NASA satellites are providing rainfall, temperature, pressure, visible and infrared data to forecasters as Hurricane Bud is expected to make a quick landfall in western Mexico this weekend before turning back to sea. NASA's TRMM and Aqua satellites have been flying over Bud as it nears the Mexican coast.
NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite passed above Hurricane Bud early this morning, May 25 at 0429 UTC (12:49 a.m. EDT/U.S.). A large area of moderate to heavy rainfall with rates of over 30mm/hr (~1.2 inches) was revealed in Bud by TRMM's Microwave Imager (TMI) instrument. The rainfall analysis was overlaid on an enhanced infrared image derived from TRMM's Visible and InfraRed Scanner (VIRS) and created at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Bud's past and predicted locations are shown overlaid in white. Heavy rainfall from hurricane Bud's slow movement may result in severe flooding and dangerous landslides as it moves over Mexico's rugged coastal terrain.
This visible image of Hurricane Bud was taken by the MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite on May 24, 2012 at 18:15 UTC (2:15 p.m. EDT/U.S.) and shows Bud's eye. Bud's outer bands were already affecting coastal Mexico yesterday.
On May 25, 2012 at 11 a.m. EDT, Bud was still a category two hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale with maximum sustained winds near 100 mph (160 kph). It was moving to the north at 7 mph (11 kph) and had a minimum central pressure of 975 millibars. Bud was closing in on the coast and was near 18.4 North and 105.6 West, about 95 miles (150 km) west-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km). Manzanillo was experiencing rain with sustained winds near 17 mph (27.3 kph) from the southeast at 11 a.m. EDT/U.S. on Friday, May 25.
Several watches and warnings are in effect. They include: A hurricane warning is in effect from Manzanillo to Cabo Corrientes; A tropical storm warning is in effect from Punto San Telmo west to Manzanillo; A hurricane watch is in effect from Punto San Telmo west to Manzanillo; and a tropical storm watch is in effect from Cabo Corrientes to San Blas.
Bud is expected to bring a lot of rainfall as it continues to head for a landfall. The National Hurricane Center expects total rain accumulations of 6 to 10 inches (152 to 254 mm) along the southwestern coast of Mexico with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches (381 mm). As always with heavy rainfall in this region, life-threatening flash floods and mudslides will be possible.
Along the coast a dangerous storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding near and to the east of where the center of bud makes landfall. In addition, the southern and southwestern coasts of Mexico are expected to experience dangerous swells, surf and rip currents.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecasters expect Bud to make landfall and then turnaround and head back out into the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Once Bud begins interacting with the coast, the Rapid decay is expected as western Mexico's high terrain separates the circulation of the storm. Bud is forecast to become a remnant low in 72 hours and dissipate in 96 hours.
Explore further: Study shows air temperature influenced African glacial movements