several NASA centers and facilities could be impacted by Hurricane Ivan once it makes landfall, and preparations are under way to secure important space flight hardware against da ...

Recommended for you

Image: Akari view of the Cygnus region in the Milky Way

19 hours ago

The constellation of Cygnus is one of the most recognisable in the northern hemisphere. During the summer months, the stars of its long neck stretch along the Milky Way and its wings sweep from side to side.

Image: Hubble eyes galactic refurbishment

20 hours ago

The smudge of stars at the center of this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is a galaxy known as UGC 5797. UGC 5797 is an emission line galaxy, meaning that it is currently undergoing active star formation. ...

Improved detection of radio waves from space

21 hours ago

Geodesy is the scientific discipline that deals with the measurement of the Earth. One of the measurement techniques it employs uses radio waves from far-distant objects in space to determine factors such ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.