Deadly Flooding Gulf Coast Rainfall Measured By NASA's IMERG

Deadly Flooding Gulf Coast Rainfall Measured By NASA's IMERG

An extremely severe rainfall event hit the states of Louisiana and southern Mississippi when a very slow moving low pressure system continuously pulled tropical moisture from the Gulf Of Mexico. Measurements by the GPM core observatory satellite showed that rainfall intensity within the low pressure system actually increased on August 12, 2016 as the low settled over southeastern Louisiana. At least 4 people have died in record flooding after the unusually heavy rainfall starting falling last week. More than 27 inches (686 mm) of rain have been reported in the area. This is the second time this year that record flooding rainfall has hit Louisiana. At least 27 inches (686 mm) of precipitation was also reported in Louisiana during the middle of March 2016 and also caused record flooding.

Heavy rainfall and flooding is now predicted to occur northward into the Mississippi valley as tropical moisture continues to be transported northward and interacts with a nearly stationary frontal system. Heavy rainfall has also recently affected southeastern Texas and western Louisiana.

NASA's Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) data were used to make estimates of total rainfall over the northern Gulf Of Mexico during the period from August 8-15, 2016. Heavy rainfall moving toward the northwest from the the Florida Panhandle into the central northern Gulf coast is shown in these IMERG total rainfall estimates. Over 20 inches (508 mm) of rainfall was estimated in large areas of southeastern Louisiana and extreme southern Mississippi. Even greater rainfall totals of 30 inches (762 mm) were indicated in a small area of Louisiana west of Lake Pontchartrain.

Click here to see a 1280x720 (Quicktime) IMERG Rainfall accumulation.

Click here to see an 1280x720 (MPEG) IMERG Rainfall accumulation.

Images and caption by Hal Pierce (SSAI/NASA GSFC)