NASA sees Hurricane Hilary's heaviest rain in northwest quadrant

Sep 26, 2011
Hurricane Hilary's heaviest rainfall was occurring in its northwestern quadrant where rain was falling at 2 inches (50 mm) per hour (red). Around the rest of the storm was mostly moderate to light rainfall (green and blue) between .78 to 1.57 inches (20 to 40 mm) per hour. Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce

Hurricane Hilary pulled away from the western Mexico coastline this weekend, and NASA's TRMM satellite has monitored its rainfall. Hilary's heaviest rainfall is in its northwest quadrant, and falling over open ocean today, but Hilary may be headed back toward land.

NASA's Measuring Mission satellite known as TRMM passed over Hilary on Sept. 26 at 5:29 a.m. EDT and its instrument measured rainfall happening throughout the storm from its orbit in space. TRMM saw that most of the rainfall occurring in Hurricane Hilary today was moderate, and the heaviest area was limited to its northwestern quadrant where rain was coming down at 2 inches/50 mm per hour.

TRMM also has the ability to measure cloud heights, which indicate the power within a hurricane. The higher the towering clouds around the eye, usually the stronger the power within the hurricane. TRMM noticed that the highest cumulonimbus (thunderstorm) clouds in the center were around 14 kilometers (8.6 miles). Towering clouds that height are indicative of a lot of power in the storm.

At 5 a.m. EDT (2 a.m. PDT) on Sept. 26, Hilary's were near 120 mph (195 kmh). It was centered near 16.9 North and 112.2 West, about 440 miles (710 km) south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California. It is moving away from Mexico to the west at 10 mph (17 kmh) and has a minimum central pressure of 959 millibars.

Hilary is going through some changes today. It appears slightly elongated today from north to south. Cloud top temperatures in indicate that her cloud tops are cooling, indicating they're going higher (and getting stronger).

The National Hurricane Center forecast calls for Hilary to change course and take a northeastern track, coming close to Baja California by the end of the week, but as a depression. Forecasters and NASA satellites are keeping a close eye on Hilary this week.

Explore further: Scientists make strides in tsunami warning since 2004

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA sees Katia become second Atlantic Hurricane

Sep 01, 2011

The second Atlantic Ocean Hurricane was born today, Sept. 1 as Katia strengthened from a tropical storm in the central Atlantic. NASA's TRMM satellite noticed towering thunderstorms within Katia yesterday ...

NASA sees Carlos power back up to hurricane status in 3-D

Jul 14, 2009

Carlos became a hurricane for about 24 hours over the previous weekend, then powered down to a tropical storm and now atmospheric conditions have enabled him to power back into a hurricane in the Eastern Pacific ...

Recommended for you

Scientists make strides in tsunami warning since 2004

14 hours ago

The 2004 tsunami led to greater global cooperation and improved techniques for detecting waves that could reach faraway shores, even though scientists still cannot predict when an earthquake will strike.

Trade winds ventilate the tropical oceans

15 hours ago

Long-term observations indicate that the oxygen minimum zones in the tropical oceans have expanded in recent decades. The reason is still unknown. Now scientists at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research ...

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.