TRMM satellites see rainfall left behind from Cyclone Lua's landfall

Mar 19, 2012
NASA's TRMM satellite can add up rainfall totals from space, and from March 17-19 Cyclone Lua, and it appeared the heaviest rainfall appeared just off the northwestern Australia coast, with rainfall amounts reaching as high as 20 inches/~500 mm (purple). Rainfall amounts seemed to fall off drastically as Lua made landfall with amounts ranging between 4 and 8 inches (~100 to 200 mm) appearing in yellow/green. Credit: Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce

NASA's TRMM satellite added up the rainfall generated from Cyclone Lua as it made landfall in northern Australia on March 17, and tracked southward through March 19. The largest rainfall amounts appeared just off the coast before Lua made landfall, and continued generating heavy rainfall as it moved inland.

On Saturday, March 17, 2012, Lua's center crossed the Australia coastline at Pardoo about 3 p.m. (local time/Australia) bringing winds gusting up to 155 mph (250 kph) and heavy rainfall. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Port Hedland residents experienced up to 93 mph (150 kph).

On March 18, 2012, Cyclone Lua continued to move further inland and track south toward Wiluna and Kalgoorlie. At 8 a.m. local time on March 18, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology estimated that Tropical Cyclone Lua was about 137 miles (~220 kilometers) north of Wiluna and was moving south at ~19 mph (30 kph).

NASA's Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite can add up rainfall totals from space. As it flew over Cyclone Lua between March 17and 19, TRMM calculated rainfall from the storm. The heaviest rainfall appeared to fall just off the northwestern Australia coast, with rainfall amounts there reaching as high as 20 inches (~500 mm). Rainfall amounts seemed to fall off drastically as Lua made landfall, with amounts ranging between 4 and 8 inches (~100 to 200 mm).

Reuters news reported that the sparsely populated area seemed unscathed, there were no injuries and iron ore operations resumed. Port Hedland is the area's largest iron ore terminal and its anchorage was closed for more than two days as Lua made landfall.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology reported that Cyclone Lua was the strongest cyclone to hit Australia in 2012, and the most powerful since Cyclone Yasi in 2011.

Explore further: Kiribati leader visits Arctic on climate mission

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

TRMM satellite sees tropical storm Lua's rainfall

Mar 14, 2012

A tropical storm called Lua formed in the Indian Ocean off Australia's northwestern coast on March 13, 2012. NASA's TRMM satellite passed over Lua and observed moderate rainfall and strong towering thunderstorms ...

NASA sees cyclone Lua strengthening for March 17 landfall

Mar 16, 2012

Northern Australia's Pilbara coast is under warnings, alerts and watches as powerful Cyclone Lua nears for a landfall. NASA's Aqua satellite has been providing infrared, visible and microwave data on Lua that ...

NASA sees double tropical trouble in northern Australia

Mar 13, 2012

Northern Australia is dealing with two tropical systems today, and both were close enough to be captured on one satellite image. One of them has strengthened enough to be named Tropical Cyclone Lua, while ...

Recommended for you

Kiribati leader visits Arctic on climate mission

22 hours ago

Fearing that his Pacific island nation could be swallowed by a rising ocean, the president of Kiribati says a visit to the melting Arctic has helped him appreciate the scale of the threat.

NASA catches a weaker Edouard, headed toward Azores

Sep 19, 2014

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Atlantic Ocean and captured a picture of Tropical Storm Edouard as it continues to weaken. The National Hurricane Center expects Edouard to affect the western Azores ...

User comments : 0