NASA's satellite saw 'power-trigger' around Hurricane Miriam's center

Sep 24, 2012
This infrared image of Tropical Storm Miriam was captured by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite. The image was taken on Sept. 23 at 2011 UTC and revealed that Miriam had a huge area (purple) of strong thunderstorms and heavy rainfall around the center of circulation. Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen

ASA's Aqua satellite revealed a large area of powerful thunderstorms around the center of Tropical Storm Miriam on Sept. 23 as it tracked through the Eastern Pacific Ocean. That power was the trigger that helped Miriam rapidly intensify into a major hurricane on Sept. 24.

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the on Sept. 23 and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument captured an infrared image of Tropical Storm Miriam's cloud top temperatures. Tropical Storm Miriam is born that day, about 640 miles (1,025 km) south-southeast of the southern tip of Baja California. Cloud top temperatures are an indication of uplift in a storm. Uplift is the push of air upward that allows formation of towering clouds and thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone. The infrared data indicated a large area of strongest thunderstorms and heaviest rainfall surrounding the center of circulation. Those cloud top temperatures exceeded -63 Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius).

On Friday, Sept. 24 at 11 a.m. EDT, Tropical Storm Miriam became an eastern Pacific hurricane with near 120 mph (195 kmh). Miriam was located about 410 miles (655 km) south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico, near latitude 17.7 North and longitude 112.9 West. Miriam is moving northwest near 12 mph (19 kmh) and a gradual turn to the west and southwest is expected later.

Visible imagery from NOAA's GOES-15 satellite suggests the formation of a small eye, while NASA's Measuring Mission (TRMM) suggest that an outer eyewall is forming. The National Hurricane Center noted that barring an eyewall replacement, Miriam could strengthen even more in the next day.

Explore further: NASA provides double vision on Typhoon Matmo

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA Sees Eastern Pacific's Second Tropical Storm Form

May 22, 2012

On May 21, NASA satellites were monitoring Tropical Depression 02E in the eastern Pacific Ocean, and 24 hours later it strengthened into the second tropical storm of the season. Tropical Storm Bud was captured ...

NASA sees wind shear battering Tropical Storm Nadine

Sep 13, 2012

Tropical Storm Nadine is struggling against wind shear and some dry air. Infrared satellite imagery from NASA showed that Nadine's most powerful thunderstorms were being pushed east of the center.

Recommended for you

Oso disaster had its roots in earlier landslides

40 minutes ago

The disastrous March 22 landslide that killed 43 people in the rural Washington state community of Oso involved the "remobilization" of a 2006 landslide on the same hillside, a new federally sponsored geological study concludes.

Study finds missing piece of biogeochemical puzzle in aquifer

50 minutes ago

A study published in Scienceby researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and co-authored by Georgia Tech may dramatically shift our understanding of the complex dance of microbes and minerals ...

Hurricane Imaging Radiometer prepared for deployment

1 hour ago

The Hurricane Imaging Radiometer, known as HIRAD, will fly aboard one of two unmanned Global Hawk aircraft during NASA's Hurricane Severe Storm Sentinel or HS3 mission from Wallops beginning August 26 through ...

User comments : 0