CloudSat captures a sideways look at fading Lana

Aug 03, 2009
This sideways image of Tropical Storm Lana came from NASA's CloudSat satellite on Aug. 2 when its high clouds were almost 9 miles high and colder than -76F! Credit: NASA/JPL/Colo. State Univ/NRL-Monterey

NASA satellites do some really cool things, like take a sideways look at a slice of a tropical depression. That's what CloudSat did with Lana in the Central Pacific.

As Lana passed south of the this past weekend, its maximum sustained winds peaked around 65 knots (74 mph), making it a Category One hurricane for a brief period before it ran into adverse that weakened the quickly.

By Monday, August 3, 2009 at 5 a.m. EDT, Lana's sustained winds were down to 30 knots and her minimum central pressure had gone up to 1010 millibars. Weakening winds and rising air pressure are signs of a weakening storm. Lana was located near 14.5 degrees north latitude and 162.0 west longitude and headed west near 13 knots (15 mph).

When NASA's CloudSat satellite's Cloud Profiling Radar captured a sideways look across Lana the day before, Sunday, August 2, it was still a tropical storm with high higher than 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) high. CloudSat measured the highest, coldest cloud temperatures near minus 60 degrees Celsius (minus 76 degrees Fahrenheit)! Those high clouds indicated that there were some strong thunderstorms still occurring on Sunday, August 2. At the time when CloudSat swept over Lana, its maximum sustained winds were near 45 knots (52 mph) and pressure was 1008 millibars.

Less than 24 hours later, satellite data showed that Lana lacked "deep convection" - that is, rapid rising air that helps to build the powerful thunderstorms that fuel the tropical storm. Thus, Lana was re-classified as a weaker . Forecasters believe that by August 4, Lana will start dissipating, and by August 5, she'll be a remnant low pressure area in the Central Pacific.

Source: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Explore further: NASA satellites measure increase of Sun's energy absorbed in the Arctic

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA satellites see remnant low Dolores go out kicking

Jul 17, 2009

The remaining clouds and showers that were once tropical storm Dolores are fading at sea, more than 940 miles west of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Dolores has now weakened into a remnant low pressure area but continues ...

Tropical Depression Erin Soaking East Texas

Aug 16, 2007

Tropical Storm Erin quickly weakened to a tropical depression when she made landfall on the Texas coast near Lamar during the early morning hours of Thursday, August 16, 2007.

Fay Comes Ashore in Florida

Aug 19, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's CloudSat and Aqua satellites are just two of NASA's fleet keeping eyes on Tropical Storm Fay. NASA is using these data to see cloud height and cloud temperatures which give hints at ...

NASA sees Carlos power back up to hurricane status in 3-D

Jul 14, 2009

Carlos became a hurricane for about 24 hours over the previous weekend, then powered down to a tropical storm and now atmospheric conditions have enabled him to power back into a hurricane in the Eastern Pacific ...

Recommended for you

Improving forecasts for rain-on-snow flooding

49 minutes ago

Many of the worst West Coast winter floods pack a double punch. Heavy rains and melting snow wash down the mountains together to breach riverbanks, wash out roads and flood buildings.

The Greenland Ice Sheet: Now in HD

1 hour ago

The Greenland Ice Sheet is ready for its close-up. The highest-resolution satellite images ever taken of that region are making their debut. And while each individual pixel represents only one moment in time, ...

NOAA/NASA satellite sees holiday lights brighten cities

19 hours ago

Even from space, holidays shine bright. With a new look at daily data from the NOAA/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite, a NASA scientist and colleagues have identified how ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.