IMERG analyzes severe weather in Tornado Alley and eastward

May 2, 2016, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Rain that fell from April 25 to May 2, 2016 is shown here. The locations of some of the tornadoes that hit this area over the past seven days are shown overlaid in white on this IMERG rainfall analysis. Very high rainfall totals (light purple) were found by this analysis in the states of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Mississippi. Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and North Carolina were also the recipients of heavy rainfall. Credit: NASA/JAXA/SSAI, Hal Pierce

Severe spring thunderstorms frequently spawned tornadoes from the Gulf Coast north and eastward during the past seven days. NASA's IMERG data were used to estimate the amount of rain that fell from April 25 to May 2, 2016.

During that period there were over 67 tornadoes in the United States reported to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Many of these tornadoes were located in an area that includes the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. This area of the Great Plains has been labeled Tornado Alley due to the many tornadoes that occur there this time of year. Gulf moisture clashing with frontal systems moving over the United States provided much of the fuel for intense showers and severe thunderstorms.

Flash flooding was often the result of the sudden onset of extremely heavy rainfall. Six fatalities were blamed on flooding that hit Palestine, Texas over the weekend of April 30 and May 1.

Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) is an international satellite mission to provide next-generation observations of rain and snow worldwide every three hours. GPM is a joint missions between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA. The data they provide is used to unify precipitation measurements made by an international network of partner satellites to quantify when, where, and how much it rains or snows around the world. That data goes into IMERG.

Rain that fell from April 25 to May 2, 2016 is shown here. The locations of some of the tornadoes that hit this area over the past seven days are shown overlaid in white on this IMERG rainfall analysis. Very high rainfall totals (light purple) were found by this analysis in the states of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Mississippi. Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and North Carolina were also the recipients of heavy rainfall. Credit: NASA/JAXA/SSAI, Hal Pierce

NASA's Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) data were used to estimate the amount of rain that fell from April 25 to May 2, 2016. The locations of some of the tornadoes that hit this area over the past seven days were overlaid in white on an IMERG rainfall analysis made at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Rainfall totals greater than 305 mm (12 inches) were analyzed in several areas over the United States from Kansas to the East Coast. Over 305 mm (12 inches) of rain was reported in southern Mississippi in only a few hours on the morning of April 28, 2016. Very high rainfall totals were found by this analysis in the states of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Mississippi. Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and North Carolina were also the recipients of heavy rainfall.

The National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland noted on May 2, "Severe thunderstorms with damaging winds, large hail and isolated will continue over the central and lower Mississippi Valley. Heavy rain with localized flash flooding remains possible over the central Appalachians and lower Mississippi Valley. Heavy snow and cold temperatures continue from the central Plains to the northern Rockies."

Explore further: NASA's GPM looks at Texas heavy rainfall

Related Stories

NASA's GPM looks at Texas heavy rainfall

April 21, 2016

The Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM mission core satellite provides next-generation observations of rain and snow worldwide every three hours. NASA and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) co-manage the ...

NASA's GPM satellite examines tornadic thunderstorms

April 1, 2016

The Global Precipitation Measurement, or GPM, mission core satellite, a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, measured heavy rainfall in severe storms early on Friday, April 1, in the southern ...

NASA's IMERG measures flooding rainfall in Peru

March 3, 2016

Heavy rainfall recently caused flooding, landslides and power outages in some areas of Peru. NASA's Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) measured that rainfall by using a merged precipitation product from ...

NASA looks at deadly weather over the US

December 29, 2015

NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM mission core satellite analyzed extreme weather that affected the U.S. over the course of five days. Heavy rainfall, flooding and tornado outbreaks affected areas of the United ...

Recommended for you

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

NASA instruments image fireball over Bering Sea

March 22, 2019

On Dec. 18, 2018, a large "fireball—the term used for exceptionally bright meteors that are visible over a wide area—exploded about 16 miles (26 kilometers) above the Bering Sea. The explosion unleashed an estimated 173 ...

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.