NASA Looks At Deadly Weather Over the US
Heavy rainfall, flooding and tornado outbreaks affected areas of the United States from the Southwest through the Midwest from December 23-27, 2015. Tornadoes and flooding events killed at least 43 people during this period. Fourteen deaths alone occurred with tornadoes that hit Benton, Mississippi on December 23, 2015. Tornadoes are expected in the springtime but are much less frequent during this time of the year.
An analysis was made of the rainfall that occurred during the period from December 21-28, 2015. This analysis used data generated by NASA's Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG). This analysis showed that during the past week the highest rainfall totals of almost 938 mm (36.8 inches) were measured by IMERG in the state of Alabama.
The GPM satellite passed above a line of tornadic thunderstorms moving through the Midwest on December 23, 2015 at 2232 UTC (5:32 PM EST). GPM's Microwave Imager (GMI) and Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) instruments had an excellent view of the violent weather occurring near the center of the satellite's swath. GPM's Radar (DPR Ku band) revealed the intensity of thunderstorms within this line of powerful storms. Many of these thunderstorms contained heavy showers that were returning 45 dBZ values or greater to the satellite. dBZ values (decibels of Z) represent the energy reflected back to the GPM satellite. A color enhanced 3-D view of the GPM radar's slice through the line of storms is shown.