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News: Tropical Storm Joaquin

Tropical Storm Joaquin

CloudSat overpassed Tropical Storm Joaquin in the Caribbean on September 29, 2015 at 1810 UTC. Joaquin contained maximum sustained winds of 63 mph (55 knots) with a minimum central pressure of 992 mb. CloudSat overpassed directly through the center on convection of Tropical Storm Joaquin.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured the infrared (IR) (Figure 1) image taken a few minutes before the CloudSat overpass (Figure 2) denoted by the blue line A->B). The Enhanced Infrared (IR) VIIRS Imagery, Figure 3, also shows the CloudSat track during the same time period. This imagery distinguishes between cold and warm cloud top temperatures using IR imagery (higher cloud tops -> colder temperatures).

CloudSat intersected Tropical Storm Joaquin just as the storm was starting to become better organized. The upper level wind environment was becoming more favorable for storm development along with warm SST's to fuel intensification. The CloudSat profile reveals a broad area of deep convection in the northern section of the storm. The CloudSat overpass (Figure 2) intersects a dense section of moderate to heavy rain and deep convection with some of the stronger convective cores bubbling through the cirrus shield (light pink and dark red areas indicate the largest amount of ice/water). CloudSat cloud profiling signal attenuates in areas of moderate to heavy precipitation (diminished signal from the surace to 5-6 km)

Figure 3 reveals the Enhanced IR Visible Infrared Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) overpass of the same area taken about 4 minutes prior to the CloudSat overpass. At 750 m resolution the imagery emphasizes the colder temperatures and highest cloud tops. Areas of bubbling convection are distinguishable (-80 C) that are yellow in color.

An animation containing GOES satellite imagery with CloudSat imagery overlaid is shown in Figure 4 (courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/CloudSat Data Processing Center). Full-size movie

A cross section of CloudSat and GOES satellite imagery is shown in Figure 5 (courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/CloudSat Data Processing Center)

Figure 1. MODIS IR imagery with CloudSat track (courtesy NOAA LAADS Web).

Figure 2. CloudSat overpass track (courtesy CloudSat Data Processing Center).

Figure 3. Enhanced Infrared (IR) VIIRS (courtesy RAMMB).

Full-size movie


Figure 4. Tropical Storm Joaquin Animation - Caribbean, September 29, 2015.

Figure 5. Cross section of CloudSat and GOES imagery (courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/CloudSat Data Processing Center).

References:

NHC, Hurricane Joaquin Advisory Archive, Retrieved September 30, 2015.

MODIS imagery, LAADS Web, Retrieved September 30, 2015.

Hurricane Joaquin, Retrieved August 6, 2014.


Last updated: September 30, 2015 by Natalie D. Tourville