GPM Sees Tropical Storm Bill Over Texas
Tropical Storm Bill made landfall over Texas at approximately 11:45am CST on June 16, 2015. Shortly after midnight, GPM passed over the storm as it slowly worked it's way northward across the already drenched state of Texas. This visualization shows Bill at precisely 12:11:27am CST (6:11:27 GMT) on June 17, 2015.
The GPM Core Observatory carries two instruments that show the location and intensity of rain and snow, which defines a crucial part of the storm structure – and how it will behave. The GPM Microwave Imager sees through the tops of clouds to observe how much and where precipitation occurs. The Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar provides the three-dimensional view, showing the structure of the storm spiraling inward toward the center, with heavier rain on the north side of the storm. Shades of blue represent ice in the upper part of clouds. Viewed from the side, the stark color change from blue to green marks the transition from ice to rain.
For forecasters, GPM's microwave and radar data are part of the toolbox of satellite data, including other low Earth orbit and geostationary satellites, that they use to monitor tropical cyclones and hurricanes.
The addition of GPM data to the current suite of satellite data is timely. Its predecessor precipitation satellite, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, after 18 years of operation was deorbited June 16 (the same day Tropical Storm Bill made landfall). GPM's new high-resolution microwave imager data and the unique radar data ensure that forecasters and modelers won't have a gap in coverage. GPM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. All GPM data products can be found at NASA Goddard's Precipitation Processing Center.