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NASA and other satellites keeping busy with this week's severe weather
Date:3/9/2011

Mission (TRMM) satellite was flying in space when it passed over tornadoes occurring in the state of Louisiana on March 5 at 1411 UTC (8:11 a.m. CST). The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that seven tornadoes were spotted in Louisiana on that date. Those tornadoes caused at least 15 injuries and one death when a tornado hit in the northwest section of Rayne, Louisiana.

TRMM captured rainfall rates of the tornadic thunderstorms from March 5, 2011 when the system generated tornadoes in Louisiana. TRMM's Microwave Imager and Precipitation Radar showed that extremely heavy rainfall was falling from those storms at a rate of more than 2 inches (50 mm) per hour. Surrounding the intense rainfall areas were areas of moderate rainfall between .78 to 1.57 inches (20 to 4 mm) per hour.

Another view of the storm looking from the east was created by the TRMM Team at NASA Goddard. Using TRMM Precipitation Radar data, Hal Pierce of the NASA TRMM team created a 3-D image that sliced through the storm. The 3-D image showed that one of those powerful tornadic thunderstorms had intense echoes reaching as high as 9.3 miles (15km).

TRMM images are pretty complicated to create. At NASA Goddard, rain rate data from the TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR) instrument are taken from the center of the swath (the satellite's orbit path over the storm). The rain rates in the outer portion of the storm are created from a different instrument on the satellite, called the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI). The rain rates are then overlaid on infrared (IR) data from the TRMM Visible Infrared Scanner (VIRS). The TRMM satellite is managed by NASA and the Japanese Space Agency, JAXA. For more information about TRMM, visit: http://www.trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov/.

The GOES-13 satellite continues to provide updated imagery on the NASA GOES Project website at http://goes.gsfc
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Contact: Rob Gutro
robert.j.gutro@nasa.gov
301-286-4044
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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