Like the writer, Agatha was a brief mystery

June 2nd, 2010 in Earth / Earth Sciences
NASA's Aqua satellite flew over the remnants of Agatha and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument captured this infrared image on June 1 at 19:05 UTC (2:05 p.m. EDT), showing a rounded area of some high, cold thunderstorm tops (purple). Credit: NASA JPL/Ed Olsen


NASA's Aqua satellite flew over the remnants of Agatha and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument captured this infrared image on June 1 at 19:05 UTC (2:05 p.m. EDT), showing a rounded area of some high, cold thunderstorm tops (purple). Credit: NASA JPL/Ed Olsen

Tropical Storm Agatha made landfall this weekend in El Salvador and Guatemala, and crossed into the western Caribbean. Like Agatha Christie, the famous mystery writer, Agatha was somewhat of a forecasting mystery until today.

NASA's infrared showed a strong area of thunderstorms in the middle of Agatha's remnants on June 1, but they have continued to erode and today, June 2, the mystery of possible regeneration has been solved as the National Hurricane Center gives the chance of reorganization "near zero percent."

Agatha's remnants swept into the Western Caribbean Sea and is now numbered "System 91L." At 1800 UTC (12 p.m. EDT) on June 1, the center was located east of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, near 19.1 North and 85.9 West.

On Wednesday, June 2 at 1231 UTC (8:31 a.m. EDT) from the called GOES-13 showed three areas of concentrated scattered clouds in the Caribbean. One concentrated area of cloudiness was near northwestern Cuba, a larger area of cloudiness southeast of Florida, and in the , one area of clouds south of Louisiana. None of these areas showed any signs of development.

This image of Tropical Storm Agatha's rainfall and cloud heights was captured by NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite on May 28. It showed some hot towers higher than 16 kilometers (10 miles) with very heavy rainfall (more than 2 inches per hour) in red areas as it was making landfall. Credit: NASA TRMM, Hal Pierce

Looking back at May 28, when Tropical Storm Agatha was about to make landfall, NASA and the Japanese Space Agency's Measuring Mission satellite captured rainfall rates and cloud heights of the storm. That data revealed hot towers (very strong thunderstorms around the center of circulation), higher than 16 kilometers (10 miles) with very heavy rainfall (more than 2 inches per hour) in red areas as it was making landfall.

Agatha's remnants, or the area that is now called "91L" in the Caribbean Sea doesn't appear have much of a chance of powering up to the kind of it was in the Eastern Pacific, and it is not a mystery anymore.

Provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

"Like the writer, Agatha was a brief mystery." June 2nd, 2010. http://phys.org/news194706430.html