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Norbert (Eastern Pacific)
September 10, 2014

[image-174][image-190] NASA Tracks Norbert Moisture to Arizona's Drenching Thunderstorms

Post-tropical storm Norbert may have been centered a couple of hundred miles off the northwestern coast of Mexico's Baja California, but the flow of warm, moist air that spun around it generated drenching thunderstorms over Arizona. NASA's TRMM satellite saw Norbert's remnants and those Arizona thunderstorms dropping rainfall at over 2 inches per hour.

NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or  TRMM satellite flew above the post-tropical cyclone remnants of former hurricane Norbert on September 8, 2014 at 0849 UTC (1:49 a.m. PDT). When TRMM passed overhead data gathered from the Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) instruments showed the rainfall occurring in the low pressure area.

[image-61]TRMM showed only a small amount of light to moderate rainfall was located around Norbert's center of circulation. However, the moisture moving in a huge counterclockwise circulation around Norbert's remnants was transported almost 1,000 miles away where it generated thunderstorms over Arizona. The TRMM image showed very heavy rainfall was being produced over the southwestern United States, including Arizona, southern California and southern Nevada.

Data from TRMM's Precipitation Radar (PR) instrument were used to create a 3-D image at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The 3-D image showed that some showers located to the west of Norbert's center of circulation weren't very high.

The TRMM satellite flew over the southwestern United States again on September 8 at 1205 UTC (5:05 a.m. PDT). At that time a cluster of intense thunderstorms was found in Arizona directly below the satellite. Rain was measured by the TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR) instrument falling at a rate of over 62 mm (2.4 inches) per hour in some downpours.

According to the National Weather Service, 3.29 inches of rain fell at the Phoenix airport breaking the day's record.

For over sixteen years the TRMM's Precipitation Radar (PR) has been providing three dimensional vertical profiles of precipitation from the surface of the earth to heights of about 12 miles (20 kilometers). The 3-D view showed that some thunderstorm tops reached heights of 13.5 km (about 8.4 miles).

On September 8, the moisture spreading northeastward from tropical storm Norbert caused flooding over inland areas of southern California. By September 9, that moisture generated the strong thunderstorms over Arizona that created widespread flooding led the Governor to declare a state of emergency in the state. 

Hal Pierce
SSAI/NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


[image-36]Satellite Animation Shows Norbert's Remnants Spinning Down, Soaking U.S. Southwest

NOAA's GOES-West satellite has been capturing visible and infrared imagery of the remnants of former Tropical Storm Norbert as it spins down in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and NASA has created an animation showing the spin down. Tropical moisture around Norbert's outer circulation has been streaming over the U.S. southwest and caused record-breaking rainfall in Phoenix, Arizona on September 8.

NOAA's National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted that the remnant low pressure area that was once Tropical Storm Norbert continues to spin down in the Eastern Pacific on September 9. The low was centered near 28 north latitude and 118 west.

Visible and infrared imagery from NOAA's GOES-West satellite from September 6 through September 9 were compiled into an animation at NASA/NOAA's GOES Project at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The animation begins as Norbert weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm. Norbert then moved parallel to the western coast of Baja California, Mexico and weakened into a remnant low pressure area on September 8. On September 9, Norbert's remnants continued to spin at sea, west of northwestern Baja California.

Norbert created a flow of warm, tropical air the moved over the U.S. southwest and triggered showers and thunderstorms in the region on September 8. The heavy rainfall drenched Phoenix with record rainfall for a single day and caused two interstates to close for a period. According to the National Weather Service, 3.29 inches of rain fell at the Phoenix airport breaking the day's record. The previous record was set in 1939 when 2.91 inches fell. Other locations in Arizona that reported large rainfall totals include Mesa with 4.41 inches and Chandler where 5.63 inches of rain fell. In Nevada, the town of Moapa received 4 inches of rainfall. Moapa is located northeast of Las Vegas.

The low will continue to spin down in the Eastern Pacific Ocean over the next couple of days. Although it still contains some gusty winds and is generating some rough seas, those conditions are expected to fall below advisory criteria by early Wednesday, September 9.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


[image-158]Sept. 08, 2014 - NASA Sees Post-Tropical Cyclone Norbert Fading Near Baja California

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Norbert on September 7 before it weakened to a post- tropical storm. The AIRS instrument aboard captured infrared data that showed a "sliver" of strong thunderstorms remained around the center of the waning storm.  

When the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument gathered infrared data on Tropical Storm Norbert on Sept. 7 at 4:53 p.m. EDT, it showed only a small area of strong thunderstorms around the center where cloud top temperatures were near the -63F/-52C threshold for strong storms.

At that time, Norbert was still a tropical storm, with maximum sustained winds down to near 50 mph (85 kph) and weakening. Forecaster Cangialosi noted "A small patch of deep convection (thunderstorms) has been lingering just west of the center of Norbert during the last several hours.  Although the cyclone is producing little deep convection, its circulation remains well established." 

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued their final warning on the storm today, September 8 at 5 a.m. EDT (0900 UTC). Norbert had become post-tropical with maximum sustained winds near 40 mph (65 kph). The center of post-tropical cyclone Norbert was located near latitude 27.4 north and longitude 118.3 west.  That's about 200 miles (320 km) west of Punta Eugenia, Mexico. The post-tropical cyclone is moving toward the northwest near 6 mph (9 kph) and a turn toward the north and northeast with a decrease in forward speed is expected during the next day or two. Norbert is expected to approach the west coast of the Baja California peninsula during the next couple of days. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1001 millibars.

Norbert is weakening rapidly and no longer qualifies as a tropical cyclone but is still causing rough surf along the Baja California coast. In addition, tropical moisture from Norbert's remnants are expected to continue to spread northward across northern Mexico and the southwestern United States which the NHC noted could result in heavy rains and life-threatening flash flooding in these area during the next day or two.

NHC forecasts continued gradual weakening and Norbert's dissipation in two to three days. 

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


Sept. 05, 2014 - NASA Adds Up Heavy Rainfall from Hurricane Norbert

[image-110][image-126][image-142]As Hurricane Norbert continued dropping heavy amounts of rainfall on Mexico's Baja California on September 5, NASA's TRMM satellite calculated the rain that had already fallen.

From its orbit in space, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite has the capability of determining how much rainfall has occurred over given areas. Data from TRMM was compiled into a rainfall map that showed the rainfall generated from Tropical Storm Dolly and Hurricane Norbert from August 28 through September 4, 2014.

Tropical storm Dolly dissipated quickly after coming ashore on September 3 in eastern Mexico but dropped heavy rain in some areas near the Gulf coast. At the same time Norbert, then a tropical storm was approaching from the west and contributing to rainfall near Mexico's Pacific coast. TRMM-based, near-real time Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (MPA) data for the period from August 28 to September 4, 2014 were used to create an analysis.

The TRMM MPA showed that the heaviest rainfall totals were greater than 300 mm (~11.8 inches) and fell over the open waters of the Pacific Ocean and near Mexico's western and Gulf coasts. Rainfall was also enhanced near inland mountainous terrain when moisture from the tropical cyclones moved over Mexico.

Although Dolly has since dissipated and its moisture moved into the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, Norbert has become a hurricane paralleling the coast of Mexico's Baja California, dropping more heavy rainfall.

When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Hurricane Norbert on September 4 at 4:17 p.m. EDT, the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument captured infrared data that showed cloud top and sea surface temperatures. Sea surface temperatures were warm enough to support Norbert, but cool off farther north, which will help weaken the hurricane. The AIRS image also showed that the coldest cloud top temperatures were colder than -63F/-52C shows the strongest storms and coldest cloud top temperatures in purple. Those strong storms surrounded the center of Norbert and stretched over the southern tip of Baja California in a band of thunderstorms.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect from Santa Fe to Cabo San Lazaro and a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from San Evaristo to south of Santa Fe and north of Cabo San Lazaro to Punta Eugenia. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for north of San Evaristo to Loreto.

The warning area can expect hurricane-force winds and rainfall amounts between 3 to 6 inches over the southern part of the Baja California Peninsula with isolated amounts near 10 inches through Saturday, September 6, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Norbert is also generating very rough seas and large swells affecting the coast of the southern Baja California Peninsula will spread northward along the west coast of the peninsula through the weekend. These swells will produce dangerous surf conditions and rip currents.

Hurricane Norbert's maximum sustained winds were near 90 mph (150 kph) at 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC) on Friday, September 5. The NHC expects Norbert to weaken slowly over the next two days.

Norbert's center was located near latitude 23.0 north and longitude 111.9 west, about 125 miles (205 km) west of Cabo San Luca, Mexico. Norbert was moving toward the north-northwest near 8 mph (13 kph) and the NHC expects a turn toward the northwest. On the forecast track the center of the hurricane will continue to move nearly parallel to and just offshore of the pacific coast of the southern Baja California
Peninsula through September 6.

As Norbert continues to move in a northerly direction and parallel the Baja California coast, western Mexico, the Gulf of California and southern California will see large swells, rough surf and rip tides.

Hal Pierce and Rob Gutro
​NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland


Sept. 04, 2014 - Hurricane Norbert Pinwheels in NASA Satellite Imagery

[image-94]The Eastern Pacific's Hurricane Norbert resembled a pinwheel in an image from NASA's Terra satellite as bands of thunderstorms spiraled into the center. NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM mission has helped forecasters see that Norbert has lost some of its organization early on September 4.

The MODIS instrument or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible picture of Tropical Storm Norbert on Sept. 4 at 2:15 p.m. EDT when it resembled a pinwheel. The western bands of Norbert were moving over Socorro Island, located several hundred miles west of Mexico's west coast. An eye was not apparent in the image, although Norbert was strengthening into a hurricane. The image was created by the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Less than six hours later at 8 p.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center noted that Norbert became a hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 75 mph (120 kph). Overnight and into the early morning hours of September 4, maximum sustained winds increased to 80 mph (130 kph).

On Thursday, September 4, 2014, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) continued the Tropical Storm Warning from La Paz to Cabo San Lazaro, Mexico. A tropical storm watch is also in effect north of Cabo San Lazaro to Puerto San Andresito and north of La Paz to San Evaristo.

At 8 a.m. EDT (5 a.m. PDT), Norbert's maximum sustained winds remain near 80 mph (130 kph) and some slow strengthening is expected during the next 24 hours. Those hurricane-force winds only extend up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend out 105 miles (165 km), which is why the Baja is under a tropical storm warning.   

Norbert's center was located near latitude 20.6 north and longitude 110.0 west. That's just 160 miles (255 km) south of the southern tip of Baja California. Norbert was moving toward the northwest near 6 mph (9 kph) and movement in that direction is expected to continue over the next couple of days taking Norbert along the coast.

On the NHC's forecast track the center of the hurricane is expected to approach the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula today and move nearly parallel to the pacific coast of the peninsula tonight and Friday, September 5.

The NHC uses data from multiple satellites, including NASA's new GPM satellite. The NHC discussion on Norbert at 5 a.m. EDT today, September 4, said "Recent microwave images, including a NASA GPM overpass at 0516 UTC (1:16 a.m. EDT), indicate that Norbert has lost some organization during the past few hours due to easterly vertical wind shear.  The low-level center is in the northeastern part of the central convection with a mid-level eye displaced to the southwest of the low-level center.

Norbert is forecast to track parallel along the coast of Baja California for the next couple of days.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

 


Sept. 03, 2014 - NASA Sees Tropical Storm Norbert Affecting Mexico's West Coast

Tropical Storm Norbert has now triggered Tropical Storm Warnings for Mexico's West Coast, and NASA's Terra satellite showed how close it is to land.

On Wednesday, September 3, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued a Tropical Storm Warning from La Paz to Santa Fe, Mexico. There is also a Tropical Storm Watch in effect from north of Santa Fe northward to Cabo San Lazaro, Mexico.

[image-78]The MODIS or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite took an image of Tropical Storms Norbert in the Eastern Pacific and Dolly in the Gulf of Mexico at 1:30 p.m. EDT on Sept. 2. The image showed Dolly is a much more organized storm than Norbert, and revealed Dolly's strongest, towering thunderstorms around the center of circulation. Norbert is close to the western coast of Mexico, so the country has tropical storms to the east and west. The image was created by the NASA MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

On September 3 at 8 a.m. EDT (5 a.m. PDT), Norbert's maximum sustained winds remained near 60 mph (95 kph) but strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours. In fact, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) expects Norbert to reach hurricane strength by Thursday, September 4.

The center of Tropical Storm Norbert was located near latitude 19.7 north and longitude 108.3 west. That puts Norbert's center about 245 miles (395 km) south-southeast of the southern tip of Baja California. Norbert is moving toward the west-northwest near 8 mph (13 kph) and this general motion should continue today with a turn toward the northwest expected on Thursday. NHC noted that on the forecast track, Norbert's center is expected to approach the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula on Thursday.

Residents within the Tropical Storm Warning area from La Paz to Santa Fe, Mexico, are expected to experience tropical storm conditions by Thursday night. NHC noted that Norbert is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches over Colima and western parts of Michoacan and Jalisco in southwestern Mexico today, September 3. Dangerous swells are also forecast to affect the southwestern coast of Mexico for the next two days, also creating rip currents. Those conditions are expected to spread north into the southern Gulf of California by September 4.

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

 


Sept. 02,  2014 - Satellite Sees Tropical Storm Norbert Form off Mexico's West Coast

The Eastern Pacific Ocean continues to generate tropical cyclones much faster than the tropical Atlantic as NOAA's GOES-West satellite caught the birth of Tropical Storm Norbert on September 2. The Atlantic is only on its fourth tropical storm with the formation of Dolly today in the Gulf of Mexico.

[image-51]A visible satellite image of newborn Tropical Storm Norbert was created from NOAA's GOES-West satellite data at the NASA/NOAA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The GOES-West image from 8 a.m. EDT on September 2 showed some bands of thunderstorms had formed around the center and south of the center of circulation.  The storm is currently being affected my moderate vertical wind shear from the northeast, which is pushing some of the clouds and showers to the southwest of the center.

Tropical Storm Norbert was born on Tuesday, September 2 at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC), according to satellite imagery and forecasters at the National Hurricane Center (NHC). At that time, Norbert's maximum sustained winds were near 40 mph (65 kph) and some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, according to the NHC. Norbert's center was located near latitude 17.5 north and longitude 106.5 west, about 180 miles (285 km) southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico. It was moving to the north-northeast at 14 mph (22 kph) and is expected to turn to the north before curving to the west-northwest over the next day. Norbert is expected to remain offshore of southwestern Mexico.

Forecaster Blake at the NHC noted that the environment near Norbert seems mostly favorable for strengthening during the next few days with the cyclone forecast over warm waters with moderate (wind) shear. 

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

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NOAA's GOES-West imagery from September 6 through September 9 shows former Tropical Storm Norbert spinning down in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
Image Credit: 
NASA/NOAA GOES Project
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This simulated flyby of NASA's TRMM satellite on Sept. 8 saw rain falling at a rate of over 62 mm (2.4 inches) per hour in some downpours over Arizona. Some thunderstorm tops reached heights of 13.5 km (about 8.4 miles).
Image Credit: 
SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
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GOES-West satellite image of Tropical Storm Norbert 2-Sep-2014
This GOES-West satellite image of Tropical Storm Norbert was taken at 8 a.m. EDT on September 2 and showed some bands of thunderstorms had formed south of the center of circulation, and around the center.
Image Credit: 
NASA/NOAA GOES Project
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tropical storms crowd a satellite image of Central America
The MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite took this image of Tropical Storms Norbert (left) in the Eastern Pacific and Dolly (right) in the Gulf of Mexico at 1:30 p.m. EDT on Sept. 2.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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swirling tropical storm seen from space
The MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured this image of Tropical Storm Norbert on Sept. 4 at 2:15 p.m. EDT when it resembled a pinwheel.
Image Credit: 
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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estimated rainfall for Tropical Storms Norbert and Dolly from Aug. 28 to Sept. 4, 2014, from NASA's TRMM satellite.
This image shows estimated rainfall for Tropical Storms Norbert and Dolly from Aug. 28 to Sept. 4 from NASA's TRMM satellite. More than 11.8 inches (300 mm) fell over the Eastern Pacific.
Image Credit: 
NASA, SSAI/Hal Pierce
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This visible image of Hurricane Norbert was taken from NOAA's GOES-West satellite at 7:45 a.m. PDT on Sept. 5, 2014.
This visible image of Hurricane Norbert was taken from NOAA's GOES-West satellite at 7:45 a.m. PDT on Sept. 5.
Image Credit: 
NASA/NOAA GOES Project
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false-colored AIRS infrared image of Hurricane Norbert on Sept. 4, 2014
This false-colored AIRS infrared image of Hurricane Norbert on Sept. 4 at 4:17 p.m. EDT shows the strongest storms and coldest cloud top temperatures in purple.
Image Credit: 
NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
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AIRS image of Norbert
This infrared look at post-tropical cyclone Norbert on Sept. 7 at 4:53 p.m. EDT showed only a small area of strong thunderstorms (purple) around its center of circulation.
Image Credit: 
NASA JPL/Ed Olsen
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TRMM image of Norbert off Mexico's coastline
On Sept. 8, the TRMM satellite captured rainfall in former hurricane Norbert and the thunderstorms over Arizona generated by its moisture. Rainfall data was overlaid on a NOAA GOES-West satellite image of clouds.
Image Credit: 
SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
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TRMM image of Norbert over Arizona
On Sept.8 at 5:05 a.m. PDT the TRMM satellite saw a cluster of intense thunderstorms in Arizona directly below the satellite. Rain was falling at a rate of over 62 mm (2.4 inches) per hour in some downpours.
Image Credit: 
SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
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Page Last Updated: September 10th, 2014
Page Editor: Lynn Jenner