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Lowell (was 12E - Eastern Pacific Ocean)
August 25, 2014

[image-190]Former Hurricane Lowell Finally Fades Away

Satellite data showed that Lowell had ceased its life as a tropical cyclone over the past weekend. 

By Saturday, August 23 at 11 p.m. EDT, the once mighty and huge Tropical Storm Lowell degenerated into a remnant low pressure area. At that time, the center of post-tropical cyclone Lowell was located near latitude 24.7 north and longitude 127.4 west. That's about 1,110 miles (1,790 km) west of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico. The post-tropical cyclone was moving toward the northwest near 8 mph (13 kph) and maximum sustained winds decreased to 25 mph (55 kph).

NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured a visible image of Lowell's remnants on August 24. At that time the bulk of Lowell's clouds were north of the center. The storm was affected by strong vertical wind shear, that is, winds that push the storm apart.

The National Hurricane Center noted at that time "although the convection associated with Lowell is not totally gone, it is no longer organized enough spatially or temporally [over and area for a period of time] for the system to be considered a tropical cyclone. Thus, Lowell has degenerated into a remnant low."

By Sunday, August 24 at 0300 UTC  (Aug. 23 at 11 p.m. EDT), Post-tropical cyclone Lowell's center was located near 24.7 north and 127.4 west and was moving to the northwest at 7 knots (8 mph/12.9 kph). So, the chapter on Lowell was closed.

Text credit:  Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


[image-174]Aug. 22, 2014 - NASA Sees Massive Tropical Storm Lowell Close Enough to Trouble Baja California

Although Tropical Storm Lowell is not over land the storm is large enough to cause strong ocean swells in Baja California. NASA's Terra satellite passed over Lowell and captured an image that shows how it dwarfed Tropical Storm Karina.

The National Hurricane Center noted that swells generated by Lowell will affect the west coast of the Baja California, Mexico, peninsula and portions of the coast of southern California through the weekend of August 23 and 24. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

NASA's Terra satellite passed over Lowell when it was still a hurricane on August 21 at 18:45 UTC (2:45 p.m. EDT). The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard Terra showed a large ragged eye-like feature in Lowell. By August 22, the cloud top temperatures in the thunderstorms surrounding the eye feature continued to warm and decrease in coverage from the previous day, indicating that the evaporation and uplift in the air is waning and thunderstorms are not getting as high in the atmosphere.

[image-63]NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured a trio of tropical tempests in a train across the Eastern Pacific all in one image on Aug. 22 at 5 a.m. EDT with Lowell in the center. Tropical Storm Karina, dwarfed by Lowell's massive size, is located farthest west followed by Tropical Storm Lowell and Tropical Storm Marie, to the east, located near the southern coast of Mexico.  

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC), Tropical Storm Lowell's maximum sustained winds dropped to 65 mph (100 kph) and gradual weakening is expected over the next couple of days. In fact, Lowell is expected to become a post- tropical storm over the weekend of August 23 and 24. The center of Tropical Storm Lowell was located near latitude 21.5 north and longitude 123.4 west. That's about 870 miles (1,395 km) west of the southern tip of Baja California. Lowell is moving toward the northwest near 8 mph (13 kph) and this general motion is expected to continue during the next couple of days.

Forecaster Daniel Brown at the National Hurricane Center noted "Lowell will be moving over progressively cooler waters and into a drier and more stable environment during the next several days.  This should lead to gradual weakening, and Lowell is expected to become a gale-force post-tropical cyclone in a couple of days."

Text credit:  Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


[image-126][image-142]Aug. 21, 2014 - A NASA Satellite Double-Take at Hurricane Lowell

Lowell is now a large hurricane in the Eastern Pacific and NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites double-teamed it to provide infrared and radar data to scientists. Lowell strengthened into a hurricane during the morning hours of August 21.

When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Lowell on August 20 at 21:05 UTC (4:05 p.m. EDT), the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder got an infrared look at Lowell's cloud top temperatures when it was still a tropical storm. AIRS showed a very thick band of thunderstorms surrounding the center of circulation and what appeared to be a very small cloud-free center of circulation, like the formation of an eye. Cloud top temperatures exceeded -63F/-52C, the threshold for high, cold thunderstorms with the potential for dropping heavy rainfall.

The TRMM or Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite passed over Lowell on August 21 at 01:14 UTC and captured rainfall rates and cloud height data. TRMM showed that moderate rainfall circled the center of the storm, with rain rates to about 30 mm per hour. A large band of thunderstorms extending southwest of the center also contained moderate rainfall. TRMM found that cloud tops in that band of thunderstorms were about 6.2 miles (10 km) high. TRMM is managed by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Lowell became the seventh hurricane of the Eastern Pacific Ocean season today, August 21 at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC). Maximum sustained winds had increased to 75 mph (120 kph) making Lowell a Category One hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale. Little change in intensity is forecast by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) today, and NHC forecasters expect a slow weakening trend later today through August 22.

It was centered near latitude 20.0 north and longitude 122.1 west, about 810 miles (1,300 km) west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico. It is moving to the northwest near 3 mph (4 kph) and is expected to move faster in that direction over the next two days.

There are no coastal watches or warning in effect.

Text credit:  Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


[image-96][image-112]NASA Sees Tropical Storm Lowell's Tough South Side

The south side of Tropical Storm Lowell appears to be its toughest side. That is, the side with the strongest thunderstorms, according to satellite imagery from NOAA's GOES-14 and NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellites.

NOAA took its GOES-14 satellite out of storage to simulate how the upcoming GOES-R satellite will work and captured a lot of data on Tropical Storm Lowell on August 19. Those data were used to create an animation that showed a gradual increase in the organization of a band of thunderstorms during the day. 

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument that flies aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Storm Lowell on August 19 at 21:42 UTC (5:42 p.m. EDT). The image showed a thick band of thunderstorms southwest of the center of circulation, wrapping into the center.

At 5 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, August 20, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted that curved bands of thunderstorms remained well organized on the south side of the circulation, but strong showers and thunderstorms were lacking to the north of the center. 

At the same time, the center of Tropical Storm Lowell was located near latitude 18.7 north and longitude 121.0 west. That's about 775 miles (1,245 km) west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California. Maximum sustained winds remain near 50 mph (85 kph). Lowell was moving toward the northwest near 5 mph (7 kph) and the NHC expects a slow northwest to north-northwest motion during the next day or so.

Forecaster Cangialosi at NHC noted that Lowell is currently over 27C/80.6F waters, and in an atmosphere of fairly low shear and high moisture. Tropical cyclones need waters at least near 26.6C/80F to maintain strength. Since the storm is expected to remain in these favorable conditions for another day and a half, some strengthening is forecast.

Text credit:  Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


[image-51][image-80]Aug. 19, 2014 - NASA Sees Depression 12-E Become Tropical Storm Lowell

In less than 24 hours after Tropical Depression 12-E was born in the eastern Pacific Ocean it strengthened into Tropical Storm Lowell. NOAA's GOES-West and NASA's Aqua satellite captured infrared images of the massive storm as it continues to strengthen.

On August 18 at 21:11 UTC (5:11 p.m. EDT), NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Eastern Pacific and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument gathered infrared data on Lowell's clouds and sea surface temperatures. The AIRS infrared data showed that powerful thunderstorms stretching high into the troposphere (lowest layer of atmosphere) surrounded the center of the tropical cyclone and appeared in fragmented bands south and east of the center. Cloud top temperatures were near -63F/-52C, indicative of high cloud tops with storms packing a potential for heavy rain.

AIRS data is made into imagery and false-colored to better show temperature. The images are created at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

On August 19 at 5 a.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center discussion noted that Lowell's cloud pattern has become better organized during the last several hours with the associated banding features now beginning to wrap around the center.

NOAA's GOES-West satellite caught an infrared picture of Lowell at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) on August 19 that showed thick bands of thunderstorms wrapping into the center from the south and east. The image was created by NASA/NOAA's GOES Project at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. NOAA manages the GOES satellites and the NASA/NOAA GOES Project creates images and animations using the data.

At 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC) the center of Tropical Storm Lowell was located near latitude 17.3 north and longitude 119.0 west. That's about 705 miles (1,135 km) west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico. Lowell was moving toward the west-northwest near 7 mph (11 kph) and the NHC expects a turn to the northwest and north-northwest. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 50 mph (85 kph) and some additional strengthening is forecast during the next two days. There are no watches or warnings in effect for this system.

NHC forecaster Cangliosi noted that "Lowell is expected to remain in an environment of moderate shear, high moisture, and over relatively warm water for another couple of days. These conditions should allow for some additional strengthening."

Text credit:  Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


Aug. 18, 2014 - Twelfth Tropical Depression Appears Huge on Satellite Imagery[image-36]

The Eastern Pacific has generated the twelfth tropical depression of the hurricane season, and satellite imagery showed that it dwarfs nearby Tropical Storm Karina.

Tropical cyclones are usually a couple of hundred miles in diameter. The average size of a tropical cyclone is around 304 nautical miles (350 miles/600 km) in diameter. The National Hurricane Center noted on August 18 at 11 a.m. EDT that Tropical Depression 12-E was at least 800 nautical miles (920.6 miles/1,482 km) in diameter! By comparison, Tropical Storm Karina is a couple of hundred miles in diameter. At 11 a.m. EDT on August 18, tropical-storm-force winds extended outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from Karina's center.

NASA/NOAA's GOES Project at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland generates visible and infrared satellite imagery of the Eastern and Central Pacific Oceans from NOAA's GOES-West and GOES-East satellites.

On August 18, at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) the center of Tropical Depression Twelve-e was located near latitude 16.7 north and longitude 117.7 west, that's about 665 miles (1,065 km) southwest of the southern tip of Baja California. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 kph), and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm late on August 18. The depression is moving toward the west-northwest near 8 mph (13 kph) and the National Hurricane Center expects a turn toward the northwest followed by a turn north on August 19.    

Text credit:  Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

GOES-West image of TD 12E
On August 18, NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured an image of tiny Tropical Storm Karina followed to the east by the massive Tropical Depression12-E.
Image Credit: 
NASA/NOAA GOES Project
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Storm train
NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured Tropical Storm Karina (left), Tropical Storm Lowell (center) and Tropical Storm Marie (right) in an infrared image on Aug. 22 at 5 a.m. EDT as they moved through the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
Image Credit: 
NASA/NOAA's GOES Project
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GOES image of Lowell
NOAA's GOES-West satellite caught an infrared picture of Tropical Storm Lowell on Aug. 19 at 5 a.m. EDT showing thick bands of thunderstorms wrapping into the center from the south and east.
Image Credit: 
NASA/NOAA GOES Project
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AIRS image of Lowell
On Aug. 18 at 5:11 p.m. EDT NASA's Aqua satellite saw powerful thunderstorms (purple) around the center of the tropical cyclone and appeared in fragmented bands south and east of the center.
Image Credit: 
NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
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VIIRS image of Lowell
The VIIRS instrument that flies aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Storm Lowell on August 19 at 5:42 p.m. EDT.
Image Credit: 
NRL/NASA/NOAA
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NOAA's GOES-14 satellite was brought out of storage and put in Super Rapid Scan Operations for GOES-R mode and data of Tropical Storm Lowell from Aug. 19 was animated.
Image Credit: 
UW-M/SSEC/NOAA
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AIRS image of Lowell
When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Lowell on August 20 at 4:05 p.m. EDT it saw very cold, powerful thunderstorms (purple) surrounding its center.
Image Credit: 
NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
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TRMM image of Lowell
TRMM passed over Lowell on August 21 at 01:14 UTC and showed that moderate rainfall circled the center of the storm, with rain rates to about 30 mm per hour.
Image Credit: 
SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
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Terra image of Lowell
On August 21 at 18:45 UTC (2:45 p.m. EDT) NASA's Terra satellite passed over Lowell when it was a hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 75 mph as it moved through the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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GOES image of Lowell's remnants
NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured a visible image of Lowell's remnants on August 24.
Image Credit: 
NASA/NOAA GOES Project
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Page Last Updated: August 25th, 2014
Page Editor: Lynn Jenner