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: Climate change does not cause extreme winters, new study shows

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

Image: Aral Sea from orbit

Mar 27, 2015

This multitemporal Sentinel-1A radar image shows the Aral Sea, located on the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in Central Asia.

IceBridge overflies Norwegian camp on drifting sea ice

Mar 27, 2015

Studying sea ice in the Fram Strait, a passage between Greenland and Svalbard that is the main gateway for Arctic sea ice into the open ocean, is not easy. In this area, not only does ice flow southward quickly ...

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.