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Hurricane Season 2007: Tropical Depression 5-E (Eastern Pacific)
07.17.07
 
Eastern Pacific's Tropical Depression Five-E Still "Depressed"

Tropical Depression Five-E formed in the eastern Pacific Ocean on Saturday, July 14th around 8:00 a.m. PDT. Over the last couple of days Five-E (TD #5-E) has remained tropical depression.

At 3 p.m. UTC on Monday, July 16, 2007 (or 8:00 p.m. Sunday, July 15) Tropical Depression #5-E (TD#5-E) was located near 17.6 north and 122.3 west. It was moving to the west-northwest at 12 knots (13 mph), and had a minimum central pressure of 1009 millibars. Its maximum sustained winds were near 25 knots (28 mph) with gusts to 30 knots (34 mph).

Looking at TD#5-E from Top Down and from the Side These are two different satellite looks at Tropical Depression Five-E. The top image was taken by the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite on July 14, 2007 at approximately 21:20 UTC (2:20 p.m. PDT).

The bottom image was taken from the NASA's CloudSat satellite, which carries a cloud radar. CloudSat flies in synch with NASA's Aqua satellite, which means it passes over the same location approximately 1 minute after Aqua, generating a top-down look from Aqua, and a sideways look at the clouds from CloudSat.

Image of Tropical Depression 5-E from MODIS and CloudSat
Click image to enlarge.
How do you read the CloudSat Image (below)?

The line from A to B on the Aqua image (upper) show the track that CloudSat took flying over the storm. That "sideways track" through the storm is shown in the CloudSat image (bottom). The vertical axis on the CloudSat image (bottom) represents the altitude from the ground to the top of the atmosphere. The variations of color intensity indicate the differing amounts of water and ice in the storm clouds. The bright line at the bottom of the panel is the ground return from the radar. This indicates that the radar penetrated to the ground most of the time, even through heavy rainfall. Where the ground return disappears is an indication that the radar was attenuated by heavy precipitation, likely exceeding 30 mm/hr (1.18 inch/hour), based on previous studies. From one side to the other, the bottom panel is approximately 800 km (497 miles), and the scale from top to bottom is approximately 30 km (approx. 19 miles). The CloudSat data provide analysts and forecasters with a view of hurricanes never before available. Cross-sections like these provide a view of the internal structure of these storms, giving information about the intensity, rainfall rates and cloud organization.

Caption Credit: Alicia Muirhead and Deb Vane, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory /Rob Gutro, Goddard Space Flight Center from National Hurricane Center reports

 
 
Mike Bettwy
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center