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New NASA 3-D Video Shows Thunderstorms in Tropical Storm Ida
11.10.09
 
Clouds from NASA's TRMM/VIRS satellite on top of Tropical Storm Ida's rain structure. › Click to play video
This animation of Ida approaching the Florida Panhandle on November 9 uses data from NASA's TRMM satellite. It reveals light rain (0.25 inches) in blue, heavier rain (25 mm or 1 inch per hour) in yellow and extremely heavy rain in red (50 mm or 2 inches per hour).
Credit: NASA SVS, Lori Perkins
NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, or TRMM satellite has the ability to provide data that can be made into three-dimensional images. Visualizers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. used TRMM data to create a 3-D movie to better see the thunderstorms in Ida.

NASA's TRMM spacecraft observed Tropical Storm Ida on November 9, 2009 at 1218 UTC (7:18 a.m. ET) just before Ida made landfall. Ida made landfall at 6:40 a.m. ET on November 10.

In the animation, scattered convective thunderstorms are shown producing moderate to heavy rainfall of over 50 millimeters per hour (~2 inches) north of Ida's center of circulation and in a strong band on the eastern side. At the time, Ida had winds estimated at 70 knots (~80.5 mph). The rain structure in the animation was taken by TRMM's Tropical Microwave Imager (TMI) and TRMM's Precipitation Radar (PR) instruments. TRMM looks underneath of the storm's clouds to reveal the underlying rain structure. The colored isosurface under the clouds show the rain seen by the PR instrument.

In the animation, light rain (0.25 inches) is depicted in blue, heavier rain (25 mm or 1 inch per hour) in yellow and extremely heavy rain in red (50 mm or 2 inches per hour).

TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese Space Agency, JAXA. For more information, visit NASA's TRMM Web site: http://trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov/.

Text credit: Rob Gutro, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center