NASA's TRMM Satellite sees tornadic Texas storms in 3-D

April 5th, 2012 in Earth / Earth Sciences
TRMM's Precipitation Radar (PR) data gathered above northeastern Texas on April 3, 8:33 p.m. CDT were used to provide a 3-D view of the intensity and vertical distribution of precipitation. PR data showed that some of the powerful storms within this area were pushing up to heights above about 8 miles (13 km). Credit: (Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce)


TRMM's Precipitation Radar (PR) data gathered above northeastern Texas on April 3, 8:33 p.m. CDT were used to provide a 3-D view of the intensity and vertical distribution of precipitation. PR data showed that some of the powerful storms within this area were pushing up to heights above about 8 miles (13 km). Credit: (Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce)

NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite provides a look at thunderstorms in three dimensions and shows scientists the heights of the thunderclouds and the rainfall rates coming from them, both of which indicate severity.

Powerful thunderstorms that created severe weather were more than 8 miles high.

NOAA's Storm Prediction Center received 18 reports of tornadoes occurring on April 3 over northeastern Texas. Some of these very destructive storms dropped softball sized hail as they passed to the south of the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

The TRMM satellite passed above northeastern Texas on April 3, 8:33 p.m. CDT and gathered rainfall and cloud height data from a line of thunderstorms moving through the area. The rainfall image showed distinct line of tornadic thunderstorms extending from Arkansas through central Texas, where heavy rain falling along a line at over 2 inches (50 mm) per hour (in red). Credit: (Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce)

To see a simulated flyby from the TRMM satellite around these storms, visit: http://trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov/images_dir/tornadic_tstms_4apr12_0133_utc_radar_animated.gif (28 MB animated gif).

Provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

"NASA's TRMM Satellite sees tornadic Texas storms in 3-D." April 5th, 2012. http://phys.org/news/2012-04-nasa-trmm-satellite-tornadic-texas.html