NASA eyeing southern Gulf of Mexico low for tropical trouble

Jun 21, 2012
NASA's Aqua satellite AIRS instrument captured this infrared image of a low in the southern Gulf of Mexico on June 21 at 3:29 a.m. EDT. The strongest thunderstorms (purple) have high, cold cloud tops (of -63F/-52C)located southwest and southeast of the center. Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen

NASA satellites are providing data on a broad area of low pressure in the south-central Gulf of Mexico that has a medium chance for development into a tropical depression.

Infrared data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument that flies onboard NASA's Aqua satellite is helping forecasters at the National Hurricane Center understand what's happening with the low pressure area. In an image captured on June 21 at 0729 (3:29 a.m. EDT), the center of the low pressure area appears to be near the western tip of Cuba near 22 North and 85 West. The strongest thunderstorms and convection (rising air that forms the thunderstorms) have high, cold cloud tops (of -63F/-52C) that indicate strong uplift, southwest and southeast of the center.

The National Hurricane Center noted that the large area of clouds, showers and thunderstorms extend from the northwestern north into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico and over Florida.

There are currently strong upper level winds that have been inhibiting development, but those winds are expected to weaken, giving the low more of a chance to get organized. The low continues to move north into the bringning heavy rainfall and possible flooding over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, western Cuba and southern Florida over the next couple of days.

Explore further: TRMM satellite sees Tropical Storm Phanfone fragmented

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Frigid cloud top temperatures show Hurricane Dora's power

Jul 20, 2011

Extremely cold cloud top temperatures in thunderstorms are an indication of the strength they possess, and infrared satellite data from NASA revealed a large area of very cold and powerful thunderstorms around ...

Recommended for you

Tropical Storm Rachel dwarfed by developing system 90E

1 hour ago

Tropical Storm Rachel is spinning down west of Mexico's Baja California, and another tropical low pressure area developing off the coast of southwestern Mexico dwarfs the tropical storm. NOAA's GOES-West ...

NASA ocean data shows 'climate dance' of plankton

5 hours ago

The greens and blues of the ocean color from NASA satellite data have provided new insights into how climate and ecosystem processes affect the growth cycles of phytoplankton—microscopic aquatic plants ...

Glaciers in the grand canyon of Mars?

6 hours ago

For decades, planetary geologists have speculated that glaciers might once have crept through Valles Marineris, the 2000-mile-long chasm that constitutes the Grand Canyon of Mars. Using satellite images, ...

NASA support key to glacier mapping efforts

6 hours ago

Thanks in part to support from NASA and the National Science Foundation, scientists have produced the first-ever detailed maps of bedrock beneath glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica. This new data will help ...

User comments : 0