GPM Eta Screenshot

GPM Eyes Hurricane Eta Over Nicaragua

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The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory satellite flew over Hurricane Eta at 11:41 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Nov. 3 (0541 UTC Wednesday, Nov. 4). GPM observed the storm’s rainfall with its two unique science instruments: the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) and Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR). As the visualization shows, the instruments observed a large swath of heavy precipitation extending to the north and east of the hurricane’s center, which matched earlier forecasts that called for particularly heavy rainfall across the storm’s path.

These two- and three-dimensional observations of precipitation structure are the hallmark of the GPM mission – managed jointly by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) -- which aims improve our understanding of the water cycle and extreme weather events, and contributes to improved climate modeling and weather forecasting around the world.

These visualizations depict the GPM satellite pass about seven hours after Hurricane Eta made landfall on the coast of Nicaragua as a category 4 storm. Current NHC forecasts indicate Eta will move northwest over Central America then head northeast across the Caribbean Sea, threatening Cuba and Florida early next week.

Eta is the 28th named storm of 2020 which beats the 2005 record for the most named storms in a single hurricane season. (See 27 Storms: Arlene to Zeta for a summary of the 2005 hurricane season).