Owen Kelley, research scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, discusses the science, the technology and the researcher who coined the term "hot tower" 50 years ago. During the past decade, NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite has been able to collect definitive statistics on the association of hot towers (towering thunderclouds) and hurricane intensification.
In 1997 when the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, or TRMM, was launched, its mission was scheduled to last just a few years. Now, 17 years later, the TRMM mission has come to an end. NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) stopped TRMM’s science operations and data collection on April 8 after the spacecraft depleted its fuel reserves.
Hurricane Sandy (2012), the TRMM Satellite, and the Physics of the Hot Towers - Interview on KVMR Radio (audio only)
Alan Stahler of community radio KVMR in Nevada City, California interviews NASA Goddard's Owen Kelley about hurricane physics, how TRMM measures precipitation, and the TRMM overflight of Hurricane Sandy one day before landfall. The 38-minute-long interview aired on the anniversary of the TRMM satellite's launch.