NASA's TRMM satellite sees deadly rainfall over Thailand

March 31, 2011 By Hal Pierce
A rainfall analysis showed that rainfall for the past week over the Malay Peninsula was particularly extreme (in red) with totals of almost 1,200 mm (~47 inches). Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce

Data from NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite was used to create a rainfall map of the severe rains that fell in Thailand recently. More than 20 people have been killed in southern Thailand over the past week due to flooding and mudslides caused by extremely heavy rainfall.

TRMM is a satellite managed by both NASA and the Japanese Space Agency, JAXA. It is a unique satellite because its advanced technology enables it to measure rainfall from space.

A Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) analysis was made using data that were calibrated with TRMM precipitation data. These data are calculated and stored at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. and are available within a few hours after being received by satellites. The analysis showed that rainfall for the past week over the Malay Peninsula was particularly extreme with totals of almost 1200 mm (~47 inches).

TRMM satellite data revealed that rainfall in that area was frequently falling at a rate of over 50 mm/hr (~2 inches). According to reports from CNN, since March 26 the southern province of Surat Thani received 855 mm (34 inches) of rain. Normally, the province receives about 2 inches of rainfall over the entire month of March. Heavy rain amounts (from ) and flood inundation calculations (from a hydrological models) are updated every three hours globally with the results shown on the "Global Flood and Monitoring" TRMM web site pages, at http://trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov/ .

Explore further: TRMM maps flooding along US East Coast from massive storm

Related Stories

TRMM maps flooding along US East Coast from massive storm

March 14, 2011

The massive rain storm that stretched from New York to Florida last week dropped some record rainfall and NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite measured that rainfall from space. Those rainfall totals ...

NASA's TRMM satellite sees heavy rainfall in Choi-Wan

September 17, 2009

NASA and the Japanese Space Agency's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite flew over the center of Super Typhoon Choi-Wan at 2:34 EDT on September 17, 2009 and captured heavy rainfall around the storm's center.

Recommended for you

Heavy oils and petroleum coke raising vanadium emissions

December 15, 2017

Human emissions of the potentially harmful trace metal vanadium into Earth's atmosphere have spiked sharply since the start of the 21st century due in large part to industry's growing use of heavy oils, tar sands, bitumen ...

Climate change made Harvey rainfall 15 percent more intense

December 14, 2017

A team of scientists from World Weather Attribution, including researchers from Rice University and other institutions in the United States and Europe, have found that human-caused climate change made the record rainfall ...

0 comments

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.