Eyeing the Eye: Exciting Early Stage Science Results from TRMM Joanne Simpson/ Jeffrey Halverson,* Harold Pierce/ Carlos Morales/ and T. Iguchi+ In addition to production of its archived rain and 10 December. Succeeding hourly GMS images suggest latent heat products, TRMM1 (Tropical Rainfall Mea- that this burst continued to expand and intensify over suring Mission) is leading to important insights and the next 7 h. applications concerning tropical cyclones. Shortly after Of all the oceans where tropical cyclones develop, launch, in early December 1997, TRMM captured the only the Atlantic has aircraft reconnaissance to provide birth and intensification of twin Pacific typhoons, Pam forecasters with central pressure, maximum wind inten- in the Southern Hemisphere and Paka in the Northern sity, and existence of an eye. In the other basins, fore- Hemisphere. Paka was followed for more than three casters must rely mainly on sparse synoptic data and weeks with 19 overpasses by TRMM. She brushed pattern recognition from satellite products to assess cur- TRMM's key surface radar validation site on Kwajalein rent strength and cloud organization. Since the IR pat- Atoll on 11 December. Paka first became a supertyphoon terns of the cloud tops show only the exhaust products (sustained 1-min wind speed > 130 kt or 67 m s_1) on of the storm heat engine, they can often be misleading, 14 December at 1200 UTC. On 16 December, it severely particularly in the early stages of cyclone intensification. damaged Guam (where TRMM has another ground site). In the GMS IR image of Paka at 0532 UTC 10 Decem- Supertyphoon Paka intensified in three stages, with slight ber (upper left panel) Paka appears immature, with little losses of intensity between them. likelihood of rapid intensification. From GMS, an eye with characteristic organization of typhoon clouds is not The TRMM data on Paka (together with data from other satellites and models) will enable the testing of seen until 0000 UTC on 11 December (not shown). Both our hypothesis that upper-tropospheric warming caused the PR and TMI make it obvious that Paka was near ty- by convective bursts—huge clouds that carry high- phoon (hurricane) strength and deepening rapidly 18 h energy air up to the high troposphere—are the mecha- earlier. If Paka had been approaching a populated coast, nism for rapid increases in tropical cyclone (TC) hours of precious warning time could be gained if TMI intensity. The cover picture shows the GMS (geosyn- overpasses could be made as often as every 1-3 h. It chronous meteorological satellite) image, then overlays should be pointed out that high-resolution sensors are of the TRMM precipitation radar (PR) and the TRMM necessary. A cluster of 24 small platforms each with passive microwave imager (TMI) 85-Ghz channel near TMI capability would permit hourly overpasses, and 8 the beginning of the first important burst, which began would permit an overpass every 3 h. This type of re- about 5 h earlier. The cross section through the eye mote sensing of tropical cyclones would also help to fill (lower right) shows the profile of an early deep burst data gaps between routine reconnaissance flights into At- on the western side of the eye. The TRMM PR and TMI lantic hurricanes. 85-Ghz channel reveal that a nearly mature typhoon The TRMM data products, including rain and latent (hurricane) rain pattern already existed at 0532 UTC on heating, may be obtained from the Goddard Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC). Access to that data may be obtained at the Web site http://daac.gsfc.nasa.gov or the TRMM Web site at http://trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov. 'TRMM is a joint project between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Space Development Agency of Japan. Acknowledgments. The writers would like to thank the person- nel of the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, on Guam at the time of *Goddard Space Flight Center/NASA, Greenbelt, Maryland. Paka, for supplying help, data, and valuable discussions. We also Communications Research Laboratory, Kashima, Japan. thank R. Oki of EOC/NASDA, Japan, for furnishing GMS data. 168 7 Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Aug 1, 1998
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