Featured Images

Text Size

Hurricane Season 2010: Hurricane Paula (Atlantic Ocean)
10.15.10
 
October 15, 2010

TRMM revealed heavy rainfall off the north-central Cuban coast › View larger image
TRMM data revealed that a cluster of heavy rainfall off the north-central Cuban coast was the only extreme weather still associated with the weakening storm.
Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
Paula a Tropical Depression

Tropical storm Paula continued to weaken as predicted and was downgraded by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) to a tropical depression at 0900 UTC (5:00 AM EDT) on Friday October 15, 2010. The TRMM satellite viewed the area on October 15, 2010 at 0710 UTC (3:10 AM EDT) and precipitation data collected at this time are shown on the right. Those data revealed that a cluster of heavy rainfall off the north-central Cuban coast was the only extreme weather still associated with the weakening storm. PAULA is predicted by the NHC to continue weakening and become a remnant low by Saturday afternoon.

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

Text credit: Hal Pierce
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SSAI, Greenbelt, Md.



October 14, 2010

The heaviest precipitation shown by TRMM Microwave Imager and Precipitation Radar data was off the coast of north-western Cuba. › View larger image
The heaviest precipitation shown by TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) data was off the coast of north-western Cuba.
Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
Paula Weakens to a Tropical Storm

The TRMM satellite had another very good look at Paula as it traveled directly above on October 14, 2010 at 1437 UTC (10:47 AM EDT). The heaviest precipitation shown by TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) data was off the coast of north-western Cuba. Paula was only producing scattered light to moderate rainfall elsewhere over western Cuba and the Florida Keys.

Hurricane Paula was downgraded to a tropical storm at 1500 UTC (11:00 AM EDT) by the National Hurricane Center. Vertical wind shear, dry air entrainment and interaction with the mountainous terrain of western Cuban are predicted to continue to weaken Paula during the next twenty four hours. TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.

Text credit: Hal Pierce
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SSAI, Greenbelt, Md.



October 13, 2010

A vertical cross-section of Hurricane Paula as seen by NASA's CloudSat satellite on Oct. 13, 2010 › View larger image
› View animation
Animation depicts a vertical cross-section of Hurricane Paula as seen by NASA's CloudSat satellite on Oct. 13, 2010.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/The Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), Colorado State University/NOAA
NASA's CloudSat Slices Through Paula's Clouds

NASA's CloudSat spacecraft flew over Hurricane Paula on Oct. 13, 2010 at 0740 UTC (3:40 a.m. EDT) when the storm had maximum sustained winds of approximately 100 miles per hour (85 knots) and a central minimum pressure of 984 millibars. Hurricane Paula, currently a Category One storm with maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour (75 knots), is currently located between Mexico's Yucatan peninsula and Cuba, and is a small and compact storm with an estimated eye diameter of 10 nautical miles.

As depicted in this vertical cross-section animation of Hurricane Paula, CloudSat radar imagery reveals intense eyewall convection extending more than 10 miles (16 kilometers) on either side of the cirrus hidden eye. The storm's most intense convection and precipitation are shown in shades of orange and red. Most of the deep convection and heavy rainfall is located to the north and west of the storm center. Strong southerly shear upwards of 23 miles per hour (20 knots) limits development of the storm in its southern quadrant. Heavy rainfall from the deep convection dampens the radar signal below 2.5 miles (4 kilometers). The eye of the storm is denoted by the small area of no convection below 4.3 miles (7 kilometers) between the two deepest convective eyewall cores. Above 4.3 miles, the eye area is overlaid by cirrus and cirrocumulus clouds. The eyewall cells slope outward and away from the storm center, a feature typically found in the structure of a hurricane.

Text Credit: Alan Buis
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.



October 12, 2010

Tropical Storm Paula › View larger image
Infrared image of Hurricane Paula from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft, taken at 1923 UTC (3:23 p.m. EDT) Oct. 12. The image shows the temperatures of Paula's cloud tops or the surface of Earth in cloud-free regions. The coldest cloud-top temperatures appear in purple, indicating towering cold clouds and heavy precipitation. Warmer temperatures are depicted in orange and red.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA Images Rapidly Strengthening Hurricane Paula in Infrared

Paula, the 9th hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, intensified rapidly on Oct. 12 and is now a Category Two storm with maximum sustained wind speeds of 100 miles per hour (85 knots). As of 1:45 p.m. EDT, Oct. 12, the center of Paula was located about 140 miles south-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico, moving north-northwest at 10 miles per hour. Forecasters at NOAA's National Hurricane Center expect Paula to reach a peak intensity of 110 miles per hour (95 knots) over the next day before weakening. The storm is forecast to veer to the north, approaching the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula on Oct. 13, then veer east to the south of Cuba.

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory-built and managed Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft captured this infrared image of Paula at 1923 UTC (3:23 p.m. EDT) on Oct. 12. The AIRS data create an accurate 3-D map of atmospheric temperature, water vapor and clouds, data that are useful to hurricane forecasters. The image shows the temperature of Paula's cloud tops or the surface of Earth in cloud-free regions. The coldest cloud-top temperatures appear in purple, indicating towering cold clouds and heavy precipitation. The infrared signal of AIRS 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
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.



This GOES-13 image shows Hurricane Paula 190 miles south-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico. › View larger image
This infrared GOES-13 image from October 10 at 0745 UTC (3:45 a.m. EDT) is a full-disk image of North and South America and showed Hurricane Paula 190 miles south-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico
Credit: NOAA/NASA GOES Project
GOES-13 Satellite Sees Paula Form and Become a Hurricane

The GOES-13 Satellite is keeping an eye on the western Caribbean and watched Tropical Storm Paula form quickly from a low pressure area. Today, October 12, Paula has strengthened into a hurricane.

GOES-13, a Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite operated by NOAA provides data to NASA's GOES Project at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. who creates images and animations from it. The image from October 12 at 0745 UTC (3:45 a.m. EDT) was a full-disk image of North and South America and showed Paula 190 miles south-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico near 18.1 north and 85.4 west. Paula had maximum sustained winds near 75 mph, and was moving northwest near 10 mph.

A hurricane warning is in effect for the Mexican coast from Punta Gruesa north to Cabo Catoches, including Cozumel. Tropical Storm warnings are in effect from Chetumal north to south of Punta Gruesa and from Cabo Catoche to San Felipe.

Paula is forecast to remain in the western Caribbean, and after a couple of days of opportunity to strenghten, it will face dry air thereafter, weakening it.

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



The TRMM satellite had a good look at PAULA when it passed over head on 12 October at 0818 UTC ( 4:18 AM EDT). › View larger image
The TRMM satellite had a good look at PAULA when it passed over head on 12 October at 0818 UTC (4:18 AM EDT).
Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
Hurricane Paula Forms in the Caribbean

On Monday October 11, 2010 a low pressure center off the coast of Honduras rapidly intensified and was upgraded to a tropical storm by the National Hurricane Center at 1900 UTC (5:00 PM EDT). Paula continued to intensify and was upgraded to a hurricane with wind speeds of 65 kts (~75 mph) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 at 0900 UTC ( 5:00 AM EDT).

The TRMM satellite had a good look at Paula when it passed over head on October 12 at 0818 UTC (4:18 AM EDT). A rainfall analysis that used TRMM data captured from that view is shown on the right. TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) data were used in this analysis and were overlaid on an infrared image from TRMM's Visible and Infrared Scanner (VIRS). This TRMM analysis shows that Paula was well organized and contained moderate rainfall but didn't yet have an eye typical of more powerful hurricanes. Moderate to heavy showers were shown to the south and northwest of Cuba.

Paula has been predicted to intensify further to up to 80 kts (~92 knots) and travel within the north-western Caribbean Sea between Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula for the next five days.

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

Text credit: Hal Pierce
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SSAI, Greenbelt, Md.



October 11, 2010

Tropical Storm Paula › View larger image
This infrared image of Tropical Storm Paula's cold (purple and blue) thunderstorms was taken by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite on Oct. 11 at 1841 UTC (2:41 p.m. EDT). The purple areas indicate the highest, coldest thunderstorm cloud tops. Image credit: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA Images Newly Formed Tropical Storm Paula

Tropical Storm Paula, the 16th named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, formed Oct. 11 in the western Caribbean, east of Honduras, and is intensifying rapidly. The storm, which was located 130 miles east-southeast of Isla Guanaja, Honduras, as of 5 p.m. EDT Oct. 11, has maximum sustained wind speeds of 58 miles per hour (50 knots), and is moving to the northwest at 9 miles per hour. It is expected to attain hurricane strength on Tuesday, Oct. 12. According to NOAA's National Hurricane Center, the system is forecast to veer east off the Yucatan coast later this week and then move to the south by this weekend, though confidence is low in the details of the forecast track at that time range.

A hurricane warning extends from Punta Gruesa, Mexico north to Cancun, including Cozumel. Tropical storm warnings are currently posted in Honduras along the Caribbean coast from Limon east to the border with Nicaragua, including the Bay Islands, and in Mexico from Chetumal north to Punta Gruesa. Northeastern Nicaragua, eastern Honduras and the Yucatan Peninsula can expect 3 to 6 inches of rain, with local amounts up to 10 inches, which could result in life-threatening mudslides and flash flooding. A storm surge could cause coastal flooding on the Bay Islands of Honduras and on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, and large waves are expected on the coast.

This infrared image of Tropical Storm Paula's cold (purple and blue) thunderstorms was taken by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite on Oct. 11 at 1841 UTC (2:41 p.m. EDT). The purple areas indicate the highest, coldest thunderstorm cloud tops.

Text credit: Alan Buis
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.