NASA's TRMM satellite sees deadly rainfall over Thailand

Mar 31, 2011 By Hal Pierce
A rainfall analysis showed that rainfall for the past week over the Malay Peninsula was particularly extreme (in red) with totals of almost 1,200 mm (~47 inches). Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce

Data from NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite was used to create a rainfall map of the severe rains that fell in Thailand recently. More than 20 people have been killed in southern Thailand over the past week due to flooding and mudslides caused by extremely heavy rainfall.

TRMM is a satellite managed by both NASA and the Japanese Space Agency, JAXA. It is a unique satellite because its advanced technology enables it to measure rainfall from space.

A Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) analysis was made using data that were calibrated with TRMM precipitation data. These data are calculated and stored at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. and are available within a few hours after being received by satellites. The analysis showed that rainfall for the past week over the Malay Peninsula was particularly extreme with totals of almost 1200 mm (~47 inches).

TRMM satellite data revealed that rainfall in that area was frequently falling at a rate of over 50 mm/hr (~2 inches). According to reports from CNN, since March 26 the southern province of Surat Thani received 855 mm (34 inches) of rain. Normally, the province receives about 2 inches of rainfall over the entire month of March. Heavy rain amounts (from ) and flood inundation calculations (from a hydrological models) are updated every three hours globally with the results shown on the "Global Flood and Monitoring" TRMM web site pages, at http://trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov/ .

Explore further: Coral reveals long-term link between Pacific winds, global climate

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA's TRMM satellite sees heavy rainfall in Choi-Wan

Sep 17, 2009

NASA and the Japanese Space Agency's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite flew over the center of Super Typhoon Choi-Wan at 2:34 EDT on September 17, 2009 and captured heavy rainfall around ...

Recommended for you

Methane is leaking from permafrost offshore Siberia

5 hours ago

Yamal Peninsula in Siberia has recently become world famous. Spectacular sinkholes, appeared as out of nowhere in the permafrost of the area, sparking the speculations of significant release of greenhouse ...

New discovery in Arctic is a very old clam

5 hours ago

The rapidly thawing Arctic Ocean may be a new frontier but some of the latest news from there concerns a clam that is believed to date back more than a million years.

Researchers on expedition to solve 'small island problem'

6 hours ago

Researchers from the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering are starting their new year with an expedition to the island of South Georgia to carry out research into improving weather forecasting. You can follow the team's progress on their blog. ...

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.