NASA finds some strength in new eastern Pacific tropical depression

September 12, 2017
On Sept. 12 at 5:29 a.m. EDT (0929 UTC) the AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured this false-colored infrared image of Tropical Depression 15E in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Some cloud top temperatures in strong storms were as cold as minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius). Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen

NASA's Aqua satellite measured cloud top temperatures in newly formed Tropical Depression 15E in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and found some strong storms. Tropical Depression 15E developed around 5 p.m. EDT on Sept. 11 and is not a threat to land areas.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite analyzed Tropical Depression 15E (15E) in infrared light. Infrared light provides scientists with temperature data and that's important when trying to understand how strong storms can be. The higher the cloud tops, the colder and the stronger they are. So as that gathered by the AIRS instrument can identify the strongest sides of a tropical cyclone.

When NASA's Aqua satellite flew over 15E on Sept. 12 at 5:29 a.m. EDT (0929 UTC) AIRS detected strong thunderstorms around the center and southwest of the center. Cloud top temperatures in those three areas were as cold as minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius). Storms with cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to produce heavy rainfall.

At 11 a.m. EDT (8 a.m. PDT/1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Fifteen-E was located near 15.6 degrees north latitude and 116.2 degrees west longitude. That's about 650 miles (1,045 km) southwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The is moving toward the west near 15 mph (24 kph), and the National Hurricane Center said the system should continue moving in this general direction at a slower rate of forward speed during the next two days. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 kph) with higher gusts. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1004 millibars.

Some slight strengthening is expected, and the system may become a tropical storm by Wednesday, Sept.13.

Explore further: NASA sees development of Tropical Depression 19W

Related Stories

NASA sees development of Tropical Depression 19W

September 5, 2017

NASA's Aqua satellite looked at cloud top temperatures in Tropical Depression 19W as it developed just north of northern coast of Luzon, Philippines. Satellite imagery showed that the depression was already battling wind ...

NASA gets an infrared view of Tropical Cyclone Sanvu

August 28, 2017

NASA's Aqua satellite used infrared light to gather cloud top temperature data from the newest tropical cyclone in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean. Tropical Depression Sanvu formed just north of the Northern Marianas islands.

NASA analyzes Hurricane Jose's hidden cloud-filled eye

September 11, 2017

NASA satellite imagery provided a couple of views of Hurricane Jose's cloud-filled eye allowing forecasters to see that it still existed. NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a visible look at the storm, while the GPM ...

Recommended for you

Study finds pollution is deadlier than war, disaster, hunger

October 20, 2017

Environmental pollution—from filthy air to contaminated water—is killing more people every year than all war and violence in the world. More than smoking, hunger or natural disasters. More than AIDS, tuberculosis and ...

Carbon coating gives biochar its garden-greening power

October 20, 2017

For more than 100 years, biochar, a carbon-rich, charcoal-like substance made from oxygen-deprived plant or other organic matter, has both delighted and puzzled scientists. As a soil additive, biochar can store carbon and ...

Cool roofs have water saving benefits too

October 20, 2017

The energy and climate benefits of cool roofs have been well established: By reflecting rather than absorbing the sun's energy, light-colored roofs keep buildings, cities, and even the entire planet cooler. Now a new study ...

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.