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Hurricane Season 2011: Nate (Gulf of Mexico)
09.12.11
 
Satellite Sees Nate's Remnants Dissipating over Mexico

satellite image of Nate This visible image from the GOES-13 satellite on Sept. 12 at 10:45 a.m. EDT shows Nate's remnant clouds southwestern Mexico and moving into the eastern Pacific Ocean. Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project
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Tropical Storm Nate made landfall over southeastern Mexico this weekend and today remnant clouds of Nate are still visible on satellite imagery as they push into the eastern Pacific Ocean.

On Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 10 a.m. EDT, Nate's center was just about to make landfall north of Barra de Nautla in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Maximum sustained winds were near 45 mph and Nate was moving west at 9 mph. It was located near 20.4 North and 96.8 West.

An infrared image from Sept. 10, 2011 taken by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite showed Nate's strongest thunderstorms, heaviest rainfall and coldest cloud tops surrounded the center of the storm's circulation.

At 5 p.m. EDT on Sept. 11, Nate's center was about 30 miles (50 km) south-southwest of Tuxpan, Mexico near 20.6 North and 97.6 West. Nate's maximum sustained winds had decreased to 35 mph (55 kmh).

Thirteen hours after making landfall, Tropical Storm Nate weakened into a remnant low pressure areas with maximum sustained winds near 29 mph (25 knots). It continues to move westward over the Sierra Madre Mountains early today and toward the eastern Pacific Ocean.

NOAA's GOES-13 satellite took a visible image on Sept. 12 at 10:45 a.m. EDT, and it showed Nate's remnant clouds moving west over southwestern Mexico and into the eastern Pacific Ocean. The image was created at NASA's GOES Project at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Weather conditions on Sept. 12 at 11 a.m. EDT in Veracruz / Las Bajadas / General Heriberto Jara, Mexico indicated that winds were light from the west-northwest at 6 knots (7 mph). Skies were mostly cloudy and there were some towering cumulus clouds observed from the remnants of Nate. The last rainfall reported was on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 5 p.m. CDT. This morning, the atmospheric pressure was rising, indicating that the remnant low was dissipating and moving away.

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



September 9, 2011

NASA's Aqua Satellite Sees 3 in 1: Tropical Storms Nate, Lee, Fires

AIRS image of Nate, Lee and Texas fires AIRS image on Sept. 8 at 19:05 UTC (3:05 p.m. EDT) shows Tropical Storm Nate along the eastern Mexico coastline, the western edge of the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee in the northern Gulf and smoke plumes in Texas, the largest of which is from the Bear Creek fire. (Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen)
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Tropical Storm Nate is perched to make landfall in Mexico this weekend, and warnings are in effect. Nate is one of three major weather events around the Gulf of Mexico today, and NASA's Aqua satellite captured all three in one image. Raging wildfires are occurring in Texas while the remnant clouds from Tropical Storm Lee in the northern Gulf of Mexico were also seen by Aqua.

One satellite image taken by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured the two tropical systems and smoke from the Texas fires on Sept. 8 at 19:05 UTC (3:05 p.m. EDT). The image shows Tropical Storm Nate was still lingering along the eastern Mexico coastline, the western edge of the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee (around a low pressure area centered over Indiana) appeared in the northern Gulf and smoke plumes from Texas wildfires. The largest plume appeared light brown in color and was from the Bear Creek fire.

Current forecasts from the National Hurricane Center take Nate on a westward track and away from Texas that would benefit from the rains to combat the wildfires.

A Tropical storm warning is in effect from Chilitepec to Celestun and a Hurricane Watch is in effect from Tampico to Veracruz. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from Celestun to Progreso, from Veracruz to Punta El Lagarto, and from Tampico to La Cruz, Mexico.

On Friday, Sept. 9 at 11 a.m. EDT, Tropical Storm Nate was still not moving much in the Bay of Campeche. Nate was crawling to the northwest near 2 mph (4kmh). Nate was centered about 140 miles (225 km) west-northwest of Campeche, Mexico near 20.3 North and 92.6 West. Because tropical-storm-force winds extend 105 miles (165 km) from the center, Campeche is not yet experiencing them. Nate's maximum sustained winds had climbed to 65 mph (100 kmh) and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) expects Nate to reach hurricane status later today or Saturday, Sept. 10. Nate is a compact storm, over 210 miles in diameter.

Tropical Storm conditions are expected in the warning areas today and rainfall from 4 to 6 inches with isolated amounts up to 12 inches are possible over the Mexican states of Campeche and Tabasco, and over southern Veracruz today. Storm surge levels are expected to raise the water levels by 1 to 3 feet along the coast in the warning area.

The NHC is forecasting Nate to become a hurricane and continue moving to the northwest, then turn west and make landfall in Mexico this weekend.

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



September 8, 2011, second update

NASA Sees 4 Tropical Cyclones in the Atlantic Today

There are four tropical cyclones or remnants plaguing the Atlantic Ocean basin today, Sept. 8, 2011, and one satellite has captured all four in one image: Katia, Lee, Maria and Nate.

GOES image of four Atlantic Storms on Sept. 8, 2011 NOAA's GOES-13 satellite took a stunning image of 4 tropical systems in the Atlantic today, Sept. 8, 2011. Hurricane Katia in the western Atlantic between Bermuda and the U.S. East coast; Tropical Storm Lee's remnants affecting the northeastern U.S.; Tropical Storm Maria in the central Atlantic; and newborn Tropical Storm Nate in the Bay of Campeche, Gulf of Mexico. (Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project)
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NOAA's GOES-13 satellite monitors the Atlantic and eastern U.S. and took a stunning image of Hurricane Katia in the western Atlantic between Bermuda and the U.S. East coast; Tropical Storm Lee's remnants affecting the northeastern U.S.; Tropical Storm Maria in the central Atlantic; and newborn Tropical Storm Nate in the Bay of Campeche, Gulf of Mexico. The visible image was created by the NASA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Hurricane Katia

Hurricane Katia is causing rough surf along the U.S. east coast, and fortunately that's all she'll do. Today, Sept. 8, 2011, her center is passing between Bermuda and the east coast of the U.S. Bermuda is still under a tropical storm watch. Katia's eye is still visible in today's GOES-13 image.

NASA's Aqua satellite's AIRS instrument measured the cloud top temperatures within Hurricane Katia on Sept. 8 at 2:29 a.m. EDT. The infrared data showed the coldest cloud top temperatures (-63F/-52C) and strongest thunderstorms with the heaviest rainfall extended from the north to the east and south of the center. The AIRS imagery was created at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

At 11 a.m. EDT, Katia's maximum sustained winds were near 90 mph (150 kmh) and holding steady from earlier today. Katia was located about 320 miles (515 km) west of Bermuda near 33.6 North and 70.1 West. She was moving to the north at 16 mph (26 kmh) and had a minimum central pressure of 970 millibars.

Those rough surf conditions are expected along the U.S. East coast, Bermuda, and east facing beaches in the Bahamas over the next couple of days. Dangerous rip currents and very rough surf are expected in these areas.

Lee's Remnants

On the GOES-13 satellite image, the large area of cloud cover over the eastern U.S. is indicative of Lee's remnants. Gulf and Atlantic moisture associated with the remnants of Tropical Depression Lee were absorbed into a large scale extra-tropical low pressure area currently over east-central Ohio. That low continues to generate widespread rain from the Mid-Atlantic to southwestern New England today. Flood and flash flood watches and warnings are in effect over the northern part of the mid-Atlantic states, eastern Pennsylvania and southwestern New England.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Hydrometeorological Prediction Center forecast today concerning Lee's remnants calls for "very heavy rain with embedded thunderstorms has been persisting along two rainbands across the mid-Atlantic into southwestern part of New England. Additional rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches are expected today...with isolated amounts of up to 6 inches possible." The extra-tropical low is expected to dissipate slowly over the weekend.

Tropical Storm Maria

Tropical Storm Maria appears smaller than Lee, Katia and Nate on today's GOES-13 visible satellite image. Its cloud cover also appears to be less organized than Katia (understandable since she's a hurricane) and tropical storm Nate (that just formed late last night, Sept. 7). At 11 a.m. EDT today, Sept. 8, even the National Hurricane Center called Maria "not well organized."

At that time, Maria's maximum sustained winds decreased to 45 mph from just three hours beforehand. She was centered about 660 miles (1060 km) east of the Windward Islands near 13.0 North and 51.2 West. She was moving to the west near 22 mph (35 kmh), and is the fastest moving of all the Atlantic tropical cyclones today. Her minimum central pressure rose by three millibars in the last three hours to 1005 millibars, indicating weakening.

NASA's Aqua satellite's AIRS instrument caught an infrared image of Tropical Storm Maria on Sept. 8 at 1:53 a.m. EDT. The infrared data shows the coldest cloud top temperatures (-63F/-52C) and strongest thunderstorms with the heaviest rainfall were seen in patches north of the center and were not throughout the entire circulation.

Maria has prompted a tropical storm watch is in effect for the Leeward Islands of Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, Nevis and Saint Kitts. A tropical storm watch is also in effect for St. Barthelemy, St. Marteen, Guadeloupe, and Martinique, Dominica, St. Maartin, Saba and St. Eustatius.

The National Hurricane Center did note that "surface observations and satellite imagery suggest that Maria could be degenerating into a tropical wave," so forecasters are keeping a close eye on the storm.

Tropical Storm Nate

Nate appears as a small rounded area of clouds on today's GOES-13 satellite image. The rounded area of clouds coincides with the strongest thunderstorms and heaviest rainfall on Nate's southern side.

At 11 a.m. EDT on Sept. 8, Nate's maximum sustained winds were near 50 mph, and are expected to strengthen in the warm waters of the Bay. Nate was located about 125 miles (200 km) west of Campeche Mexico near 20.2 North and 92.4 West. Nate is creeping to the southeast near 1 mph (2 kmh) and has a minimum central pressure of 1001 millibars. The forecast from the National Hurricane Center calls for Nate to become a hurricane over the weekend and make landfall in eastern Mexico early next week.

A tropical storm warning is in effect from Chilitepec to Celestun, Mexico and a tropical storm watch is in effect from Celestun to Progreso.

The first and second week of September are typically known as being the peak of hurricane season, and Lee, Katia, Maria and Nate are living up to that call and giving satellites a lot to see.

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



September 8, 2011, first update

TRMM image of Nate on September 9, 2011› View larger image
NASA's TRMM satellite flew over Nate on Sept. 7 at 1812 UTC (2:12 p.m. EDT), a couple of hours before being designated a tropical storm. Cloud tops were up to 14km (~8.7 miles) high south of Nate's center. The yellow and green areas indicate moderate rainfall between .78 to 1.57 inches per hour. Red areas are considered heavy rainfall at almost 2 inches (50 mm) per hour. Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce

AIRS image of Nate on September 9, 2011› View larger image
This infrared image of Tropical Storm Nate was captured on Sept. 7 at 3:59 p.m. EDT, one hour before Nate was named a tropical storm. The infrared data shows the coldest cloud top temperatures (purple) and strongest thunderstorms with the heaviest rainfall were still off-shore from eastern Mexico and over the Bay of Campeche. Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
Two NASA Satellites Catch Tropical Storm Nate's Quick Formation

NASA's Aqua and TRMM satellites were on guard when Tropical Storm Nate developed late in the day yesterday, Sept. 7 in the Bay of Campeche near the east coast of Mexico. The satellites measured cloud height, temperature and rainfall rates and found the heaviest rainfall on the southern side of the tropical storm.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite took an infrared image of Tropical Storm Nate on Sept. 7 at 3:59 p.m. EDT, one hour before Nate was named a tropical storm. The infrared data showed the coldest cloud top temperatures (-63 Fahrenheit/-52 Celsius) and strongest thunderstorms with the heaviest rainfall were still off-shore from eastern Mexico and over the Bay of Campeche. On the morning of Sept. 8, the strongest convection (rapidly rising air that forms the thunderstorms that power a tropical cyclone) were mostly in the southwest quadrant of the storm.

Today, Nate is still meandering around in the Bay of Campeche with nothing to guide him, but that will change over the weekend as a ridge (elongated area) of high pressure is expected to develop over Mexico and bring Nate westward.

A tropical storm warning is in effect in Mexico from Chilitepec to Celestun, where 2 to 4 inches of rainfall is expected with isolated amounts as high as 8 inches in the Mexican states of Campeche, Tabasco and southern Veracruz. Tropical storm-force winds are expected today in the warning area. Nate is expected to create a storm surge of 1 to 3 feet above normal tidal levels in the warning area along the immediate coast.

At 8 a.m. EDT on Sept. 8, Nate's maximum sustained winds were near 45 mph, and are expected to strengthen in the warm waters of the Bay. Nate was located about 125 miles (200 km) west of Campeche Mexico near 20.2 North and 92.4 West. Nate is creeping to the southeast near 1 mph (2 kmh) and has a minimum central pressure of 1003 millibars.

The TRMM satellite, which is managed by both NASA and the Japanese Space Agency, got a good look at the rainfall rates occurring in Nate yesterday. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite flew over Nate on Sept. 7 at 1812 UTC (2:12 p.m. EDT), a couple of hours before being designated a tropical storm. Data from TRMM's Precipitation Radar (PR) showed that the forming tropical cyclone had areas of heavy convection with cloud tops reaching to heights of about 14km (~8.7 miles) south of Nate's center of circulation. That coincides with the infrared data from NASA's Aqua satellite, which showed the coldest, highest cloud tops in that same area. The strongest rainfall was on the south-southwestern quadrant where rainfall rates were as high as 2 inches (50 mm) per hour.

The forecast from the National Hurricane Center calls for Nate to become a hurricane over the weekend and make landfall in eastern Mexico early next week.

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