Tropical Cyclones

The GPM Mission provides insight into how and why some tropical cyclones intensify and others weaken as they move from tropical to mid-latitude systems. The GPM Core Observatory’s GMI and DPR instruments allow scientists to study the internal structure of storms throughout their life cycle, and view how they change over time.

IMERG Hurricane Hanna 7-27-20 cropped
Hanna formed from a westward propagating tropical easterly wave that entered the southeast corner of the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday July 21st. The wave provided a focus for shower and thunderstorm activity, which then led to the formation of an area of low pressure over the central Gulf of Mexico. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) found that this low had developed a closed circulation by the evening of Wednesday July 22nd, making it Tropical Depression #8. Over the next 24 hours, the depression slowly organized and intensified over the central Gulf before reaching tropical storm intensity on
Hurricane Forecasting Screenshot
The powerful hurricane that struck Galveston, Texas on September 8, 1900, killing an estimated 8,000 people and destroying more than 3,600 buildings, took the coastal city by surprise. This video looks at advances in hurricane forecasting in the 120 years since, with a focus on the contributions from weather satellites. This satellite technology has allowed us to track hurricanes – their location, movement and intensity. “One of the dramatic impacts is that satellite data keeps an eye on the target," especially over unpopulated areas such as oceans, said JPSS Director Greg Mandt. “We’re sort...
Cyclone Amphan IMERG Rainfall Totals
On May 16, 2020, NASA / JAXA's GPM Core Observatory satellite observed the early stages of Tropical Cyclone Amphan as it tracked north over the Bay of Bengal. The below GPM overpass shows precipitation within Cyclone Amphan a day before it explosively intensified into a category 4-equivalent cyclone. Even at this early stage, Amphan produced heavy rain rates near its center and to its west and southwest. View fullscreen in STORM Event Viewer NASA monitored the heavy rain associated with Tropical Cyclone Amphan as it made landfall at 0900 UTC (2:30 PM local time) on May 20, 2020. Landfall...
Typhoon Vongfong IMERG Rainfall Totals
The first typhoon of the season, Vongfong, struck the central Philippines this past week (where it is known as Ambo) as a strong category 2 storm, bringing strong winds and locally heavy rainfall. Vongfong formed into a tropical depression in the southern Philippine Sea west of Palau on Sunday May 10th from a disturbance that had been slowly making its way westward over the past several days. After becoming a depression, the system moved northward toward the central Philippine Sea and slowly began to intensify. Then, on the 12th when it reached tropical storm intensity, Vongfong’s northward...
GPM Overpass of Cyclone Harold from April 6th, 2020
Video credit: Greg Shirah, Kel Elkins, Alex Kekesi (NASA Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio). For more information or to download this public domain video, go to: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4812#29226 A Category 4 cyclone, the most powerful yet of 2020, made landfall on the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu on Monday, not long before this GPM overpass from April 6th, 2020 at 1:41 UTC. Tropical Cyclone Harold developed from a low pressure system that was observed to the east of Papua New Guinea last week, and has tracked to the southeast, where it has already caused flooding and loss of life...
Extratropical Storm Dennis, February 15, 2020
Storm Dennis is an extratropical cyclone that developed over the continental United States before undergoing explosive intensification as it crossed into the North Atlantic. On February 15 shortly after this GPM overpass, Dennis reached its minimum central pressure of 920 mb, which is reported to be the second-lowest on record for a North Atlantic winter storm. The eye can be seen south of Iceland, while rain bands to the south caused severe flooding across the British Isles. Text & Visualization by Jason West (NASA / KBR)
Typhoon Kammuri Hits the Central Phiippines
While the Atlantic hurricane season officially ended on November 30th, Typhoon Kammuri (known as Tisoy in the Philippines), which recently struck the central Philippines as a powerful Category 4 typhoon, is a reminder that the Pacific typhoon season is not yet over. In fact, while typhoon season does peak from around June through November, similar to the Atlantic, typhoons can occur throughout the year in the Pacific. Kammuri first formed into a tropical depression from an area of low pressure on the 25th of November north of Micronesia in the west central Pacific about 500 miles southeast of Guam.
Typhoon Hagibis Brings Heavy Rains to Japan
Typhoon Hagibis, a once powerful super typhoon, struck the main Japanese island of Honshu over the weekend, bringing very heavy rains and widespread flooding. Hagibis formed into a tropical storm on the 5th of October from a tropical depression that originated from a westward moving tropical wave north of the Marshall Islands. At first, Hagibis strengthened steadily becoming a typhoon about 24 hours after becoming a tropical storm. But, then on the 7th, Hagibis underwent a remarkable rapid intensification cycle and quickly intensified into a super typhoon with sustained winds estimated at 160 mph by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) less than 24 hours after becoming a minimal typhoon.