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Hurricane Season 2012: Hurricane Ileana (Eastern Pacific Ocean)
08.30.12
 
TRMM image of Ileana› Larger image
NASA's TRMM satellite captured a view of Ileana's rainfall rates on Aug. 29 at 2:17 a.m. EDT. The purple areas indicated the heaviest rainfall rates, near 70 mm (2.7 inches) per hour. Some hot towering clouds around the center of circulation (also in purple) were higher than 9.3 miles (15 km). Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
NASA Spotted Hot Towers in Ileana That Indicated its Increase to Hurricane Status

Hot Towers are towering clouds that emit a tremendous amount of latent heat (thus, called "hot"). NASA research indicates that whenever a hot tower is spotted, a tropical cyclone will likely intensify. Less than 14 hours after the TRMM satellite captured an image of Ileana's rainfall and cloud heights, Ileana strengthened into a hurricane on Aug. 29.

NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite captured a view of Ileana's rainfall rates on Aug. 29 at 2:17 a.m. EDT and saw the heaviest rainfall rates, near 50 mm (2.0 inches) per hour in a band of thunderstorms southeast of the center of circulation. TRMM identified some hot towering clouds around the center of circulation that were higher than 9.3 miles (15 km). On Aug. 30, satellite data showed a ragged double eyewall in the center of circulation. On Aug. 30 at 11 a.m. EDT, Hurricane Ileana's maximum sustained winds had increased to near 80 mph (130 kmh). Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center, which makes Ileana's hurricane-force wind area about 15 miles larger than Hurricane Kirk's in the Atlantic Ocean today. Ileana's tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km).The National Hurricane Center expects that Ileana won't strengthen much more before weakening on Aug. 31.

Ileana's center was about 305 miles (495 km) southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico, near latitude 20.2 north and longitude 113.7 west. Ileana is moving toward the northwest near 8 mph (13 kmh) and into cooler waters that will sap her strength.

The National Hurricane Center expects Ileana to weaken to a remnant low pressure area over the weekend of Sept. 1-2, while drifting west, and away from land.

Text credit: Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center



Aug. 29, 2012

NASA Data Shows Intensifying Tropical Storm Ileana


NASA's CloudSat satellite's Cloud Profiling Radar captured a sideways look across Tropical Storm Ileana on Aug. 27 at 20:40 UTC. The colors indicate intensity of reflected radar energy. The blue areas along the top of the clouds indicate cloud ice, while the wavy blue lines on the bottom indicate intense rainfall. Credit: NASA/JPL/Colo. State Univ./NRL-Monterey

Tropical Storm Ileana is on the verge of becoming a hurricane, and NASA's Cloudsat satellite data revealed a lot of power within the storm that may push it over the edge.

3D view of Tropical Storm Ileana off the Mexican coast, with South America wrapping around the curve of the earth NASA's CloudSat satellite's Cloud Profiling Radar captured a sideways look across Tropical Storm Ileana on Aug. 27 at 20:40 UTC. The colors indicate intensity of reflected radar energy. The blue areas along the top of the clouds indicate cloud ice, while the wavy blue lines on the bottom indicate intense rainfall. Credit: NASA/JPL/Colo. State Univ./NRL-Monterey
› Larger image
On Aug. 29 at 11 a.m. EDT, Tropical Storm Ileana's maximum sustained winds were near 70 mph (110 kmh). It was located about 370 miles (595 km) south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, near latitude 18.2 north and longitude 112.6 west. Ileana is moving toward the northwest near 10 mph (17 kmh) and this motion is expected to continue during the next 48 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center.

NASA's CloudSat satellite's Cloud Profiling Radar captured a sideways look across Tropical Storm Ileana on Aug. 27 at 20:40 UTC (4:40 p.m. EDT). Cloudsat data indicate the intensity of the reflected radar energy. In the image, false-colored blue areas along the top of the clouds indicated cloud ice that show the location of strong thunderstorms within the tropical storm.

The image revealed some wavy blue lines on the bottom of the image that indicated intense rainfall, likely exceeding 30mm/hr (1.18 inches/hour) based on previous studies. Ileana is expected to remain at sea and continue to strengthen over the next couple of days.

Text credit: Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center



Aug. 28, 2012

AIRS image of Ileana› Larger image
On Aug. 28 at 4:47 a.m. EDT the AIRS instrument on Aqua captured infrared data on Ileana's clouds. Cloud top temperatures were colder (purple) than –63F (-52C) around the center of circulation and bands of thunderstorms west and southeast of the center. That's where the strongest storms and heaviest rainfall was occurring. Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA Sees the Birth of Tropical Storm Ileana in Eastern Pacific

The ninth tropical depression of the Eastern Pacific Ocean formed late on Aug. 27 off the western coast of Mexico and by 11 p.m. EDT it became Tropical Storm Ileana. NASA captured infrared satellite imagery that showed it had strong thunderstorms around its center and in a large band of thunderstorms west of its center today, Aug. 28.

On Aug. 28 at 4:47 a.m. EDT the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on Aqua captured infrared data on Ileana's clouds. Cloud top temperatures were colder (purple) than –63F (-52C) around the center of circulation and bands of thunderstorms west and southeast of the center. That's where the strongest storms and heaviest rainfall was occurring. The National Hurricane Center noted that the cloud pattern has become a little better organized with deep convection in a large cyclonically curved band to the west of the center.

On Aug. 28 at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) Tropical Storm Ileana had maximum sustained winds near 50 mph (85 kmh). The National Hurricane Center notes that some additional strengthening is possible over the next two days, and Ileana could become a hurricane.

Ileana was located about 415 miles (670 km) west-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico and about 475 miles (765 km) south of the southern tip of Baja California. That puts it near latitude 16.0 north or longitude 109.8 west. Ileana is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph (15 kmh) and is expected to move in a west-northwest and northwest direction and slow down over the next couple of days.

Because Ileana will be moving over warm water, and will encounter only weak wind shear over the next couple of days, the National Hurricane Center expects Ileana to become a hurricane over that time. Currently, Ileana poses no threat to land.

Text credit: Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center