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.

GPM overpass of Typhoon Nanmadol
Super Typhoon Nanmadol became one of the strongest typhoons to threaten Japan since records began in 1951. Nanmadol began as a tropical disturbance, basically an area of active thunderstorms, on September 11th southeast of Iwo Jima about midway between Tokyo and Guam. After moving to the southwest for 2 days, this disturbance became better organized and formed into a depression on the 13th. The system then made a counterclockwise loop, moving first back to the northeast before turning back again towards the west. Over this time, the system slowly intensified, becoming Tropical Storm Nanmadol
IMERG precipitation estimates from Hurricane Fiona
In September 2022, Hurricane Fiona had impacts in the Caribbean, on Bermuda, and in Canada. NASA's satellites and science algorithms helped to monitor this hurricane in near real time.
IMERG totals from twin cyclones in the Indian Ocean
Over the past several days, a relatively rare event occurred in the eastern Indian Ocean: the formation of “twin” tropical cyclones. Tropical Cylones Karim and Asani formed at nearly the exact same time (06:00 UTC and 06:30 UTC, 12:00 pm and 12:30 pm local time) on May 7 on opposite sides of the Equator. Karim officially formed first in the southern hemisphere (SH) followed immediately by Asani in the northern hemisphere (NH). At first glance, the cyclones appear to be mirror images of one another with Asani rotating counterclockwise in the NH and Karim rotating clockwise in the SH roughly
IMERG Comparison of Typhoon Mindulle and Hurricane Sam
From late Sept. through early Oct. 2021, two powerful storms churned over the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans: Typhoon Mindulle, which peaked as a Category 5 storm, and Hurricane Sam, a Category 4 hurricane and one of the longest-lived hurricane-strength storms on record over the Atlantic Ocean. While neither storm posed a direct threat to land, Mindulle brushed by eastern Japan, leaving heavy rainfall accumulations in the area near Tokyo. Despite the fact that neither storm made landfall, the storms’ slow-motion tracks across warm ocean waters allows an opportunity to observe how the strong winds
GPM overpass of Hurricane Nicholas
Although it only reached hurricane status for a brief period, Hurricane Nicholas made an impact on the northern Gulf Coast by bringing heavy rains to an area still recovering from the devastating effects of powerful Hurricane Ida, which made landfall in Louisiana just over 2 weeks earlier. Nicholas formed after a tropical wave passed over the Yucatan Peninsula and into the Bay of Campeche, providing a focus for shower and thunderstorm development. On the morning of Sunday September 12th, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) found that this area of storms had developed a closed circulation with
NASA/JAXA GPM Satellite Eyes Hurricane Ida Shortly Before Landfall
Hurricane Ida struck southeast Louisiana as a powerful Category 4 storm on Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021 - the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in 2005. Ida brought destructive storm surge, high winds, and heavy rainfall to the region, and left over 1 million homes and businesses without power, including the entire city of New Orleans. The NASA / JAXA GPM Core Observatory satellite flew over the eye of Ida shortly before landfall at 10:13 a.m. CDT (1513 UTC), capturing data on the structure and intensity of precipitation within the storm. This animation shows NASA's IMERG multi
GPM DPR overflight of Hurricane Henri 22 Aug 2021
In the North Atlantic, the tropical system known as Henri reached hurricane status on Saturday, August 21, 2021. At the time, it was approaching a landfall in New England. Between Friday and Sunday, Henri was observed three times by the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) on the core satellite of NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. The GPM satellite's first two flyovers of Henri occurred just 10 hours apart and revealed a remarkably unchanging structure that was being impacted by wind shear. A third overflight occurred a day later, when wind shear had abated and Henri
IMERG Rainfall Totals from Cyclone Tauktae
NASA combined data from multiple satellites in the GPM Constellation to estimate precipitation rates and totals from Tropical Cyclone Tauktae in May 2021. The below animation shows precipitation rates (blue/yellow shading) and accumulations (green shading) at half-hourly intervals from May 12-19, 2021, derived from NASA's IMERG algorithm. Underneath the precipitation data, cloud cover is shown in shades of white/gray based on geosynchronous satellite infrared observations. On top of the precipitation data, the cyclone's approximate track is displayed based on estimates from the Joint Typhoon
IMERG Rainfall Rates and MUR Sea Surface Temperatures from the 2020 Hurricane Season
Forecasters predicted an above-normal hurricane season for 2020. They weren’t wrong. As the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season smashed records with an unprecedented 30 named storms, NASA’s Earth Applied Sciences Disasters Program stood up to the challenge. The Disasters Program helps leaders and responders at national, regional, and local levels leverage NASA’s technology and expertise to assess, predict, and understand disasters' impacts. The Disasters Program targets a wide range of hazards and disasters, and while NASA is not an operational response agency, the agency offers access to unique
IMERG Captures Rainfall from Tropical Cyclone Ana in Fiji
NASA combined data from multiple satellites to estimate the rainfall from Tropical Cyclone Ana in the Southwest Pacific Ocean amid an ongoing Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) event. The Madden-Julian Oscillation is a 20 to 90 day pattern of alternating wet and dry conditions that often begins in the tropical Indian Ocean and moves eastward into the Pacific. This animation shows rainfall rates (blue/yellow shading) and rainfall accumulations (green shading) at half-hourly intervals from January 26 - February 2, 2021, using NASA's IMERG algorithm, overlaid on shades of white/gray from NOAA