Floods

To better understand and predict floods scientists have developed hydrological models based on how much rainfall occurs and where the water will likely go once it hits the ground. They use several satellite precipitation datasets within these models to provide near real-time estimates of when and where areas may flood on local, regional, and global scales. 

IMERG rainfall totals in South Africa, April 5 - 18, 2022.
An upper-level area of low pressure tapped into the warm waters of the South Indian Ocean to bring heavy rains and flooding to parts of South Africa during the second week of April. The event unfolded when an upper-level trough of low pressure embedded within the midlatitude westerlies traversed the southern part of Africa from west to east. As the trough approached the east coast of South Africa, an area of low pressure became detached from the main flow, this “cut off” low then drifted over the warm waters of the Agulhas Current, which channels warmer waters from the tropical Indian Ocean
IMERG rainfall totals from the Nov. 2021 atmospheric river.
The Pacific Northwest coast saw two atmospheric rivers (ARs) bring heavy rains from Nov. 10-16, 2021, resulting in severe flooding, landslides, and damage to infrastructure in the British Columbia province of Canada. ARs are long, narrow corridors of water vapor that travel vast distances above the ocean from warm, tropical regions to higher latitudes, where they often release their moisture as rainfall when they reach land areas. While ARs occur across the globe, this year has been notable for several strong events that have impacted the Pacific Northwest coast. The two atmospheric rivers in
IMERG Precipitation Totals from Eastern Australia, March 16 - 23, 2021
During the week ending on March 23, 2021, two locations in Australia experienced unusually high rainfall totals. According to news reports a persistent system brought flooding rains to Australia's east coast from Brisbane to Sydney and points further south. The preliminary estimate from NASA's multi-satellite global precipitation analysis is that more than 24 inches fell just off the coast of Australia in 7 days with accumulations in coastal areas exceeding 16 inches. Near the Strzelecki Desert in central Australia, a storm system brought 8 inches of precipitation during the same 7-day period. Most of the rain fell during a 3-day period (0000 UTC on 20 March to 2359 UTC on 22 March).
Hurricane Eta IMERG Screenshot
The extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, aided by the ongoing La Niña, continues on. After Hurricane Zeta made landfall along the northern part of the Gulf Coast, yet another hurricane has arisen - Hurricane Eta, the strongest of the season. Like Zeta, Eta also formed in the Caribbean, where sea surface temperatures are still running quite warm at around 29° C, almost a full degree above average and well above the typical 26° C needed for tropical cyclone development. But while Zeta turned north into the Gulf of Mexico, Eta moved westward where it delivered powerful winds and
IMERG rainfall totals from Japan, July 3 - 9 2020
From July 3-9, 2020, NASA’s IMERG algorithm continued to observe the heavy precipitation that fell as part of the seasonal Meiyu-Baiu rains (“plum rains”) in east Asia. Weekly totals reached their regional maxima over the island of Kyushu in southern Japan. About half of the island of Kyushu received over 45 cm (~18 inches) of rain. The majority of Honshu, Japan’s main island, as well as Shikoku to its south, were also impacted by the rains, receiving from 10-25 cm, depending on the location. Additionally, large areas of eastern China were also covered by the plum rains during this weekly
IMERG rainfall totals from Japan, June 29 - July 5, 2020
This animation shows NASA IMERG rain rates (blue shading) and accumulations (green shading) near Kyushu island, in the southwest of Japan from June 29 - July 5, 2020. Devastating floods and landslides swept through parts of Kyushu on July 4, 2020, resulting in over 40 deaths and orders for hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate their homes according to media reports. Download video (right-click -> Save As) The rains that triggered the flooding occurred in the context of the Meiyu-Baiu rainy season, which arrives in east Asia every year from June to mid-July. “Meiyu” and “Baiu” are the
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...
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.
Hurricane Dorian Brings Heavy Rain to Bahamas
In addition to the powerful winds that have raked the northern Bahamas over the past few days, Hurricane Dorian’s slow motion has brought very heavy rainfall to the islands as well. Dorian first formed into a tropical depression on the 24th of August about 800 miles east southeast of Barbados in the Lesser Antilles from an area of low pressure; the depression was quickly upgraded to a minimal tropical storm and named Dorian by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) later in the day. As Dorian made its way westward under the influence of a high pressure ridge to the north, it was held in check...
Typhoon Prapiroon Batters Japan and the Korean Peninsula
APortier Thu, 08/29/2019
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