NASA saw Tropical Storm Manuel soak western Mexico

Sep 16, 2013 by Rob Gutro
NASA's Aqua satellite captured infrared data on Tropical Storm Manuel on Sept. 16 at 0841 UTC as it continued to soak southwestern Mexico. The purple areas indicate strong storms with heavy rainfall. Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen

Tropical Storm Manuel was soaking southwestern Mexico while Tropical Storm Ingrid was soaking eastern Mexico on Sept. 16. NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Manuel and the AIRS instrument captured infrared data that showed powerful thunderstorms were dropping heavy rainfall. However, Manuel's interaction with land caused the storm to dissipate on Sept. 16.

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Manuel on Sept. 16 at 0841 UTC/4:41 a.m. EDT and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument looked at the storm in . That data was used to create a false-colored image at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Looking at a storm in infrared light provides valuable temperature information. Cloud top temperatures that are colder than -63F/-52C likely drop heavy rainfall. The AIRS showed cloud top temperatures that cold stretching over a large area of the southwestern coast of Mexico.

By 5 a.m. EDT on Sept. 16, Manuel had dissipated over west-central Mexico. Despite the dissipation, from Manuel's remnants continued to soak southwestern Mexico. At that time, the center of what was Manuel was just about 5 miles/10 km west of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, near latitude 20.6 north and longitude 105.3 west. Maximum sustained winds are near 30 mph/45 kph. The remnants are moving toward the northwest near 8 mph/13 kph.

The National Hurricane Center noted that Manuel's powerful rain-making ability is a problem for residents. Rainfall totals of 10 to 15 inches, locally up to 25 inches are expected over the Mexican states of Guerrero and Michoacan. The National Hurricane Center expects rainfall totals of 5 to 10 inches, with as much as 20 inches in isolated areas over Colima, Jalisco and Nayarit.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center expect the remnants of Manuel to drift westward and move off the coast of Mexico in the next couple of days, where it may become nearly stationary near the mouth of the Gulf of California for a few days.

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