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Flossie (Eastern Pacific Ocean)
August 1, 2013

Aug. 1, 2013 - NASA's CloudSat Analyzes Tropical Depression Flossie Over Hawaii's Big Island

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NASA's CloudSat satellite passed over Tropical Depression Flossie at 2356 UTC/7:56 p.m EDT on July 29, 2013. At the time CloudSat passed overhead, Flossie contained estimated winds of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 kph and was heading westward towards Hawaii.  CloudSat flew just to the outside of the storm center revealing  deep convection and moderate to heavy areas of rainfall. The CloudSat data revealed low level cloud types (cumulus and stratocumulus) on the north side of Hawaii and more convective clouds (cumulonimbus) over the southern portion of Hawaii. Large amounts of liquid and ice water (deep reds and pink color) are abundant at mid-and -lower levels of the storm system. Cloud top heights are estimated at 12 to 13 km/7.4 to 8.0 miles with just a small area of cirrus outflow (light blue). At the same time, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites revealed the low level circulation displaced to the north/northeast of the main area of convection. The one kilometer/0.6 mile infrared imagery showed cold cloud top brightness temperatures around -60C/- 76F in the deepest area of convection. Flossie moved over the Hawaiian islands on July 29 and 30 bringing high surf, flash flood watches and strong winds to the islands.  Flossie is the first tropical system to intersect the islands since 1992.

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Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

 


July 31, 2013 - Satellite Sees Flossie Fizzle Fast

Tropical Depression Flossie fizzled fast on July 30 in the Central Pacific Ocean. Satellite imagery on July 31 showed remnant clouds northwest of the Hawaiian Island chain.

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NOAA's Central Pacific Hurricane Center issued the final advisory on the remnants of Tropical Depression Flossie on July 30 at 1500 UTC/11 a.m. EDT. At that time Flossie's remnant low pressure area was centered near 22.3 north latitude and 159.8 west longitude, about 140 miles west-northwest of Honolulu, Hawaii. The low pressure area was still moving to the west-northwest at 16 knots and the maximum sustained winds had dropped to 25 knots.

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On July 31 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT) NOAA's GOES-15 or GOES-West satellite captured infrared imagery of the remnants of what was Tropical Depression Flossie northwest of Niihau and Kauai in the Hawaiian Island chain. The remnant clouds appear scattered and almost ghost-like on the infrared satellite imagery. The image was created by NASA's GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

According to Hawaiinewsnow.com, almost 10,000 customers lost power across the Valley Isle and the entire island of Molokai was powerless for about 45 minutes Monday evening, July 29. Clean-up of trees and branches downed by Flossie's winds continues today, July 31 as the memory of Flossie fades.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

 


July 30, 2013 - NASA Sees Little Rainfall in Tropical Depression Flossie[image-112][image-126]

Tropical Storm Flossie weakened as it interacted with the Hawaiian Islands and became a depression. NASA's TRMM satellite saw mostly light rain and one isolated area of heavy rainfall within the storm after it weakened. All watches and warnings were dropped for the Hawaiian Islands on July 30.

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, or TRMM, satellite flew over Flossie on July 30 at 07:17 UTC (3:17 a.m. EDT) and saw a small area of heavy rain west of the center of circulation. TRMM data showed that the rest of Flossie's rainfall was light to moderate. TRMM is managed by both NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

At 5 a.m. EDT on July 30 (11 p.m. HST on July 29), the center of Tropical Depression Flossie was located near latitude 22.2 north, longitude 158.3 west. That put Flossie's center about 270 miles (435 km) northwest of Hilo and 65 miles (110 km) north-northwest of Honolulu.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Central Pacific Hurricane Center noted that the depression is moving toward the west-northwest near 18 mph (30 kph) and is expected to continue in that direction for the next two days. Flossie's maximum sustained winds have dropped to near 35 mph (55 kph) and the CPHC forecasts continued weakening over the next two days. Estimated minimum central pressure is 1009 millibars.

Flossie is moving into a somewhat less hostile environment. As TRMM data showed, there is no active convection (rising air forming the thunderstorms that make up the tropical cyclone) remaining near the system center Flossie. Forecasters at CPHC believe that Flossie may be "too far gone" to recover and re-strengthen. Flossie is forecast to remain a depression through 24 hours, become a remnant low in 36 hours, and dissipate by 72 hours.

The CPHC expects gusty winds will likely continue today as Flossie continues moving west-northwest.Locally heavy rainfall is expected to continue through the night-time hours on Tuesday, July 30, local time. This rainfall could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.

Meanwhile, CPHC notes that dangerous high surf will continue to affect east facing shores on July 30. Large surf is expected to continue from Maui to Niihau before subsiding tonight, July 30.

The National Hurricane Center expects Tropical Depression Flossie to continue moving through the Hawaiian Islands today, July 30, reaching Maro Reef, Hawaii by Wednesday, July 31. Maro Reef is a mostly submerged coral atoll in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands, about 850 miles (1,370 km) northwest of Honolulu.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

 


July 29, 2013 - NASA Sees Tropical Storm Flossie Near Hawaii[image-94]

NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Tropical Storm Flossie as it neared Hawaii.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Storm Flossie on July 28 at 23:10 UTC (7:10 p.m. EDT) as it continued moving toward Hawaii. The image showed that many of the thunderstorms have diminished in the storm.

On July 29, all of the Hawaiian Islands that have storm warnings have evacuation centers open. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Hawaii County, Maui County including the islands of Maui, Molokai, Lanai and. Kahoolawe. A warning is also in effect for Oahu. In addition, a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Kauai and Niihau.

The main concern is the waves associated with the high tides and flooding rains. Dangerously high surf was already pounding east facing shores of the Big Island early on July 29. Surf will continue to increase through Tuesday, July 30 and may flood roadways.  

Forecasters at NOAA's Central Pacific Hurricane Center expect Flossie to produce total rainfall amounts of 6 to 10 inches over the big island and Maui County with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches possible, mostly windward. Rainfall amounts of 4 to 8 inches are possible over Oahu with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches possible, mostly windward.  

Tropical Storm Flossie is expected to bring a lot of moisture to the leeward side of the Hawaiian Islands where the Kona coffee crops are located. That moisture will then be pushed up the mountainous terrain (orographic lift), which will go over the mountainous areas and rain on the windward side.

Flossie will be moving in the big island during the morning (local time) today, July 29.

Satellite data shows that the center of circulation is south of the strongest thunderstorms with the coldest cloud tops. Cloud top temperatures are seen on infrared imagery from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument that also flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite.

At 8 a.m. EDT /2 a.m. HST the Central Pacific Hurricane Center or CPHC in Honolulu, Hawaii noted that the center of Tropical Storm Flossie was located near latitude 19.6 north and longitude 152.5 west, just 165 miles (320 km) east of Hilo, Hawaii. Flossie is moving toward the west near 16 mph (28 kph) and is expected to continue for next 12 hours with a slight turn to the west northwest after that. Flossie's maximum sustained winds were near 50 mph (85 kph) and some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours. According to CPHC, tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 100 miles (160 km) from the center.

Tropical storm conditions are expected over the big Island and Maui County today and Oahu tonight. Tropical storm conditions are possible on Kauai and Niihau tonight. Dry air aloft and northerly wind shear are expected to weaken Flossie further in the next day or two as it moves through the Hawaiian Islands.

Text credit:  Rob Gutro

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
 


NASA Sees Heaviest Rain North of Tropical Storm Flossie's Center[image-52]

As Eastern Pacific Ocean's Tropical Storm Flossie continues to move further west toward Hawaii, NASA's TRMM satellite analyzed its rainfall.

When NASA and the Japan Space Agency's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite passed over Tropical Storm Flossie, it measured rainfall rates occurring throughout the storm. TRMM noticed that the heaviest rainfall was occurring at a rate of 1.2 inches per hour north of the center. The heavy rain wrapped around the storm from the north to the east. Most of the remaining rainfall was light to moderate. Microwave satellite imagery shows some inner core features trying to form.

An image created at the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, combined the TRMM data with an infrared image from NOAA's GOES-15 satellite to show rainfall within Flossie's cloud cover. Rain was falling throughout much of the storm.

On Friday, July 26 at 8 a.m. PDT (1500 UTC) the center of Tropical Storm Flossie was located near latitude 16.1 north and longitude 132.3 west, almost mid-way between the southern tip of  Baja California and Hilo, Hawaii (about 1,530 miles (2, 465 km) from each place. Maximum sustained winds were near 50 mph (85 kph). Flossie was moving to the west-northwest at 18 mph (30 kph) and had a minimum central pressure of 1,000 millibars.

As Flossie continues its westward track, the National Hurricane Center notes that residents of Hawaii should monitor the storm's approach.

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


July 25, 2013 - NASA's Infrared Data Shows Tropical Storm Flossie's Strength[image-51]

Tropical Storm Flossie formed in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and strengthened quickly on July 25. NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Flossie and captured an infrared look at the storm and saw a large area of powerful thunderstorms around its center and south of the center.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite. AIRS captured an infrared image of Tropical Storm Flossie on July 25 at 10:05 UTC (6:05 a.m. EDT). Infrared data helps determine temperature, such as the cloud top and sea surface temperatures. AIRS data revealed that Flossie's strongest storms and heaviest rains were around its center and in a fragmented band of thunderstorms south of the center. Those areas had cloud top temperatures near -63F/-52C, indicating very high thunderstorms.

The National Hurricane Center or NHC noted that at 8 a.m. PDT (11 a.m. EDT) the center of Tropical Storm Flossie was near latitude 15.3 north and longitude 125.6 west. Flossie is moving toward the west near 16 mph (26 kph) and is expected to continue in that direction for the next couple of days. Flossie's maximum sustained winds remain near 40 mph (65 kph) and NHC expects some strengthening during the next 48 hours.  The estimated minimum central pressure is 1003 millibars.

The NHC's current forecast track takes Flossie toward Hawaii as a depression by Tuesday, July 30.

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

satellite image of Flossie remnants
NASA's TRMM satellite saw Flossie dissipating northwest of the Hawaiian Islands on July 30 at 7:48 p.m. EDT (2348 UTC). TRMM saw very little precipitation near the center. The most intense rain, falling at a rate of less than an inch per hour was just north of the islands islands of Kaui and Niihau.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard/SSAI
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Image showing CloudSat's observations of Tropical Storm Flossie on July 29. Large amounts of liquid and ice water (deep reds and pink color) are abundant at middle and lower levels of the storm system.
Image Credit: 
Colorado State University
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CloudSat passed directly over Tropical Storm Flossie on July 29 and showed cumulus and stratocumulus clouds in northern Hawaii and cumulonimbus clouds over the southern part. Large amounts of liquid and ice water (deep reds and pink color) are abundant at middle and lower levels of the storm system.
Image Credit: 
Colorado State University
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satellite image of Flossie near Hawaii
The MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite took this image of Tropical Storm Flossie passing over the Big Island of Hawaii on July 29, 2013, at 4:50 p.m. EDT (20:50 UTC).
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard's MODIS Rapid Response Team
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AIRS image of Flossie
The AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured this infrared image of Tropical Storm Flossie on July 25. Strongest storms and heaviest rains are around the center and in a fragmented band of thunderstorms south of the center with cloud top temperatures near -63F/-52C (purple).
Image Credit: 
NASA JPL/Ed Olsen
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TRMM image of Flossie
This image shows TRMM rainfall data laid over an infrared image from NOAA's GOES-15 satellite to show rainfall within Flossie's cloud cover. Heaviest rainfall (red) was falling north of the center.
Image Credit: 
NRL/NASA/NOAA.
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visual satellite image of hurricane over ocean
The MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of Tropical Storm Flossie on July 28 at 23:10 UTC (7:10 p.m. EDT) as it continued moving toward Hawaii (left).
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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rainfall map of Flossie
The TRMM satellite flew over Flossie on July 30, 2013, at 07:17 UTC and saw a small area of heavy rain (red) west of the center of circulation. Most of the other rainfall was light (blue) and moderate (green).
Image Credit: 
NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
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satellite image of Flossie remnants
NOAA's GOES-15 satellite captured infrared imagery of the remnants of what was Tropical Depression Flossie northwest of Niihau and Kauai in the Hawaiian Island chain.
Image Credit: 
NASA GOES Project
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Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard/SSAI
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Page Last Updated: August 1st, 2013
Page Editor: Lynn Jenner