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Hurricane Season 2008: Tropical Storm Edouard (Gulf of Mexico)
 
Aug. 12, 2008

Video Available of Hurricane Edouard

"Tropical Storm Edouard" video is available from the Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. To download frames and various video formats, click here.



Aug. 5, 2008

A Weakening Edouard Causes Little Damage Inland

Tropical Storm Edouard headed for the Gulf coastEdouard on August 4th.
Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC
> Print-resolution image
By the afternoon of August 4, 2008, Tropical Storm Edouard was headed for the U.S. Gulf Coast. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of the storm at noon Central Daylight Time (17:00 UTC). In this image, the sprawling storm blocks the satellite’s view of much of the Louisiana coast including the New Orleans region, while skies remain clear farther inland, particularly in Texas. Opaque clouds surround the storm’s eye, but farther away from the eye, the clouds assume translucent, wispy shapes, especially in the east.

Edouard had not strengthened into a hurricane when MODIS acquired this image, and the storm was expected to lose strength as it moved inland. According to a report from the U.S. National Hurricane Center, elevated oil rigs south of the Louisiana coast reported sustained winds of 72 to 89 kilometers (45 to 55 miles) per hour, well below the wind-speed threshold for a Category 1 hurricane.

As predicted, Edouard came ashore along the Gulf Coast early in the day on August 5, 2008, one day after this image was acquired. Never having acquired hurricane strength, the storm made landfall west of the Texas-Louisiana border, east of Galveston, Texas. Besides strong winds, heavy rains, and a brief electrical outage, Edouard caused little damage.

You can download a 250-meter-resolution KMZ file of the storm suitable for use with Google Earth.

Text credit: Michon Scott



August 5, 2008

Edouard Starts Its Trek Deep in the Heart of Texas

Tropical Depression EdouardTropical Depression Edouard.
Credit: NASA/JPL
> Larger image
Edouard, now a tropical depression, has sloshed its way north of Houston on a trek that will take it deep in the heart of Texas. This infrared NASA Aqua image was taken at 12:17 PDT August 5.

Edouard Roars Ashore on Upper Texas Coast

Tropical Storm Edouard made landfall early the morning of August 5 on the upper Texas coast between High Island and Sabine Pass, in the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge. As of 11 a.m. EDT, the storm was centered 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Port Arthur, Texas, and 45 miles (70 kilometers) north-northeast of Galveston, Texas. It is moving west-northwest at 15 miles per hour (24 kilometers per hour), and is expected to continue moving west-northwest and to slow down over the next day or two as it makes its way across central Texas. Its maximum sustained winds are near 60 miles per hour (95 kilometers per hour) with higher gusts. Additional weakening is forecast as Edouard continues moving inland. Storm surge flooding will gradually subside this afternoon. Edouard is expected to bring rain accumulations of three to five inches in some southwestern Louisiana coastal parishes and southeastern Texas, with isolated maximum amounts of 10 inches possible over portions of southeastern Texas.

Tropical Storm EdouardTropical Storm Edouard.
Credit: NASA/JPL
> Full-resolution image
This infrared image of Eduoard was acquired at 8:17 a.m. UTC (4:17 a.m. EDT) by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft. The AIRS image shows the temperature of the cloud tops or the surface of Earth in cloud-free regions. The lowest temperatures (in purple) are associated with high, cold cloud tops that make up the top of Tropical Storm Edouard. The AIRS data creates an accurate 3-D map of atmospheric temperature, water vapor and clouds, all of which are helpful to forecasters.

The infrared signal of the AIRS instrument does not penetrate through clouds. Where there are no clouds, AIRS reads the infrared signal from the surface of the ocean waters, revealing warmer temperatures in orange and red.

Text credit: Alan Buis, JPL



August 5, 2008

Tropical Storm Edouard Forms in the Gulf, Heads for North Texas

TRMM image of EduoardCredit: NASA/JPL Texas has seen its share of tropical weather recently. Less than two weeks ago, Hurricane Dolly made landfall in South Texas as a category 2 storm with sustained winds of 100 mph. This week the latest tropical storm, Edouard, is expected to make landfall in North Texas. Edouard began as a tropical depression that formed in the northern Gulf of Mexico on the evening of August 3, 2008 about 85 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. Tropical cyclones get their energy from the latent heat condensation, which is released in abundance inside of deep growing convective clouds (i.e., thunderstorms or thundershowers). Oftentimes in the Tropics, tropical cyclones originate when a pre-existing disturbance or low pressure center is able to tap into heating provided by a cluster of smaller scale convective storms, as was the case with Edouard.

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite (also known as TRMM) has been in service for over 10 years now and continues to provide valuable images and information on tropical cyclones around the Tropics using a combination of passive microwave and active radar sensors, including the first precipitation radar in space. This first image was captured by TRMM at 06:32 UTC (1:32 am CDT) 3 August 2008. It shows an area of light to moderate rainfall (blue and green areas, respectively) associated with a group of thunderstorms in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico south of Alabama.

Rain rates in the center swath are based on the TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR), and those in the outer swath on the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI). The rain rates are overlaid on infrared (IR) data from the TRMM Visible Infrared Scanner (VIRS). Within the day, this area of storms would organize into the fifth tropical depression of the Atlantic season, TD #5, the pre-cursor to Edouard.

After forming southeast of the Mississippi Delta, TD #5 was quickly upgraded to a tropical storm on the afternoon of the 3rd and given the name Edouard. As with the earlier disturbance, Edouard continued moving westward around the southern periphery of an area of mid to upper-level high pressure located over the south-central US.

TRMM image of EduoardCredit: NASA/JPL
The second image was taken at 12:09 UTC (7:09 am CDT) August 4, 2008. It shows a much different looking storm. Besides the enhanced detail provided by the PR, the areas of rain are now clearly organized into banded structures that spiral in towards the center. This is a result of the rainbands feeling the effects of Edouard's growing cyclonic circulation within which they are embedded. At the time of this image, Edouard was a minimal tropical storm with maximum sustained winds reported at 45 knots (52 mph) by the National Hurricane Center. Edouard is expected to continue off to the west-northwest towards the northern Gulf coast of Texas and to gain some strength. It could become a minimal hurricane before making landfall in the vicinity of Galveston Bay, TX.

TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.

Text credit: Steve Lang (SSAI/NASA GSFC).



August 4, 2008

Tropical Storm Edouard Steams Toward Texas/Louisiana

Tropical Storm Edouard Credit: NASA/JPL
> Full-resolution image
Fed by the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Tropical Storm Edouard gathers strength in the northern Gulf of Mexico, as seen in this thermal infrared imaged taken at 7:35 UTC (3:35 a.m. EDT) August 4 from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft. At 2 p.m. EDT today, Edouard had maximum sustained winds near 45 miles per hour (75 kilometers per hour) and was located 145 miles (230 kilometers) south-southeast of Lafayette, La. and 240 miles (390 kilometers) east-southeast of Galveston, Texas, moviing toward the west-northwest near 8 miles per hour (13 kilometers per hour). Forecasters expect Edouard to be near hurricane strength when it makes landfall some time Tuesday morning along the upper Texas coast or southwestern Louisiana coast. Edouard is expected to bring with it a storm surge of two to four feet about normal tide levels and rain accumulations of three to five inches in some Louisiana coastal counties and southeast Texas, with isolated maximum amounts of up to 10 inches possible over southeastern Texas.

The AIRS image shows the temperature of the cloud tops or the surface of Earth in cloud-free regions. The lowest temperatures (in purple) are associated with high, cold cloud tops that make up the top of Tropical Storm Edouard. The AIRS data creates an accurate 3-D map of atmospheric temperature, water vapor and clouds, all of which are helpful to forecasters.

The infrared signal of the AIRS instrument does not penetrate through clouds. Where there are no clouds, AIRS reads the infrared signal from the surface of the ocean waters, revealing warmer temperatures in orange and red.

Text credit: Alan Buis, JPL