NASA uses

NASA uses

NASA is providing data from three satellites to give forecasters valuable information on newly strengthened Tropical Storm Nicole. Nicole was Tropical Depression 16 until 11 a.m. EDT, Sept. 29 and NASA data helped confirm her new designation. Satellite data from NASA showed frigid thunderstorm cloud top temperatures, heavy rainfall, and extensive cloud cover as Nicole strengthened. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument uses infrared technology to take a tropical cyclone’s temperature. AIRS sits on NASA’s Aqua satellite and captured an image of those cloud top temperatures on Sept. 29 at 0723 UTC (3:23 a.m. EDT) revealing very high thunderstorms around Nicole’s center, colder than -65 Fahrenheit.

NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite (a satellite shared with the Japanese Space Agency) captured the rainfall within Nicole on Sept. 28 as 1447 UTC (10:47 a.m. EDT) when she was Tropical Depression 16, and at that time noticed several areas of very heavy rainfall, falling at a rate of more than 2 inches per hour around the south and eastern sides of the storm’s center of circulation. That heavy rainfall continues today, Sept. 29. TRMM will be closely monitoring Nicole with the expected accumulations of 5 to 10 inches over the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Cuba and even isolated amounts up to 20 inches are possible over the higher elevations of Cuba and Jamaica.

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