NASA catches Gillian as a super-cyclone before quickly dissipating

Mar 26, 2014 by Hal Pierce / Rob Gutro
On March 23 when the TRMM satellite passed over Gillian, it was at hurricane-force. TRMM revealed intense storms in a well-defined eye wall producing rain at a rate of over 100mm/3.9 inches per hour. Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce

Tropical Cyclone Gillian was near peak intensity when the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite passed overhead and saw towering thunderstorms and very heavy rainfall in the storm on March 23. By March 26, Gillian had weakened to a tropical storm and was quickly dissipating.

On March 23, Tropical Cyclone Gillian was a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale when NASA-JAXA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite passed overhead. TRMM flew over Gillian during its peak wind speed near 140 knots/161.1 mph/259.3 kph on March 23 at 03:04 UTC.

Data from TRMM's Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) instruments were used to create a rainfall analysis. TRMM PR revealed that Gillian had very intense storms in a well defined eye wall producing rain at a rate of over 100mm/3.9 inches per hour. TRMM PR showed that some of the tall storms on the southwestern side of Gillian's eye were reaching heights of about 14 km/8.7 miles.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
On March 23 when the TRMM satellite passed over Gillian, it was at hurricane-force. TRMM revealed intense storms in a well-defined eye wall producing rain at a rate of over 100mm/3.9 inches per hour. Some of the tall storms on the southwestern side were as high as 14km/8.7 miles. Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce

On March 25 at 2100 UTC/5 p.m. EDT, Tropical Cyclone Gillian's maximum sustained winds were down to 40 knots, but strong was pounding the storm and severely affecting the structure of the storm. At that time it was centered near 21.0 south latitude and 103.5 east longitude, about 596 nautical miles/685.9 miles/1,104 km west of Learmonth, Australia. At that time, Gillian was moving over the open waters of the Southern Indian Ocean in a south-southwesterly direction and was quickly dissipating.

Explore further: NASA sees some strength left in remnants of Tropical Cyclone Gillian

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

TRMM satellite eyeing Tropical Cyclone Gillian's rebirth

Mar 14, 2014

Heavy rainfall rates and powerful towering thunderstorms were spotted in what appeared to be the rebirth process of Tropical Cyclone Gillian in the Gulf of Carpentaria between Australia's Northern Territory ...

Recommended for you

Aging Africa

Aug 29, 2014

In the September issue of GSA Today, Paul Bierman of the University of Vermont–Burlington and colleagues present a cosmogenic view of erosion, relief generation, and the age of faulting in southernmost Africa ...

NASA animation shows Hurricane Marie winding down

Aug 29, 2014

NOAA's GOES-West satellite keeps a continuous eye on the Eastern Pacific and has been covering Hurricane Marie since birth. NASA's GOES Project uses NOAA data and creates animations and did so to show the end of Hurricane ...

EU project sails off to study Arctic sea ice

Aug 29, 2014

A one-of-a-kind scientific expedition is currently heading to the Arctic, aboard the South Korean icebreaker Araon. This joint initiative of the US and Korea will measure atmospheric, sea ice and ocean properties with technology ...

User comments : 0