TRMM satellite sees hot towers in Cyclone Koji

Mar 09, 2012
TRMM data from the flight over tropical storm Koji are shown in the 3-D image above. Those data reveal that an eye hadn't formed but powerful storm towers around KOJI's center were reaching heights of almost 15km (~9.3 miles). Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce

Hot towers, or towering thunderclouds that give off an excessive amount of latent heat, usually indicate a tropical cyclone will strengthen in six hours, and NASA's TRMM satellite saw some of them as it passed by Tropical Storm Koji.

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite passed directly above an intensifying tropical storm in the South Indian Ocean called Koji on March 8, 2012 at 2053 UTC (3:53 p.m. EST). A was made from TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) data. Those reveal that Koji was getting organized with bands of heavy rainfall spiraling into the storm's center.

One of its most important features of TRMM's (PR) instrument is its ability to provide three dimensional profiles of precipitation from the surface up to a height of about 20km (12 mile). PR data from the flight over tropical storm Koji are shown in the 3-D image above. Those data reveal that an eye hadn't formed but powerful storm towers around KOJI's center were reaching heights of almost 15 km (~9.3 miles).

On March 8, 2012 at 0900 UTC (4 a.m. EST), Tropical Storm Koji had near 55 knots (63.2 mph/102 kph). It was located near 17.1 South and 86.1 East, about 1000 miles southeast of Diego Garcia and moving to the west at 12 knots (13.8 mph/22.2 kph).

Koji has been predicted to increase in intensity and reach hurricane force with peak winds of 70kts (~80 mph) on March 8, 2012. Koji is predicted to remain at hurricane force for only one day and then weaken while traveling southwestward of the open waters of the South Indian Ocean.

Explore further: NASA's HS3 mission continues with flights over Hurricane Gonzalo

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA sees Tropical Storm Alenga intensifying

Dec 07, 2011

NASA's TRMM satellite passed over Tropical Storm Alenga and noticed that the rainfall has intensified in the storm in the last two days indicating that it continues strengthening.

Recommended for you

NASA image: Fires in the Egypt River Delta

15 hours ago

This NASA satellite image is of the Egyptian River Delta. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS's thermal bands, are outlined in red. Each hot spot, which appears as a red mark, is an area where the thermal ...

Terra Satellite sees Tropical Storm Ana over Hawaii

15 hours ago

Tropical Storm Ana made a slow track west of the Hawaiian islands over the last couple of days, and by Oct. 20 was moving westward away from the main Hawaiian islands and heading toward the northwest Hawaiian ...

User comments : 0