NASA satellite sees rainfall in ebbing Edzani

Jan 12, 2010
NASA and JAXA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, or TRMM satellite showed Edzani's eastern side still had some areas of heavy rainfall (red) at ~2 inches/hr. Most of the rainfall was east of the center and was between .7 and 1.6 inches/hr (light green). The TRMM analysis also showed that the western side of the storm's circulation is open, and no convection is happening. Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce

NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite captured a clear picture of what's happening within Tropical Storm Edzani, including where the rainfall is happening and where the center of the storm has been breached. Edzani is fading and will continue to fade over the next couple of days.

Also known as TRMM, the Measuring Mission is managed by NASA and the Japanese Space Agency, and the satellite acts like a rain gauge in space by measuring rainfall of storms on Earth from its orbit.

The passed over Edzani on January 11 at 12:27 a.m. ET (0527 UTC), and noticed that the storm's highest tops had dropped to about 6 miles (10 kilometers), indicating that convection (rapidly rising air that forms thunderstorms) is waning. Stronger convection creates higher, more powerful thunderstorms, but Edzani's is weakening.

The TRMM rainfall analysis revealed that the eastern side of the storm still had areas of heavy rainfall, falling at about 2 inches per hour. However, most of the rainfall was to the east of the center of circulation, and was between .7 and 1.6 inches per hour. The TRMM analysis also showed that the western side of the storm's circulation is open, and there is no convection happening.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center, the agency that monitors and forecasts in the Indian Ocean, issued their final warning on Edzani earlier today, January 12, but noted that they will continue to watch Edzani for possible regeneration. The JTWC confirmed what TRMM showed, "Central convection has completely eroded over the past 12 hours with some weak convection remaining along the southern quadrant within the warm frontal zone."

Animated multispectral satellite imagery showed that a weak front with cold-air stratocumulus clouds are wrapping around the western edge of Edzani. It appears that Edzani is also transitioning into an extra-tropical storm.

At 0000 UTC today (or 7 p.m. ET on January 11), Edzani's last position was approximately 975 nautical miles east-southeast of La Reunion island, near 26.1 degrees South Latitude and 72.5 East Longitude. Edzani had maximum sustained winds near 46 mph (40 knots) and it was moving west-southwest near 6 mph (5 knots). Despite the weakening of the storm and transitioning to an extra-tropical storm, Edzani is also moving back over warmer waters, so forecasters will keep a close eye on it for possible regeneration.

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